The U.S. Postal Service is a Toxic Work Environment

Dr. S. Musacco - Beyond Going Postal

April 14, 2010
by Dr. S. Musacco

Dr. Steve Musacco is a Ph.D. in organizational psychology, a M.S. in Counseling, and a B.A. in psychology. He’s been licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist and completed Coachu’s coaching program. He also worked for the postal service for 30 years.

Dr. Musacco said:

Prior to my retirement from the USPS, at a former district I worked for, there were three suicides within a two year period that I concluded were contributed to in significant part by how these employees were treated in the workplace. The third employee, a city letter carrier, fatally shot himself in a postal jeep and left a letter stating that he could no longer take the job. The night before he committed suicide he told his wife he did not know if he would be able to handle his job anymore. How do I know? His wife told me this one day after his suicide. He was one of the best employees in the office. The District Manager and I interviewed his coworkers after his death, and they stated he would urinate in a bottle while on delivery route for fear he would not meet an artificial deadline set by postal management. During the interviews, one of the postal supervisors told the District Manager and me that the day before the suicide she gave a letter to all the city letter carriers in the station, noting that any future over time used for their routes would be considered unacceptable performance. The suicide at the Gastonia postal facility was the second since December 2005.

Many people have asked: Why is there so much stress and workplace tragedies in the U.S. Postal Service? The answer to these questions is because the postal culture embraces and reflects core values that center on achieving bottom-line results with little or no regard for employee participation, respect, dignity, or fairness. Additionally, there is little or no accountability for the actions of top management in the Postal Service. Many postal facilities consequently have toxic work environments, and they can be a catalyst or trigger for serious acts of workplace violence, including homicide and suicide. The associated rewards system for behavior consistent with the postal culture core values, moreover, enables systemic organizational and individual bullying of employees at all levels of the organization.

I define a toxic workplace environment as a workplace where there is a high incidence of stress-related illnesses. These stress-related illnesses are manifested by psychological and physical deterioration. In other words, these types of environments seriously erode employees’ health and well-being. The primary factors contributing to a toxic workplace environment are high job demands, low job control, and low social support. Low social support generally entails a lack of respect and validation of employees’ dignity by their “superiors”. It also oftentimes includes organizational practices and methods that encourage the bullying of employees to meet corporate goals.

Dr. Steve Musacco
Beyond Going Postal

Submitted by:
Eric L. Wattree

543 Responses to "The U.S. Postal Service is a Toxic Work Environment"

  1. maggie   June 15, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    ive been and still being harassed because my supervisor wants to use my route assigned llv for city. ive had to sit and wait almost an hour some days. so i got a lot faster and quit casing anything i didnt have to. so now theyre going to make me come in later so they can use it. i was called in on bogus pdi for too much sick leave . 1 week she complained about had been approved in advance and was al because my truck needed to be fixed when she was told im allowed to call off the day of needing al i can do that as long as theres coverage she then tried to say o she had trouble finding coverage i told her right there that wasnt true. the other i was in hospital and the i had drs notes for all but 1 day out of 5 legitimate days i was off sick.she knows my dad just died and now shes piling all this crap on me too. i even had to work the day of his funeral because they didnt have enough people. thats one reason why i was so damn mad about her having a pdi to begin with. im already on 3 antidepressants a day. ive never had so much problems till she got the job and ive been here 16 years and she was a city carrier but omg the job went to her head.
    i also believe she is being vindictive because i tried talking to her about her unrealistic expectations of the new rcas. like the people here have complained about . the new rca was called the 1st day out by herself being yelled at by the supervisor to hurry up where are you why is it taking so long. she put the rca on 4 different routes within 12 days and was mad because she couldnt keep up. i wasnt nasty about it either i just said maybe she should keep her on the route she was hired for and get casing training which was her main problem. but nope she has her on other routes and never calls her in .
    ive even started looking for other places to go which does make me mad and depressed especially after working there for 16 years. im now in the process of filing grievances so wish me luck. and good luck to you all i know first hand how you feel.

  2. Chip   September 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm

    Got this email today from whoever is in charge of deciphering the employee opinion survey. It was a very condescending email to all employees showing a perfect example of how out-of-touch postal management is with the workforce.
    Of course only a small percentage of employees even take the time to fill out the survey because they/we know it doesn’t matter — nothing will ever be done to change anything — not that we are “retaliating against management” as the email alleges — those who do not participate are doing.
    No, we have given up on trying to change anything. To complain is to volunteer to be harassed by management. To simply ask for something is to be asking to be put under the microscope to find anything you may be doing wrong. To speak up is to draw attention from those who like to destroy what little bit of comfort you might have with change for the sake of improving performance.
    I wasn’t going to fill out the survey this time around because it doesn’t matter and I don’t care anymore but the email said I should so I did. I gave all zeros like usual so there you go.
    You get a big fat zero from me once again. Can’t wait to see what the overall score is nationwide. Good luck with that and thanks.

  3. Venom   September 15, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    They hire ghetto thugs, pimps, pedophilers, pervs, incompetent, unintelligent former carriers, and whores with no social skills whatsoever as management. They set them loose like wolves to lambs on hard working employees. Who then have to deal with them on all levels filing grievances, EEO arbitrations, and lawsuits against these unskilled low lives. Who break every federal labor, osha law in existence.

    There needs to be a complete overhaul in the hiring process of these monsters even less putting them in positions of authority. The post office operates autonomously under the umbrella of the Federal Government. However there is no outside monitoring of these mongrels on any level.

    Employees are mistreated, abused, treated worse than animals by many of these low lives. Now not all management is bad but a good portion of them should either be fired or in jail for the unethical devious practices deceptive acts and they commit. The level of harassment they subject hard working honest employees should be litigable. Then and only then the abuse would stop if you hurt their pockets.

  4. Sta-C Hale   September 17, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    It’s a shame that all these allegations are extremely true. The term “going postal ” is definitely an understatement

  5. Clint   September 27, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    I’ve been seeing more and more delayed mail lately. The delivery service standards are falling short more and more.
    I wish I could say more about the lack of consideration I’ve received by management but it would expose me to harassment. I am no longer “proud” to be a postal worker.
    I am ashamed of myself that I have allowed management to treat me without dignity and or respect.
    In a nutshell the problem here is unqualified managers. The fact that they may or may not know how to move the mail doesn’t matter. What matters is they don’t have people management skills. Low level managers are not qualified to supervise employees.
    Low level managers cause poor morale among workers.
    Workers who are treated poorly by managers will treat others poorly.
    That’s all I have to add.

  6. upsc-2017   October 1, 2017 at 2:43 am

    Its very strange to know that employees of any department is so stressed. Yes, its true people need respect and recognition on work. These work like non finacial benefits and help employees to get relief from their work burden.

  7. what is wrong with the world   October 3, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    I have worked for the postal service for twenty years. Our union reps are crooked, what I mean by that is that they steel from the post office. These union reps steel tools, sold furniture and split the money and only file grievances that will get them money. I was told today to keep my mouth shut about it because the guys doing it have a lot of power. What is wrong with the world?

  8. Xavier   October 4, 2017 at 11:04 am

    It happened to me again just last week. Instead of being recognized for my three decades of service the “manager” seemed to try and find any tiny little issue to use as a negative starting point in a morale killing discussion.
    I’ve seen managers come and go who have no knowledge of the job at hand. I have 30 years of experience at doing my job yet they seem to feel it necessary to dig down deep to find one tiny little issue and make a big deal out of it. The issue is whatever the latest crave that’s handed down from H.Q. and last week was of no concern and in two weeks from now will be forgotten about but today it’s a big topic.
    Who gives a crap about informed delivery? Not me. Not the customer. Why should I try and tell every customer who comes in the door about it? And I’m not going to either!
    I have enough areas to be concerned about every day covering my own butt that I don’t need to waste time with the latest craze. It’s stupid.
    I keep getting treated like crap by management so I’m going to pass that feeling on to the customer. I don’t give a crap. I don’t see any change coming soon in either direction.
    My new motto is “I Don’t Give a Crap”
    Send me a manager who treats me better and I might change but until then this is what you get. CRAP

  9. dirty John   October 11, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    We have so many custodial maintenance staff in my office it is ridiculous. It seems that all they do is empty the garbage cans once in a while. The rest of their time is spent in places like the locker room where they sleep, play dominos and read magazines.
    I get tired of walking around in dirt, trash, and garbage so much that I have had to start sweeping the floor myself. In a show if resentment I have decided to leave the piles of dirt that I sweep up in the path the custodians follow to empty the garbage.
    I am also leaving piles of dirt in places where other maintenance people are know to go just so they can walk in dirt and wonder why there are piles of dirt under their feet.
    You know it’s not much but it’s the least I can do to show how much I care.
    Management says that you cant ask a custodian to sweep up an area that is not on their route either. I guess that must be some kind of union rule for something.

  10. GI Joe   October 15, 2017 at 2:55 am

    More than 99% of these people’s comments are sadly true and exact. I recently retired after having all walking routes for over 30 years and I am beat up both physically and mentally. I take comfort in the fact that I have seen “karma” work it’s magic against certain individuals that had it coming. From the janitor who smoked all day and never cleaned (heart attack death) to the bully manager who ended up with heart disease, divorce and bankruptcy, “karma” doesn’t fail. I was very self-motivated and worked hard and not one single co-worker wished me well when I retired even though I stuck my neck out many times to defend carriers from the bullying. The hard workers are quietly kicked out the door and the rear end kissers get a huge cake when they retire. The whole place sickens me. The military treated me a thousand times better. I simply pray every day that the “karma” continues to do it’s job. I have never, ever, ever seen people act like this. What a sick circus.

  11. Raymond Nettles   October 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Believe it or not there are quite a few postal employees who have college degrees. For what ever reason they were lured in for either the slightly higher salary or health / retirement benefits. I’ve had the opportunity to work with several college educated individuals one of which even held a phd. Those few employees that I did know and work with did not go into management. Even if they did none of them were educated in business administration or trained in managing personnel.
    More often it seems that the individuals who have applied for postal management positions have done so out of a dislike for the position they held as a working class employee. Once these employees get into the nuts and bolts of being a manager they become overwhelmed with the responsibility and realize they are not equipped to deal with this burden. Managers are not allowed to go back to their previous job as a clerk or carrier. If they decided to abandon their management position they have to start all over at the bottom of the list just like a new hire employee.
    Those who go into management without a degree sometimes realize that if they want to move up the ladder they need to have some qualification on paper so they go to the community college. These paper qualifications are worth nothing in learning to manage people.
    More times than not these managers have hit a brick wall because they do not know how to manage and are not given the training that they need to become a good manager. The only tools they have are the primitive types such as threats, intimidation, lying, humiliation, harassment and so on. Managers also use their authority to manipulate female employees into compromising arrangements. Young attractive females will find it much easier to get what they want if they do favors for the managers.
    The educated and intelligent employees who do not go into management have become the under achiever and have not lived up to their full potential in life. They eventually accept their fate and their choice to be a postal worker or they find the strength to pull themselves out of the quagmire. I’ve seen a few but not many.
    Two people closest to me completed their masters degree while working here and subsequently moved on to bigger and better jobs.
    People in the public do not understand the real sacrifice we make by working here at the post office. Sure the pay is decent but we’re managed by street trash ghetto type supervisors. We’re making the best of it by not quitting and holding on until retirement.
    Things are getting worse by the day.
    Mark my words, “Things are going downhill fast.”

  12. GI Joe   October 19, 2017 at 11:37 pm

    The above article (Oct. 19, 2017) could not have said it any better. Most postal managers are people who couldn’t “cut the mustard” of doing the simple job of sorting mail and taking it to a house or apartment. The sad part also is that many union reps are the same way. They could not do a basic postal job and slipped through the cracks down at the union hall and got an office job where they wouldn’t have to work outside in bad weather conditions. They need to implement a rule where as you can not supervise or become a union official until you have done the craft job a minimum of 10 years. I was approached by a manger in my first year who told me I was too smart to stay on as a carrier and should get into management. If I had, I never would’ve understood what a carrier goes through year after year like I do now after carrying for more than 30 years. Like I said in my previous article, the “karma” will get those that treated others horribly. Many mangers need to go into the military and learn how to respect people because the military would’ve instilled self respect in them in the first place. I honestly don’t know how the typical bully postal supervisor looks at himself in his rear view mirror as he or she is driving home, there have to be many that simply can not.

  13. mike   October 23, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    I’m getting old … forget that. I am old. There is only one job I can do in the post office because of my physical problems and because of my seniority I can have whatever job I want. If I am ever forced out of this job, like I have been from others, I will have to use up my sick leave, annual leave, and leave without pay until retirement–which won’t be too much longer.

    I have physical limitations and as the years pass I am noticing that I have mental limitations as well. The only thing that keeps me going — when management is giving the latest round of garbage — is the fact that I can survive the short time I have left with the leave I have on the books and my frugal ways I’ve managed my finances over the years. I have tens of thousands in cash saved plus hundreds of thousands in retirement investments. I have real estate investments, gold and silver and I’m nearly totally debt free.
    What the managers don’t know is I could care less about what they say. I’m not giving the effort anymore. I’m not following through with anything anymore. I’m just going to float. Managers have made me this way. I wasn’t always this way. I used to have a work ethic. As far as I am concerned now anything goes. Whatever makes my job easier is what I am going to do and it means that I am not going along with the latest sales promotion or web app either. I’m not selling anything to anybody. If they don’t ask for it they ain’t getting it from me.
    The reason I feel this way is either I have a mental problem or I have been treated unfairly over the years and I’ve just had enough. Could be both. Funny thing is I am probably not the only one. Whenever I see something screwed up in my office I wonder if things are screwed up like this all over the country. The answer is probably, yes. If the answer is, yes, then this organization is losing money like a broom holding back the tidewater. No amount of “good management” can make up for the bad. It’s just not repairable.
    I wish I could say more about the specific ways things are mishandled but I’d run the risk of outing myself which is not my desire. I just want to fade away but before I do I wanted to get these feelings off my chest.
    I hope the best for the rest of you but your future is not bright.

  14. GI Joe   October 24, 2017 at 12:20 am

    Reply to “mike” (Oct. 23, 2017): Sir, you do NOT have any mental problems. The job has done a number on you the same way it did to me. It is easy to see that they are the problem, not you. I know that I gave it my all my whole career and watched as many couldn’t care less about any thing. Our restrooms were dirtier than a big city bus station and many carriers with smaller routes knew how to “play the game” and got 2 hours of overtime on a daily basis. Hard driving workers are treated like crap and made fun of. I agree with you, after awhile I would just laugh at their announcements about Customer Connect and other subjects that would actually benefit the company while you busted your rear end and watched many sit on theirs. All I can tell you is that you have to believe that “karma” will take care of all the nonsense that we had to witness. Please stay strong as your own individual and don’t ever feel like it is your fault. Like I stated before, the military treated me a thousand times better. I wished I had stayed in the military and never witnessed this hurtful environment.

  15. Ignorant Pride   November 3, 2017 at 10:52 am

    These managers are the worst. They have no regard for the success of the business. These managers have no idea how many negative effects their tactics have on the organization as a whole. These managers are ridiculously ignorant of an skill associated with business admin. There is no way in H E double elle that these “managers” would ever exist in private industry. They would be fired in less than one week. They have no idea what they are doing.
    Their My Way or the Highway mentality is a sad substitution for real management skills. You can never object to their instructions without offending them or “disrespecting” them. The pride of being ignorant is at epidemic proportion in the USPS.

  16. Walter   November 6, 2017 at 1:25 pm

    The most recent epidemic seems to be customers who are complaining about their advertising mail not getting delivered. Managers act like they don’t have a clue about what to do or what to say to the customers. Managers are grasping as straws calling around trying to find another employee who can explain why customer’s mail is not getting delivered.
    Customers are being given the telephone number to the postmaster’s office and the postmaster never returns the customers calls. The customers are complaining about not being able to get anyone to answer the telephone at the post office.
    Even other post offices are having trouble communicating P.O. to P.O. because nobody wants to answer the telephone. Nobody wants to answer the phone because they don’t know the answers to the customer’s questions.
    Customers are paying money to have advertising and political mail delivered to the public but it is getting lost and or never delivered. Customers are paying for a service that they are not receiving and when they call to complain no one will answer their call or return their call.
    What can you do if you’re the unfortunate one who answers the phone? Tell them how much you understand and agree with them but you know they are not getting the service they deserve.
    How can you work for an organization that operates like this on a daily basis without getting an attitude? How? What are the managers doing up there in their offices? What is the postmaster doing in his/her office? Why don’t they answer the phone or return calls to customers who are having problems?

  17. Walter White   November 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    It has been two weeks now since the customer has asked for help from the postmaster’s office and no luck.
    I see the customer regularly and each time I do they tell me that the postmaster has still not called him back.
    The customer has paid for a service and the post office has not literally not delivered the service that has been paid for but will not answer the customer’s complaint.
    Mail is not getting delivered and the postmaster will not take time to talk to the customer to explain why or at least let the customer know that the usps is working on finding a solution.
    The customer is literally bringing in revenue to the post office every day but cannot get service from the managers who are in charge.
    The customer continues to do business with the post office even though the service is horrible and the customer service is negligent.
    How can we continue to keep a business afloat with a practice like this?

  18. Not Me anymore   November 22, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    My heart is on the floor. I literally cannot believe what I was forced out of 10 years ago, has continued a pathetic spiral downward in the USPS. I was one of very very few female SDOs in a plant environment where mutual respect was obtained to actually meet goals! Problem was competing Tour SDOs & MDOs who couldn’t manage a chair, let alone a group of very skilled people, were offended & jealous of the success & were in positions to be able to continue verbally abusing, bullying, & lying to promote themselves to upper management & “the good ol boys club” mentality! They were sure I was gay from beginning my employment & when I approached HR about that, the OPM HR said I would just need to stay “off the radar”! Hell, I was moving mail out the door on Tour 1 automation- off the radar! Needless to say after seven years of success, they needed their man in the position, & they set me up for failure and beat me! Everyone was on my side, but no one came to my side. And my MDO happened to be out of town….Thought about writing a book…” Going Postal, and I know Why!”

  19. Jill   November 24, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Ever since I testified against my coworker who was a friend of one of the managers I have been discriminated against in several ways. The most common methods of discriminating against me by my immediate supervisor is by not approving my annual leave requests.
    Right after it happened, right after this coworker got fired, my supervisor disapproved my annual leave for the following reason. “That leave you requested was denied because, Mr. X who was fired might get his job back and he might want the same time off that you put in for.”
    I kid you not. This manager actually denied my leave due to the possibility of a fired employee wanting the same annual leave.
    And over the years it has continued but with different reasons for denial of my leave.
    At the end of the year I run the risk of losing my vacation time because the manager will not approve the leave requests. I put in for leave and it is denied. If I do not take all of my vacation time before the end of the year I will lose it. Weeks worth of annual leave will be lost because my supervisor is prejudiced and is continually retaliating against me for testifying against an employee who was fired.
    You wonder why the Post Office has a bad reputation, this is one of the reasons. Managers abuse their power for personal reason. Managers mistreat employees as punishment for speaking up against other employees who commit fraud.
    Managers protect poor employees and abuse those who are not in their favor.
    This has been happening to me for years. I am not the only one. I see managers hugging all over some employees while spending extended periods of time with them in deep personal conversations. The same managers will not even take 5 minutes to speak to me or other employees like me.
    We are not the managers friends or family members. We are of a different social class and we are being discriminated against on a regular basis.
    Guess what I do in return. Nothing. I don’t file grievances because the union is in bed with management. The union stewards are actually seen hugging managers while the managers loudly proclaim how wonderful the union steward is.
    I don’t file grievances or EEOs because the system is corrupt. From the head to the toe the whole system of postal management and postal union is completely corrupt here.
    What do I do about that, nothing.
    I sit and stew. I just wait for the perfect time to tell an auditor how corrupt they are. I wait for the perfect time and release the mismanagement proof. Most of the time it does no good anyway but I still do it.
    I wait for the opportunity to tell someone / anyone how awful another manager is. It really knocks them off their feet when they hear it point blank. The proof is right here. I show them and tell them what happened. That’s what I do.
    I’d like to tell a Senator or Congressman but I doubt they would care either. I’d tell the President but I’m sure he is too busy and wouldn’t care either.
    I’m hoping it will all be over soon. I hope for an early retirement but there is none is sight.

  20. Trevor Philips   November 26, 2017 at 4:22 pm

    I can tell that the local service standards are deteriorating rapidly with my home delivery experience. When Amazon first started the Sunday delivery program with the post office I would get my online orders, sometimes unexpectedly, on Sunday but I got them. But now that is not the case.
    This week I intentionally ordered an item and paid and additional fee for Sunday delivery and it was not delivered.
    In the past I would get notifications that my package had “arrived” at the delivery unit and “out for delivery” and the expected to be delivered on the specific day etc. but not anymore.
    The local mail delivery in the capital city of Florida is quickly falling away to say the least. I see it from both sides, inside and out. I see it as an employee and I see it as a customer. I know when items should be delivered and I know when packages have been delayed by the fault of the post office.
    It is not the case of coincidence and it is not the case of isolated incidents. The fault is clear and the blame can be laid at the feet of the party at fault. It is not a mystery what is going on here.
    The sorting machines are poorly staffed, the workroom floor is a disaster area with literal tons of empty equipment flung everywhere. Motorized equipment is being crashed into the walls of the building and into office furniture destroying postal property. This is not an isolated case. This is going on and has been going on for quite some time but it is getting much worse by the day.
    569 mail is pilling up by huge amounts and being delayed because management has not staffed that operation correctly. Mail is being delayed and missent, pushed aside and misplaced until someone comes along and notices that this needs to go somewhere else.
    People don’t care anymore because management is destroying morale with their poor training. Other managers have just quit without notice because of the fact that midlevel managers are treating them poorly. Nothing is being exaggerated here. Your / our mail is being delayed and mis-sent regularly. Maybe you’ve noticed and maybe you haven’t but rest assured that I have.
    No, I can’t do anything. Even if I tried to do something I would be labeled as a troublemaker for sticking my nose in where is don’t belong. I would be retaliated against in some form or fashion. Our managers do not have the skills, training, or education to be qualified to manage operations of this level of importance.

  21. Jesse Pinkman   December 4, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    After I retire …

    I can see the scenario play out even before it happens. It’s like a dream or a vision that, if I am lucky, I will survive long enough to live it in person.

    Hello Mr. So and So, Welcome to our hotel — or resort — or wherever. What do you do for a living?
    Me: I am retired.
    Them: Where did you work?
    Me: I’d rather not say.
    Them: Oh okay.
    Me: I’m embarrassed and I don’t like to talk about it. I’d like to leave it at that.
    Them: That’s sad, I’m sorry to hear that.

    Me: Me too. I’m sorry I gave 30+ years of my life to the organization. Near the end they eliminated any recognition of service and failed to acknowledge employees’ decades of service. They treated the industry’s economic failure as a fault of the employee. They began treating the employee as a liability and an inconvenience.
    I’m too embarrassed to say how I kept working for a company like this because I didn’t have the education or skills to find a better job or anything that paid the same anywhere else. I couldn’t afford to work for half my salary which is about all I could expect to get paid on my meek qualifications.

    Hopefully, one day, if I survive I will avoid the topic altogether or just out right lie to people and say I was in some other boring field like Truck Driver.

    Why would I volunteer to have a conversation on a topic that would bring back memories of the past? I will not have anything to do with that.

  22. Kerry rey   December 8, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Well said Jessie I am experiencing most of what everyone is saying. I’m a thirty plus year employee as well. I am feeling sad disrespected and angry. To see a workplace go from a functioning environment to a controlling,bullying,disrespectful and hateful place is sad. My thought is to bring more hate to the haters. To treat them as I feel I have been treated. The union although I feel one person may help me maybe. I have very little hope as the vice president comes and again treats me like I’m the problem. Maybe he is right but please at least pretend that you will sit down and hear both sides before you knock me down again. I only come to you because I have to. My managers treat me bad like I’m trying to get over on them my coworkers all think they are the only ones working and the last option the last hope the union is over there talking and laughing with the manager. I consider myself lucky I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. But I’m sad broken down don’t trust and feel like 30 plus years of service has been a dream or should I say nightmare. I am treated like I’m slow, lazy, and basically a nobody. I know what I am I know that is not true but it can wear on you the post office is a part of my life I have had a hard year I’m tired in all directions I need help and comfort. And coworkers I know I look whatever it is that you see but I have personal problems that you don’t see I’m struggleing to keep going and your finger pointing is pointless. In fact your not my supervisor so go bother someone else. Mentally im not to well either I’m mad that beating down and beating down and not feeling appreciated is finally taking a toll on me. I can only hope that the post office mgrs and coworkers would get smart and go back to treating people the way they deserve to be treated. But it’s very unlikely because toxic breeds more toxic and hate brings anger and violence. I know no one wants to hear what I think but if everyone respected each other maybe things would look a little brighter and the post office would run more efficiently.

  23. Garland D. Lewis, Sr.   December 16, 2017 at 1:32 am

    As a Vietnam vet and a retired postal worker with 33 years of service, I really understand what Dr. Musacco is saying and I empathize with the comments of other postal workers. Almost from day one, when I started in May 1980, I saw troubling problems with management. When I stood up for myself just for basic fairness and dignity I became a target of retribution from management. I carefully documented all my conflicts with management, and in the end I finally prevailed. I wrote a book, “Beyond Going Postal: Surviving the Torture in the United States Postal Service” about my experiences to help reform the system and to help others understand what happens in the Postal Service, from a human perspective. The book has ideas on how to cope and positive strategies for handling conflicts.

  24. ET   December 17, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Our entire maintenance staff had all of the chairs in the ENTIRE building removed because the Plant Manager found A SINGLE PERSON SLEEPING on the job on Tour 2.
    So instead of dealing with this individual, the Plant Manager chose to harass the entire building and ALL THREE TOURS !!!

  25. GI Joe   December 18, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    To: Garland D. Lewis Sr., I just ordered your book and will spend much of my time during these holidays reading it in a nice La-Z-boy chair with a glass of white wine while another pension check will be about a week away. I am still stunned that I made it to retirement and somehow survived so many years in an absolute insane asylum. I feel much better when I hear that others endured the same treatment and it wasn’t only me. I guess what blows my mind is that many of these supervisors that bully and lie were hired in the same manner that we were and “they” were the ones who couldn’t perform the job. What God given right do these people think that they have? Most of them never served in the military and are nothing but cowards on the outside when the post office isn’t protecting them. I am Catholic but must admit that I really don’t know what happens after we die but I hope the powers above us open up a big can of whoop-ass on those who have it coming. Thank you for your service in Vietnam and I look forward to your book. Merry Christmas to all the hard working carriers and clerks and mail handlers and don’t be afraid to stick up for yourselves, you are good people.

  26. Dave   December 18, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    After serving the military on active duty and then going into the Reserves, I worked for the Postal Service for 8 long years. At first I loved the job. I got exercise, worked alongside other great city carriers and loved my mail customers. But the management at all levels sucked the life out of me. I looked at what my pay was, and what it would be in another 20+ years for retirement, and how I was treated, and I left. I transferred to another federal agency, where the pay is better and the supervisors are TAUGHT how to be a supervisor. They have to attend so many management and leadership classes and they treat employees so much better. I transferred out of USPS over 10 years ago and have never looked back. It was the best decision I made, and all of my USPS time/benefits transferred with me. I hope others will consider doing the same. Government employment outside of the Postal Service is so much more rewarding.

  27. Stan N. Deliver   December 19, 2017 at 12:04 pm

    The postmaster where I worked back in ’06 was one of the worst employers I ever had. I was abused by him, his idiot suck up lackey, and a bunch of nasty abusive co workers who never got punished when I reported them.

    I was never properly trained, management never took any responsibility for any problems, but were quick to pass the blame. The equipment never worked, my LLV was in constant need of repairs but every repair order I was told to write in was ignored.

    Essentially, I noticed that hard work was ignored, and if you sucked up to someone like my idiot supervisor always did to our postmaster, then you were one of the Golden children. If you stood up for yourself, you were punished. If you stood up to an abusive coworker, then you were retaliated against because all of the abusive coworkers were up the postmaster’s @$$.

    Because I wouldn’t suck up to anyone, and I needed extra help since I have a learning disability, which I made clear with then the day that I was hired, they had it out for me from day one. I kept being told “talk to the union” about the abuse, but a couple of staff members told me not to bother, because they were green badge rank and when they had filed the same grievances for the same reason against the same coworkers and supervisors, the union ignored them.

    I was unjustly fired less than 2 months after joining as a 6 month casual carrier. I was waiting to take the P.O. Battery exam, but had to wait 3 months, only to get fired 2 months after joining. I still took the exam, but that stupid postmaster bad mouthed me all over the state, and I couldn’t find work in the post office anywhere.

  28. Pennel   December 25, 2017 at 1:28 pm

    Listen, I have a master’s degree in leadership and administration, tons of supervisory experience, am fair and will not bully. I have tried to get promoted with the USPS but on my interviews they figure out I am not a jerk. How can I not get promoted with my degrees? Simple: I am decent and they know it. USPS promotes bullies, egotistic bullies.

  29. Postal employee   December 27, 2017 at 4:11 am

    There are people being forced to work a all of December straight 12hr days with no days off. And they don’t understand how the term “going postal” got it’s meaning? .. sad truth is that the P.O is hiring bullies and boot lickers. As long as someone is willing to bully and force others to do the job of three, they’re “management material”.

  30. Michael   January 12, 2018 at 2:26 pm

    The postal service only hires the misfits that nobody else will hire. Not referring to the people with 20 or more years. The more recent hires, whether they are MGT, carriers, clerks, who are the worst of the worst you can find. People that belong in a prison somewhere far far away from the civilized population!

  31. Paul   January 13, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    I have the VERA package as of today, why am I not going?

    I’m 56 in 10 more months, was planning to go 2 days after I was eligible.

    Why not now?

    Try explaining the PO to anyone on the outside, you can’t. I think of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest…the scene where McMurphy realizes that everyone else is there voluntarily, they could leave anytime, only he is held in by the walls. An asylum without walls and fences.

    What’s holding me back? Round numbers it’s a $60,000 loss, is 10 months not worth $60k? Anyone else considering it?

  32. Ann   January 13, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    No wonder there’s a big turnover with in the USPS. The new CCA’s get abused badly. No training. And, the so called route books(black binder) are to help…if they were up to date. People should be told that there going to be thrown to the wolves with no clue what so ever. And, people wonder what the saying ‘going postal’ means…messed up crap. I’m telling you. Post offices need more permanent people or at least treat the new hires better. They should get equal pay & benefits or at least 2 days a week off like the careers have.

  33. Brian   January 18, 2018 at 4:27 pm

    I’m not taking the VERA. It’s garbage. It’s the worst offer ever. I have 2.5 more years to go and everything will be paid off. I won’t owe anybody anything and I sure as hell don’t owe the post office a fart in the wind.
    I’m not old enough to draw the Supplement and the annuity is only $1550 per month. That’s below poverty wages. That equates to less than Walmart wages.
    You work all your life for a big company and this is what you get in the end.
    It’s not worth it.
    I can’t do it unless I pay off all my debt, which isn’t much at this point, but It will be paid of in 2.5 years when I reach age 56.
    I hate what the post office has become. It wasn’t always like this. It has gradually evolved into a hostile work environment.
    There is a lot of disrespect from the managers both direct and indirect. They are so uneducated they don’t even know they are being disrespectful sometimes. Other times they know and just don’t care. They certainly don’t act like they care.
    It’s a pathetic situation.
    I can only imagine what it is like for the newly hired employees who have no job protection especially during the month of December. They are being hired at half the salary and forced to work twice as hard as career employees. They are constantly harassed and threatened with termination if they don’t work faster.
    I feel sorry for myself and I feel sorry for the newly hired. What will they be like in 30 years. Will they even make it that long or will they transfer to some other government job where they are treated with dignity and respect?
    That’s what I would do. As soon as I could I would transfer out to a better government job.
    It’s too late for me now. I’m to old and beat up. I can’t do anything else.
    I’m ready to travel.
    All my debts paid, I’ll be on the road. I did the best I could … I guess.

  34. GI Joe   January 19, 2018 at 1:15 am

    To “BRIAN”: You have said exactly how I have felt for the last 10 years or so. Just hang in there and the age of 56 will be here before you know it. When I first started, the NALC was strong and didn’t take the crap that the managers are starting these days. Now there are too many NALC officers who are afraid to speak up and buddy up with these managers. Remember, many of these union reps had a chance to carry mail and deep down in their little hearts know that they couldn’t. You can’t expect a person with a poor or no work ethic to be strong enough to represent any one or any thing. Like you, I am old and beat up but the best thing I have done in retirement so far is to travel. With each passing day, the Post Office becomes a distant memory. You will find that you will lose touch with many of your co-workers because you have to keep in mind how beat up they are every night they come home. They need to get away from it just like us retirees do. I could tell from your posting that you were a good worker and did the best that you could and that you made the mistake like I did and actually cared about the job. If I could do it all over again, I would’ve made a career in the military where your bosses could do your job and the respect went both ways.

  35. Steven G Sullo   January 19, 2018 at 1:27 pm

    I am a sales retail employee for 30 hellish years. I not only have to put up with ignorant bullying managers,but also with the general public. At least carriers get to leave the building. I’m nauseated by the whining and moaning of customers who feel they are in line too long. I work on the upper west side of Manhattan and their feeling of entitlment is suffocating. The building itself is pre-neanderthal, disgusting restrooms,floor tiles missing and fungus that science probably cannot identify. In 30 years, I’ve only learned ONE disturbing aspect: The dark side of human nature. Employees turning on one another, favoritism, customers anger and condescension and an overall lack of loyalty. I feel for postal workers. If I could turn back the 30 year clock, I never would have taken the exam. I am broken and at times depressed. The fish rots from the head down. May the powers that be,grant us the patience to cope with this “Dante’s Inferno… “Abandon All Hope,Ye Who Enter IntoThis “Career.

  36. Front Line Grunt   January 19, 2018 at 1:54 pm


  37. Front Line Grunt   January 19, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    I have 31 years in the Post Office. 12 years on midnites(flat sorter machine)and 19 years as a window clerk in Customer Servants…. sorry… Service! I can sum up my tormented “career”with this short anecdote. Working midnites in 90 degree weather with air conditioning that was “going to be repaired”. This dragged on for weeks amidst employee complaints and our group pointing to the floor thermometer. Well, they “solved”the problem. The thermometer was removed from the wall!! Governmental Convoluted Logic. The employee is a non-entity, a social security number. This evil institution that tries to break your spirit. Keep on trucking people. Stick together and fight the fight. Godspeed.

  38. Dave   February 6, 2018 at 5:06 pm

    Pse here who has worked over 110 hours in the last 2 weeks when we are supposed to get 36 hours max weekly. Management is horrible, 1 day off a week sucks when nearly putting in 12 hours a day. None the less people jobs are being eliminated while working us non stop. Spots available just not being filled. Complete failure they way my processing plant is ran. Union is useless cause it doesn’t stop all the atrocious things that happen. Never understood the going postal slogan but now I understand how and why. Respect for everyone doesn’t exist in the USPS, all they see is mail to deliver. Things sounded great going in but don’t think I’ll be around to make Career. Life lived is better minus the drama. Much respect to you guys who did over 20 years!

  39. Elaine   February 9, 2018 at 12:20 am

    Dave, PSE’s are worked to death because they want to get rid of the “dinosaurs” like me that are “overpaid” and worn out. When management knows our health is failing, they push even harder. Sometimes I wonder if they get a bonus for getting rid of another high paid “drama queen”. (Yes, my postmaster called me that.) I was forced to apply for medical retirement last July because my body (and mind) just couldn’t handle it anymore. (When one gets up in the morning and thinks suicide would be a better option than going to work….I thank EAP for an hour long conversation that morning.) I am in constant pain from multiple forms of arthritis in numerous body parts and have problems with anxiety and depression due to the rampant, unchecked bullying for the past 12 years. I have been through so many medical procedures from specialists just to keep going. Seems the worse I got, the worse the bullying got. Waiting for OPM to decide anything opens up a whole new can of worms. Postmaster STILL harasses me, even though she knows my retirement is pending. She won’t “reasonably accommodate” me so that I can come back, but initiates disciplinary actions because I’m absent. (Go figure–you won’t let me come back, but want to discipline me for not coming back!) Good luck, if you decide to stick it out. Personally, I say run, don’t walk to the nearest exit.

  40. GI Joe   February 9, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    Elaine, first of all I agree with your post. I am a retired carrier and have seen things that I still can not believe. It is easy to see just from talking to my current mailman how they are focused on getting rid of long time veteran employees that do their jobs very well and accurate only to replace them with people off the streets at a low wage who throw the mail any where just to make their impossible street times. What about the bosses that are doing the pushing? How would they like it if someone was pushing their lazy rear ends out the door? What God given right do they have over people like you? I say NONE. The Postal Service is a very sick, toxic company and when all the hard working veterans (and military veterans) are long gone, the Post Office will find out the hard way what it really means to have a huge deficit.

  41. Grace   February 14, 2018 at 1:57 pm

    Thanks to everyone who has poured out their feelings in this forum. I have lots to say but will make it short and sweet today. I work in a large facility with hundreds of employees. The maintenance of the building is embarrassing to say the least. It is filthy, inside and out. There are missing floor and ceiling tiles plus stained from roof leaks throughout the building.
    The bath rooms are totally gross with filth on the sink, floor, walls and everywhere else. We have custodians but they spend most of their day hiding out in the locker room and the parking lots. The maintenance manager knows absolutely nothing about mechanical things.
    I am not a neat freak by any stretch of the imagination but this place is disgusting in so many ways I can’t even list them all.
    This is just one of the reasons why employees have bad attitudes.

  42. GI Joe   February 15, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    To Grace: I am glad to read your comment. I watched for over 30 years the same conduct from these custodians and management turned their ears away when I would say something. The only thing our last janitor did was stand outside and smoke while playing with a cell phone all day. I filed a complaint with OSHA and a few days after they came down to our office, the same old laziness reared it’s ugly head again. It even seemed like OSHA didn’t care about it. People say that the janitor gets away without working because he doesn’t affect “the numbers”. I totally disagree, how many times did clerks and carriers have to call in sick because they were stuck in a filthy environment and caught colds and flu bugs that were running rampant in that filthy office. They even threw a pizza party for a janitor because he reached a 35 year milestone of basically showing up and doing nothing. I busted my rear end as a carrier for almost 32 years and was shown the door without a single slice of cake. UNREAL!!!!

  43. Earl Henry III   February 16, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I don’t have that much longer to go compared to how far I’ve been but for the next 2 years I will tell the exact truth to anyone who cares to ask, “How do you like working for the Post Office?”

    It sucks, I hate it, there are no qualified managers, poor employees are not dealt with properly, poor managers are not dealt with properly, there is much favoritism and nepotism, managers allow and engage in harassment of employees, there is no pride or work ethic, there is a hostile work environment with an ethnic disproportion compared to per capita in society, vulgar language is common place, disruptive and loud conversation go on constantly, managers act childish and disrespect employees with their language, employees act the same way to managers, managers yell and scream at employees, managers act unprofessional and speak in street language.
    This is not a professional place to work. I am ashamed to say I work in this environment. My family feels sorry for me but I just keep on keepin’ on.
    I don’t blame congress if they want to privatize the Post Office. Somebody needs to put this place out of it’s misery. The pure lack of work ethic here would not be allowed in private industry. There is the sense of entitlement among employees. There is a sense of, “I deserve $60,000.00 per year.” Nobody here is giving a fair day’s work for the pay they are receiving, including myself.
    This is the truth as I see it.

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