Parcel Delivery Mailman

Parcel Delivery Mailman

Big Joe

Bronx, NY

Male, 31

I work in NYC for the USPS. I drive a 2 ton box truck and deliver packages that are too large for the regular letter carrier to take. I've been on my assignment for 5 years and a postal worker for almost 10. I spend most of my day running up and down stairs with heavy packages. I have to be on constant alert for dogs. Especially in apartment buildings with narrow hallways. I have lots of great customers and I love my job. All of my opinions are my own and I DO NOT speak for my employer.

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53 Questions


Last Answer on May 23, 2013

Best Rated

Can you tell if someone ordered a Flesh Light? I want to order one, but I'm afraid my mailman, or worse my mom, would know what it is. Because that'd be really embarrassing...

Asked by Gizzy over 6 years ago

Hahaha that's classic. Well Gizzy, when I deliver one of those, my truck becomes like the Publishers Prize Patrol van. I come to your door with balloons and a bullhorn, bears on tricycles, and a camera crew with a live feed to the morning news. Lol, Just kidding. Seriously though, I'm sure the company that sends your "item" is very discreet and the box It's shipped in wouldn't look different than any other. I'm also sure that we deliver those kinds of things everyday. Thanks for your colorful question.

Where I live (BKNY) it seems like a total crapshoot as to whether delivery guys will leave packages at my doorstep, leave a "will try again" notice, or leave a "you must pick up at a nearby depot" notice. Why is that?

Asked by Nick, Red Hook over 6 years ago

First and foremost, the postal service does NOT automatically re-deliver items. Our daily workload is too heavy to have parcels from the previous day in our trucks. If you receive a pink notice slip, you can go to the post office the following day from the notice date (upper center on face of slip) or you can call the 800 number on the back of it to schedule re-delivery. You can also schedule re-delivery online @ Unless the carrier sees a place where he can safely leave a parcel, they usually will leave a notice. Reason being that about 95% of the packages we deliver have barcodes on them that we have to scan. Here is an example of what I mean. If I left your parcel somewhere on your property, I would scan it as being delivered. But if it goes missing and the customer complains that they never received it, management looks at me because it was linked to me by way of barcode and I had it last. I belive this to be the basic logic behind most of the people who preform jobs such as mine. I hope I answered your question buddy.

Have you ever gotten suspicious about a parcel you were delivering and what's standard protocol in those situations?

Asked by dan79 over 6 years ago

Yes. Most times the parcels are identified as "suspicious" when the addresses look strange or incomplete. Other times they could have grease stains on them, or be leaking something. Either way, they are isolated and the supervisor is notified. I remember one time when I was in my truck and heard a package "ticking". I immediately jumped out and called the manager, but it just turned out to be a wall clock that was shipped with batteries in it. But safety is top priority.

Does labeling a package FRAGILE actually make you handle it with more care?

Asked by M. in Scotch Plains over 6 years ago

To be honest, when I see a parcel marked fragile, I usually try to take it easy a little more than usual. Come to think of it, I'm actually pretty meticulous with the way I organize my parcels...and I'm careful with all of them. I always re-tape boxes that pop open or get crushed from the weight of others. If you really want that extra piece of mind about your item reaching it's destination in one piece, write the word "GLASS" on the package a few times. I feel like the delivery personnel always go the extra mile when they have the fear of delivering a parcel full of broken glass. Thanks for your question. And by the way....Stage House Tavern in Scotch Plains is AWESOME. I try to make it for ravioli Monday's as often as possible :)

If you lost your job tomorrow, what would you do for work?

Asked by pele over 6 years ago

I assume that you're referring to the financial issues of the post office. I'm a union employee and I would never just "lose" my job. If it came down to something like that, there would be a tell tale chain of events leading up to it. During which, I would explore other options available to me to provide income for my family. I have faith in the United States Postal Service and I'm sure they'll find a way to pull through any hardship...Now or in the future.

Is it true that it's actually ILLEGAL to open someone else's mail? Can you be put in jail for it?

Asked by lauraschmidt over 6 years ago

Well, i'm not entirely sure. I've always been told that doing it is a federal offense. I know there are people who work for the organization whose job it is to investigate these kinds of things. I also have have heard stories of carriers being fired for stealing, some customers too I'm sure. Bottom line is that its better safe then sorry. If you find mail that doesn't belong to you, it's best to just give it to a carrier.

If you drop something fragile and hear something break in it, do you deliver it anyway and hope you don't get caught, or do you own up to it?

Asked by Brix over 6 years ago

That has never happened to me personally. I've had to deliver parcels that were crushed, and some that had spoiled food inside (Which really makes the truck smell awesome btw), but I've been pretty lucky as far as damaged goods are concerned. Hypothetically speaking? If I was in that situation, I suppose it would depend on the circumstances. If I dropped it and something broke, I'd most likely inform my supervisor about it and take whatever course of action he/she instructed. But if it was already broken when it arrived at my station, I'd probably just deliver it and inform the recipient about the issue the best I could, if possible. Thanks for your question Brix.

If a recipient isn't home and you make a judgment call to leave a package outside, and it winds up getting stolen, are you penalized in any way?

Asked by hmmmm.... over 6 years ago

Once or twice probably wouldn't spark disciplinary action against a carrier, but if a pattern emerges they most likely would launch an investigation to find out exactly what's happening. If you scroll up a bit, you can read the answer I wrote to Nick from Red Hook. It's along the same lines as this. I don't leave parcels by people's doors. It's too iffy. Anything can happen to it, and if something does happen...I'm gonna get called into the office the next morning to be chewed out, which I don't want. Thanks for the question :)

Do you wear back or knee supports? Does USPS give you extra or special insurance against injury because of all the heavy lifting?

Asked by JoHu over 6 years ago

GOOD QUESTION! A few years ago, I slipped on some ice as I was walking out of a Dunkin Donuts store. I didn't hit the ground, but I twisted the muscle along my ribs. It hurt pretty bad and I was out of work for 45 days which is standard protocol for an on the job injury. After that, I wore a back brace that a co-worker gave me when I made my return to work. That was the only time I can think of. The postal service gives us a uniform allowance every year to buy the things we need to do our job. As far as insurance goes, there isn't any that I'm aware of.

Have you ever smelled weed coming from a parcel and are you supposed to turn it in if you do?

Asked by trey over 6 years ago

Hahaha I gotta answer no on that one. I sometimes get trapped in my truck with bad odors all day (rotting fruit, salted fish, etc.) But never that. I've seen on tv that they use coffee to cover the smell, but I don't think it would work. Somebody would probably catch it at some point and tell a supervisor about it. I know I would. Sorry if I killed your hopes lol.

Why does the US Postal Service lose so much money when private shippers like Fedex and UPS presumably turn a profit?

Asked by bdbd1985 over 6 years ago

I think it seems that way because of email. People used to mail letters and other things on a regular basis. Now it's all electronic. Those other companies don't have the expenses that the USPS does as far as dealing with mail is concerned. If they did, I'm sure they'd be in the same boat. All I know is that I have a truck full of work on a daily basis, and I'm thankful for it.

Have you ever been bitten by a dog? Do you carry treats?

Asked by erikaV over 6 years ago

Thankfully, I've never been bitten. However, there have been many close calls that I can think of. I was walking out of a building one day with a fairly large box in my arms because the people weren't home. As I was passing a group of people, a huge brown dog lunged at me and snapped it's jaws about a foot from my face. The owner had it on a leash and pulled back at just the right moment to stop it. The area that I work in is mostly made up of apartment buildings and the tenants have a habit of leaving their doors propped open for ventilation. This is the most dangerous scenario. Dogs hear my keys jingle and they come running. The best thing you can do is to put something between you and them (a large parcel you just happen to be holding works good) and try to get the owner's attention. Most dogs are friendly and I usually don't have a problem. I love animals and I belive they can sense it. However, I won't be making any overtime if I'm sitting at home with stitches in my leg, so I try to stay aware. As for carrying treats, I personally don't. I've heard stories about guys doing so, but I think that smelling like beef jerky will only further my chances of becoming a chew toy ;)

Does your work day end once you've delivered all your packages, or does it end at a certain time?

Asked by Anna Louisa over 6 years ago

My regularly scheduled work day is from 8am-4:30 pm. But depending on the mail volume and time of year (holidays are insanely busy) I will stay out until I'm finished. I also deliver regular mail when the supervisor asks me to, which adds time as well.

I assume you saw this vid of the Fedex guy tossing a computer over a fence ( What do you think was going through his mind when he did that? How could he possibly think that was OK?

Asked by jbs23 over 6 years ago

I did see it. I was shocked at first, but then I thought about reasons why he might have done it. 1) He was either in a rush to finish, or he was covering someone's assignment. I'm not really sure how FedEx handles their day to day operations, he might have been thinking that if he returns to dispatch/station with an empty truck, they'll think he's a great worker and should be given more work. You see, many of the FedEx drivers I have met over the years are "contractors", they don't officially have a route. They get picked up by the company to deliver items, but don't work when the parcel volume is low. I think it works on a seniority basis. I'm not 100% on any of that, it's just what I've heard. 2) The box he threw was a laptop/monitor box. But that doesn't mean that's what was inside. People reuse boxes everyday and for all we know, there could have been balls of yarn or some other fabric in it. Maybe he felt the weight and knew from experience what it was, and that it wouldn't be damaged by tossing it over a fence. Whatever it was, it totally looked bad. I hope he didn't get fired over it. I won't even leave parcels in front of customer's doors. If I don't have access or if you're not get a notice and can schedule a re-delivery or pick up your package at the post office if you wish. Thanks for your question.

Have you seen a lot of employee theft in the USPS, and are there certain package types that are more likely to be stolen? Like, if a package is from Amazon or Best Buy or Williams Sonoma or something...

Asked by shonuff over 6 years ago

Never. Even if someone wanted to, they couldn't. Let me explain. Each morning, the packages that belong to your route are scanned into the system as your assignment's parcels for the day. Every time you handle one, it has to be scanned (delivered, attempted, etc.) If one is entered into the system as attempted, you have to have it with you at the end of the day. If something is missing, they're gonna know. Nothing in the mail would EVER be worth your job.

Do you like the physical exercise you get from carrying all the heavy boxes? Are you a lot stronger now because of it?

Asked by njnyets over 6 years ago

Good question. I get this all the time. Once I'm out and delivering stuff, It's like going to the gym. I've gotten into the habit of taking steps 2-3 at a time. I also try not to eat heavily during the day because it slows me down drastically. Occasionally, I'll get a 200 pound exercise bike to deliver, but it's mostly standard size packages. I've always been a big dude and when I had the choice between walking and delivering letters, or driving and delivering parcels...I took this. I still work out whenever possible at home and I'm on a vitamin regimen to stay healthy. I drink tons of water and avoid sugar whenever possible. Some days are better than others though. I definitely think that it keeps me fit and strong. It's gotten to the point now that when I work out, the machine gets stronger ;)

Do your customers tip you during holidays and what's the range? A lot of us would like to tip but have no idea what's the right amount.

Asked by Jose over 6 years ago

AAHHHHH....The million dollar question. Technically, we aren't supposed to accept tips. Most people don't really tip anyway, At least where I work. I'm sure that carriers elsewhere make good money during the holidays, but I work in NYC.....and I guess times are hard lol. I guess you can try throwing your parcel post guy like $20, I'm sure he/she would appreciate it.

My friend told me that I could get something delivered for free if I put it in the mail with no postage, and put the address where i REALLY want it to go as the return address. Will that work?

Asked by charlie7 over 6 years ago

I'm sure that back in the day there was more of a chance of that happening, but I still have yet to see someone try it. I suppose it would work, but someone would eventually catch on and your friend would get caught for mail fraud.

What's the funniest thing that's happened to you while delivering a package?

Asked by KatieCuppyCake over 6 years ago

There's been tons of funny moments I can think of including finding a cat in a mailbox, getting into a snowball fight with some neighborhood kids, and having a drunk guy accuse me of being a member of the KKK because I refused to give him his mail without an ID. But the all time top has to be this one time I rang a doorbell and this guy came to the door in a dress. Not a regular dress mind you, but a full on evening gown with his chest hair bursting out of the front and a beard that would make Chuck Norris jealous. I handed him the parcel and he just said "cool" with a deep voice and slammed the door closed. I got back in my truck and almost died of laughter. I think it was the straight look on his face that really put it over the top. Anyway, nothing has beat that since.....but I look foward to something that can.

If someone does a crappy job of sealing a package and it breaks open during a delivery, is it your responsiblity to reseal it on the spot and deliver it, or do you bring it back to headquarters and they deal with it?

Asked by PowPowPow over 6 years ago

I re-tape/reinforce boxes almost every day. The biggest problem is when people ship items in old floppy boxes instead of new ones. Every once in a while we get one that's completely destroyed. When that happens, we have the customer come to the station to get it because I don't want them to think that I damaged it during delivery.

What happens to packages that are undeliverable and don't have a valid return address? Does the postal service get to open them and keep whatever's inside?

Asked by merritt over 6 years ago

I'm actually unsure about that. Whenever we get parcels like that, they go to a place where they deal with those kinds of things. I never really thought about it. I'll see if I can find out more.

What neighborhoods do you HATE delivering to?

Asked by nokando over 6 years ago

Ummm, since I work in the city, I'd have to say that delivering in the housing projects is probably the worst. The elevators are often broken and it forces me to use the stairs which are usually covered in human waste (use your imagination) and other things you don't want to step in/on. But I'm usually just in and out so it isn't that bad.

You said you delivered to the projects; have you ever been attacked or robbed there?

Asked by greystone_IL over 6 years ago

No. Luckily for me,  I'm 6'3'' and weigh over 250 lbs. People tend to stay away from me and I'm thankful for it. I'm also very friendly with everybody and I feel like that helps. I have had some arguments with cab drivers,  but that's about it.

Do you think that packages coming in from overseas are a high-risk for terrorism? Customs can’t possibly open EVERY package that comes in right?

Asked by harrods over 6 years ago

I belive that they scan/xray the majority of items coming into the country.  Safety is the main concern when it comes to the mail. I highly doubt that anything hazardous or dangerous would make it past security screenings. Also,  parcels from other countries have customs tags on them which describe the contents.

What's the single most annoying or frustrating part of the job.

Asked by LI Paul over 6 years ago

I'd have to say it's when someone calls for a re-delivery because they weren't home the first time, and then you get there with it for the 2nd time and they aren't home again. Especially when you gotta huff it up 4 flights of stairs on a 90 degree day. It definitely makes my blood boil. There usually isn't a 3rd attempt.

Are you allowed to double-park whenever you make deliveries?

Asked by WZUP over 6 years ago


can a USPS parcel meant for delivery in the United Kingdom have the following tracking number? 9114999991703343136553

Asked by omb almost 3 years ago


Could you advise me if there is any postal regulations regarding the delivery of international express packages to the condo door? I can go outside my condo gate for the packages but not other disabled family member. It's been quite a problem...

Asked by SB almost 5 years ago


You're a good writer, and it sounds like you've been on the job awhile. Are you looking to continue delivering, or move toward mgmt positions? (That's not meant to be a leading question - if you love what you do, you're doing better than most!)

Asked by Anne (Weehawken) over 6 years ago


How do I go about becoming a postal delivery person?

Asked by Tracey W. over 5 years ago


Package sent (Tracking # 9114 9999 4431 3336 2282) address was in error. on the package it has 523 King Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980. The person to receive it is Roxanne Power at 513 King Ave, Waynesboro, VA 22980 and her phone number is 540-849-6932

Asked by Roxine Booker about 4 years ago


Im new with post office. When someone has a package in the mailbox to be returned, how do you scan it in as picked up?

Asked by Newman about 5 years ago


In my previous question the tracking number is: 9114 9999 4431 3336 2282 82 . The local Brazotia, Texas Post Office number is: 481490422-0095. Sender is Roxine Booker, 205 Ave C, Brazoria, TX 77422-9327 979-798-6000, email:

Asked by Roxine Booker about 4 years ago


Mailman Big Joe, where did you go? No longer answering questions? Did you get thrown in jail for theft of peoples mail? lol

Asked by Newman about 5 years ago


how can we determine the origin of registered mail by the pink slip the postman left

Asked by mike tomlinson about 4 years ago


I have seen postal service workers leave notes saying that they attempted to deliver a package and no one was home. But i was home and they did not attempt it. Why are they doing this? they didn't have any other mail on them.

Asked by Scooby over 4 years ago


Recently found blue tape with name printed on in inside my mailbox. Would this have been left by mail carrier?

Asked by Parker logan 11 months ago


I have appt for driving the usps truck in bronx ny I never drove one before what should I expect they say if u fail u don't get the job

Asked by monique over 4 years ago


My mail lady will not drop off packages if my cat is outside. If I put my cat inside, but there is a neighborhood stray cat outside I still do not get packages. Are cat attacks an actual issue? This seems to be a bit ridiculous. Thanks!

Asked by Brionna almost 3 years ago


If a mailman knows there's a dog on site, but it's not loose and is in fact locked up inside the house, can he still refuse to deliver to the door? We've been keeping our dog locked inside because he's afraid of dogs, but he still won't deliver.

Asked by Emma over 4 years ago


Do you think there should be some kind of law that all buildings and residents need to prominently display their numerical address? I've been to NY many times, and could not believe how many buildings have no visible #'s on them.

Asked by Dr. Holiday over 6 years ago


I need to ship about 15 boxes to my new home in AZ. Is there a particular post office in the Bronx that you would recommend that I take the boxes to? Hoping to have a stress free experience doing this.

Asked by Jenna over 4 years ago


I am expecting a package today. However my mailman is done for the day. Will someone else be delivering it? (It's a small box.)

Asked by Rikki over 2 years ago


When I was done with the lengthy USPS application online, I received a response email ... Ty for applying however there are no test dates at this time. Watch your email for more available positions. How long will I have to wait?

Asked by Rikki over 2 years ago


What do you think of the truck you drive? Is it suitable for the work you need to do?

Asked by Geoff over 4 years ago


I have been a mailman for 20 yrs My feet are so damaged I could go out on disability - but I would rather work an inside job at the poast office. Is that possible

Asked by connie almost 5 years ago


Can I ask the delivery lady to gimme my package when she is delivering it? It's not big it's really tiny it's just a cute fuzzy plush that's all? Because my dad won't give me the keys to the apartment mailbox? :(

Asked by Mrgaga over 5 years ago


Another one of my friends changed there shipping address to another neighbors mailbox for a specific item what would happen they live in the same street?

Asked by Mrgaga over 5 years ago


my mailman never seems to make a first attempt at delivery. he just gives the slip. I know this because I am home during the time written on the slip. this is annoying and I don't know what to do to get him to give me my package

Asked by kim about 6 years ago


I was supposed to receive a package hen I check my mailbox it was empty then I checked online and it said the package was delivered I now he says he gave it someone outside who asked for it what the protocol for that

Asked by tiffany over 4 years ago


Do you get a lot of people answering the door with barely any clothes on? Or while I'm asking, ever have someone answer the door nude??

Asked by KlassyKat over 6 years ago


do you think it would be hard for a lady to drive a 2 ton, short in stature?

Asked by PK over 3 years ago


Which delivery jobs are more coveted: USPS, or FedEx/UPS? What are the advantages/disadvantages?

Asked by wilson!!! over 6 years ago