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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
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com

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

  1. Kyuu

    November 21, 2015 at 7:26 am

    There’s nothing I could say that would be any different from the other horror stories, so I’ll just give my input from personal experience. I do indeed respect Mail Carriers and hope you will not take this as an attack on you or your character but, rather, on the company whose crap you’re subjected to.

    My mother began working there a few months ago as a CCA and at first, she was gung ho. But even in the orientation, she would tell me about how rudely the upper mgmt would speak to new employees.

    Fast forward to the last couple months and my mother has been doing her job well, still. On several occasions, she’s had incidents where she learned something that was supposed to be explained in training but has not been told until NOW. Information that would actually help her do her job. She’ll finish her job and be ready to leave by six but get sent back out to help someone ELSE who is doing half-effort work and end up there til 8 or 9 pm.

    Aside from one supervisor I’ve heard of, the rest are a joke. In particular, one who tried to fire her because she “wasn’t good enough and the job wasn’t for her.” She had an overload of relays, is back when she needs to be but gets sent back out with another load, and “doesn’t move fast enough.” Mind you she returns with or before the other carriers who have been around longer. Damned near every day is a different route–she’d need more than two hands to list them, so factor in learning new routes, each with their own “bugs” and weird buildings. She gets sent out with paperwork that, though it should be filled out detailing the relays prior to her departure, is blank with just her name and a supervisor’s signature on it. She’s been told “well use your GPS on your phone to figure out where to go.” They keep her out so long that her scanner DIES before she finishes her route.

    She gets called out a lot–she’ll wake up and be told they don’t need her yet they’re ALWAYS understaffed. She has to drive to two or three different offices in order to get days. Most days, she isn’t home until 9-10 pm,definitely never before 8:30, but on occasion, I’ve seen her come in around 11 as well.

    So it’s not MY experience, but I’ve been watching this all unfold and you know what? It’s sickening. She’s been telling me to work there because I’m not doing enough (mental illness, actively working a part-time/borderline full-time and searching for a full time)but this would only make it worse. I’m not subjecting myself to torture and abuse for “good pay.” There’s plenty of other jobs out there, and if you’re looking, I hope you only do this if ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY.

    TL;DR – It’s like a job out of hell.

  2. Kyuu

    November 21, 2015 at 7:31 am

    Adding to my prior post , every day my mother comes home WITH her lunch because SHE DOESN’T GET A BREAK. She actually came home ONE day, excited beyond words and said “I actually got to eat lunch today!”

    Seriously?

  3. Renee

    November 21, 2015 at 1:53 pm

    Kyuu. I can’t apologize enough for the abuse your mom is being subjected to at the hands of the USPS. I know first hand as I too was a single parent and letter carrier for 13 years. Your mom should request to speak to EAP – I would suggest a union rep but finding a good one will be difficult. God Bless!

  4. Andrew Mattes

    November 21, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    My girlfriend works as a supervisor at the post office. Her postmaster constantly takes off leaving her no help. For the last week she has gone in 6 days straight from 5am or earlier and the earliest she has arrived home has been 830pm. She doesn’t get to take lunch and now is being told she will have to work Sunday to do amazon making it a 7 day 90+ hour week and since she is salary they say she will get no OT compensation for all the extra hours which last time I checked is illegal in the state of NY where we live. This is a constant and ongoing thing. 3 years sent to multiple office and hours Noone should have to do. Sometimes 16 hours in one day last time I checked that 2 days work for 1 days pay. Sounds fair and right to anyone!

  5. Laurie

    November 25, 2015 at 2:05 pm

    I was a casual mail handler at a facility recently for the holidays for all of ten days. The job was physically demanding having to push heavy carts full of trays of mail, lifting heavy and awkward shaped boxes and other things, but that is not the reason I am no longer there. I did my job the best I could, but unfortunately I had the supervisor from hell who criticized everything I did pretty much from the get-go. Just three days into the job she threatened to let me go because I wasn’t “fast” enough. Huh? There was a lot to learn about this job and it would take about at least two weeks to get everything down if that. I cannot understand what this person had against me because I thought they wanted people who put in a good, honest day’s work though I was told by a couple of co-workers she could be the type that can pick on certain individuals and to just do the work and not let it get to me. Unfortunately things went from bad to worse as the week went on. I was chewed out again for something I was unfamiliar with and was threatened to be let go again. There were times I just felt like quitting because it wasn’t worth the hassle, but I needed the money and I never was one to quit anything. I would just tough it out as long as I could. The last straw came the other day when I was working in the low cut department where I had to put trays of mail with certain zip codes into matching cages and then move them out when they were full for the next step. There were two conveyor belts which two people each were supposed to work but I worked one all by myself for most of the time. I noticed one of her lackeys going through all my carts and trays checking all the labels on which the zip codes were written and only pretty much on my side. I kept being asked if I was putting the trays in the cages with the labels facing front and I was assuring her I was because I was very careful to do it that way. Later when I went on my break she told me she was letting me go because according to her I was not catching on and even said she witnessed me putting the trays in backwards. That was a bold faced lie because I knew I was doing it correctly. It later dawned on me that the lackey checking my trays could have done that on purpose under my supervisor’s instructions and blame me for it though I can’t prove it since there were no witnesses. In hindsight I wished I checked the trays to see if that actually happened because at least I know what I did. I guess I didn’t realize such childish games were going on since we are all adults there. I didn’t finish my shift because I was so angry and disgusted I just wanted to get out of there. I’m just sorry I am leaving my coworkers as they were fantastic for the most part in being friendly and helpful when I had questions and concerns. I feel sorry for the other casuals still there because they will be probably be the next victim of this vile, despicable person. I was told she has been there twenty-odd years so I’m sure I was far from the only one targeted, but I can’t understand how she’s kept her job for so long. At most any other place she would have been long gone. At least I can hold my head up that I didn’t break down and quit and left with dignity even though I am unemployed again. Of all of my 35 years of working life this has been the worst and most bizarre experience I have ever been through.

    I would not discourage anyone from being a casual or seeking a job with the post office because not everyone will have the same horrific experience I did and the pay is decent,but should that happen, RUN AWAY FAST! You deserve better!

  6. Donald Smith

    November 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

    I worked with 6 usps employees who worked part time at Houston intercontinental airport and all bragged about how they slept on the job to be fresh for the airport job. They were lazy on both and proud of it.

  7. Tywona Matthews

    November 30, 2015 at 11:29 pm

    My experience with the postal service is unbelievable If I thought this was going to be crazy experience not a wonderful good enjoyable job I would have never applied. As a veteran I am truly heartbroken and disappointed. Thank God I graduate in one year with my masters,

  8. Brenda

    December 9, 2015 at 6:27 am

    I QUIT. After 19 years at the USPS I Quit. I was a supervisor and I could no longer treat people the way upper management requires us to. I thought that I was trying to be a nicer Supervisor. One day I got sick. Fumes spilled everywhere. A lot of people fell ill but one person could not return to work. That person was me. They triggered a dormant illness called sarcoidosis. The way they treated me was so unacceptable until I walked off the job. They lied on me. They filled out false documentation to workers comp on me. They said that I was a Supervisor and leaving work sick was unacceptable. I won cases with OSHA and EEOC but that made them treat me worse. They messed up my attendance and they refuse to treat me. I started having really unpure thoughts so I had to leave. The saddest part is that I could have retired with benefits in four years. I wanted my sanity

  9. wpo

    December 13, 2015 at 11:47 pm

    How hard is it to match #’s and street names and put it in a designated mail box/slot. lol, managers who cannot do the job you are / signing up to try and do wear a tie. For thoes of you who are new, training or experienced , management is 98% the problem and shop stewarts who do not do ther jobs are the 2%. Find out what branch your union # is and website and it should give you the material that will tell you your rights, unions obligatios and management guidelines they must follow. Attend a union meeting because they want your dues $, you might as well learn. In January there is a convention for CCA’S only, find out by asking ?’s. Cell phones are not mandatory, voluntary to give up the numbers. The new scanners have texting capabilities, plus GPS, they know where you are. Management are not suppose to take you into the office without representation, you have more rights than you know. My understanding is that CCA’S cannot be fired that easily. JCAM, ELM, M41 all this reading material plus more is on the usps and union branches web site. Arm yourself by educating yourself, lots of reading but get to it! I’ve worked for the po since 1993, I’ve had a target on my back since day one and to this day. Learn about filing an EEO it too is on the websites. CCA’S at my office gets more hours than me and I am a regular without a route, cca will get an opt on a route before me. In my case it is 50% = with mistreatment from the union and management. Lady nurse become an investigator and or an EEO advocate and learn the rules. I had to learn by living them. DO NOT WORK OFF THE CLOCK, it is against the law, ask an attorney. Post office generates it’s own revenue, no tax payers money goes toward the P.O. If you are scheduled to work and you show up you are suppose to be guaranteed a minimum amount of hours (2?). Take your breaks, lunch only if you work 6+ hours, you must/should take the 30 minutes on the street or (maybe?) off the clock casing could be used as your lunch time (guessing)
    All casing training is done on the clock, plus if you can ask or put in writing a request for your clock rings/input hours that you can check to make sure you are being paid the hours you work, because your lunch hour is being deducted after the sixth hour on the street ( get to reading the manuals) it’s in there. There are cca sections that have been added with their rights spelt out for you. Ask to be trained as a shop stewart as well, that might get you invited to the convention, work quickly and plan to go to the next branch meeting. 2nd, ask to be trained as a 204b to work on sundays to learn as well. As I am told, learn to play the game and work the system. Figure out who is in charge of the good old boys club and you will get more instructional help the branch in our area preaches to train cca’s . Enough, I stumbled across this site, amazed that most of you are new. Yes, I told my teenager and her friends parents to keep their kids away from the post office, unless you have a high up connection or a female/male with assests becareful and GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR POSTAL EDUCATIONAL SELF TRAINING! !!

  10. Lakesha bryant

    December 14, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Hello I’m trying to fight for our rights against the post office please sign my petition

  11. Chris

    December 16, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    @kyuu…If you mother is passed her probationary period then she needs to get in contact with a union steward. If there is not one in her office, then she needs to find out who to get in contact with locally. If she is being harassed by management there are steps that can be taken to handle it. There is a contract for a reason. She is guaranteed her lunch breaks. There is no set street time standard. She can’t be held to another carriers time on the street. Please make sure she talks to someone in the union. What is happening to her needs to stop.

  12. A Marsh

    December 18, 2015 at 11:11 am

    I was a window clerk/distribution clerk for 20 years. I did my job well and generally liked it. However, because I was not the office slut or one of the 2 old timers that if moved any slower would be going backwards I was a target . If I had to step away to use the restroom I was asked where I’m going and to hurry , but the one guy could be jamming his tongue down his mistresses mouth in front of our supervisor and not a thing was said. It was unbelievable!! I contacted 5ths disease ( probably from a customers kid ) but could not be proven. From that point on, I had gotten fibromyalgia and RA. My doctor returned me to work with restrictions but because I could no longer preform my job 100% I was forced into filing for disability. I received certified letters from my postmaster stating if I did not return to work means to fire me would be taken. I had a nervous breakdown and had thoughts of suicide. Thank God my sister and partner saw the signs and got me help. I used all my annual leave and sick leave and had to withdraw and close my tsp account. And, to top it off they did not let me continue my health insurance . Nice right?? Just when I needed it most . I was denied SS and was forced into filing bankruptcy. This job pretty much ruined my life. I was fighting with OPM to get federal disability , which I think I deserved . Finally 2 yrs after leaving I got the federal disability. I miss my friends but do not miss the post office one bit . One of my friends was next in line to become a regular on the rural carrier side, but when it was time to bid the supervisor skipped over him to let someone else get it. He shot and killed himself later that night. It’s just sad the way employees are treated—- especially the good ones.

  13. chae

    December 21, 2015 at 12:06 am

    hey you guys. I started working at the PO towards the end of October. I just quit on Saturday 12/19/2015 because my check was extremely short. i am also still waiting for the rest of my very 1st check. i received a check for 293, when my check was suppose to be around 1,780 plus i didn’t receive my milage check. When i asked both supervisor and Postmaster to fix my time they both told me “no I’m doing something” and ” iim not going to stop what I’m doing to fix your time” at that time i was about to load packaged into MY VEHICLE , but i didn’t and i walked out. i did inform a supervisor before i left . I feel that it is not right for them to want to correct a mistake they made when they want to . I have a child and responsibilities just like everyone else, it is the holidays and i have a 293 dollar check that goes straight to my sons daycare. The supervisor did not want to give me my 65% money order . it is now Monday 12/21/15 what can I do? HelpPlease

  14. FlaRed

    December 26, 2015 at 7:22 pm

    Brenda,
    I am a 30 yr letter carrier, a vet, and 2 yrs away from retirement. I am physically sick over how I am being treated, so I truly am proud of you. I also have faced circumstances that have never been acceptable to create an illusion of production. I wish you well.

  15. D.R.

    December 28, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    I took the test, passed, was interviewed, and hired. I went to the three day orientation. I came back, worked one day at my home office, and was verbally attacked, ridiculed, and treated horribly by the regular. Long story short, the postmaster believed whatever lies that his regular told him, and I no longer had a job. There was even a witness to her screaming at me. Fast forward six months. I now have a job at another post office, and I train on a route. I know it, I just have to speed up. My vehicle wasn’t big enough , so the postmaster reassigns me, and tells me that I will train in an llv. After two weeks, I hear back, I take the day long llv training, and I am not called in the entire month, and I have not been paid. The union steward said that I should have been fired, and that my pay is a gift!!!!!! I could go on and on. Any advice?

  16. jmo

    December 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    chae,

    contact a union rep. It doesn’t matter how long you have worked for usps. If they paid you incorrectly file a grievance and have the rep seek out a money order until the issue is resolved with your pay.

  17. Siera

    December 29, 2015 at 7:09 pm

    I started my 3 day orientation on 11/23/15. I was told at orientation that getting injured/illness during the probationary period was grounds for termination. Well…as it so happens I was injured by by a rolling hamper my second week there. As i was afraid of losing a job i desperately needed I continued to work for the next two hours and did not report it immediately. Two days later I could no longer walk due to the injuries and contacted my Postmaster who basically called me a liar. Naturally as in true USPS style workman’s comp was denied. I have no income a mortgage and a car payment which I’m now on the verge of losing thanks to the USPS. I am reading all the horror stories which I find to all be accurate. I also saw many many horror stories about workmans comp cases and people losing everything. This job has literally ruined my life and I WOULD NEVER RECOMMEND THIS JOB TO ANYONE!

  18. lin

    January 4, 2016 at 1:13 am

    I was letter carrier for 2 more month, one day when i go back to work my manager sent me home no any reason ,she just said i am not fit for this job,she showed me one picture said one day i bring back some priority mail back to office one clerk found, i told her no that is something wrong i do not bring back that mail, i asking her if i bring back that mail why you never talking to me that day or second day,today you sent me home you show me the picture,that not right, then she said to me:” you are hard worker i know , i highly recommend you do clerk job “and she give me the hire desk phone number,she just let me leaver ASAP,whole thing only a few minutes,she not give me any thing just let me leaving, i still don’t know why ,why she did this to me.no any reason just sent you to home is normal things at USPS?can anyone help me?

  19. Amanda

    January 7, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Good luck to all the rest of you trying to get help! I also was recently hired,went thru all training,passed driving test. Was told to quit my job before hand because the office I was going to would give me full time hours because they were in desperate need of help.so I quit my job,only to be left with nothing.I was only called to work one day and was treated horribly by the supervisor and postmaster.when I asked for help,I was told to go home and not report back to work.and to back it up a notch,they still owe me 22 hours of orientation and training time that they didn’t pay me for,along with over 400+ miles of travel. I’ve emailed and called everyone I can with no response and no help at all for my situation. The most horrible experience I’ve ever had.

  20. RHK

    January 11, 2016 at 8:47 pm

    Wow,I thought it was just me that was having a rough time since I started a few weeks ago,but from all your comments I’ve read I see that it’s just USPS.They started me out on a small route which is considered a two hr route which includes casing mail,packages, and etc like every other one and I picked that one up quick. I’ve been able to get it done in 2 mostly except on Mondays because it’s always heavier and they give another half hr because of that but just recently I’ve been doing two routes which is supposed to be done in 8 hrs which I can barely finish in 10. One is the small route I mentioned and the other one is a full route and they are combined . I rode for only three days and I’ve been a couple on my own now. I’m still trying to learn everything while driving the llv safely but that seems to mean nothing and I’m hearing that I need to pick it up and I should know it all and be super fast already or I’m probably gonna be out of a job. I needed other employees to bail me out a couple times now last week because I’m struggling on getting it all done in 8 and more like 10. Today my postmaster called me in and said that basically if I don’t get quicker and finish in 8 this Saturday that I’m probably done because they can’t pay over that. I’m not tooting my own horn,but I feel like I’m an excellent worker at every job that I’ve ever had but this one is just taking me a little longer to get than others and they don’t want to be patient with me. I’ve never been so frustrated at a job and I’ve been stressed out all day because I usually excel pretty fast but I just feel like I need a little more time like maybe a couple more weeks and if I don’t get better by then I’m fine with moving on. I just started feeling confident memorizing the route this Saturday and I feel like I can be a dependable and good carrier with time but now I feel like I need to just get faster at casing and on the road but they seem to not care and just want me to get it done now. I really like the job and I know after more time that I will be a huge asset to them but I just don’t know if I’ll make it after Saturday.If they let me go I think I’m just gonna try a different location and see how that might work.

  21. C

    January 13, 2016 at 1:35 pm

    How can the postal service expect a new person to be as fast as a carrier who has been there for 5-30+ years? It’s ridiculous. The first day I went to my station to pick up my orientation/training check, the look on my supervisors face told me that I was in for a ‘surprise’. It wasn’t a sexual look but a look that told me they were going to give me trouble. The first day I went into the station, I got dirty looks from the women. One female in particular has tried to cause trouble for me from the get go. I get along with most of the men except for the men who are sexist. Don’t get me wrong as I am not a beauty queen. I am in my 50’s. I have long blonde hair and I weigh 110 pounds. I think I am being discriminated because of what I mentioned. Had I weighed 210 pounds and had different color hair or of another race or gender, I am sure I would not have this much trouble. By the way, the station union steward has not been a help to me. I have contacted the union president directly and he has been a lot of help.

  22. Southern Calif

    January 17, 2016 at 1:07 am

    I was hired by the Post Office in December 2015. I completed my training with my OJI on 01/15/2016. The three days of training was a living hell. My trainer from beginning to the end of the shift was constantly yelled and screamed at me while in the station and out in public. It became so apparent that other employees advised me to hang in there and it will get better. They also gave me the advice that my trainer is just stern and its his way of teaching. When we were out on the route I asked him when can we stop for a bathroom break and he told me there is no time. He told me he doesn’t eat or drink during the work day to avoid the need for a break. I admitted to my mistakes but he would reply how many times do i have to tell you. As i was loading my vehicle on my final day of training he told me that i better be back by a certain time and to speed. While i was out he would call me every 30 minutes and pressuring me to hurry back. I just felt like telling management but i knew there would be back lash since he has been a carrier for 16 years. Not sure What to do next??

  23. Chris

    January 20, 2016 at 5:44 am

    For those people who want a job in the USPS- I have one advice- DON’T BE A CARRIER! Especially, being a carrier at the SW Portlnd Post Office!!! The main problem with the USPS is management. The Post Masters and the Supervisors are out to get you regardless if you are a Regular Employee or a CCA. At times, the supervisors will follow you in their vehicles and spy on you. If they do not like you, they will find a way to fire you. As a new CCA during the busy holiday season, my training consisted of running parcels and doing Amazons deliveries. Once the holiday has slowed down, they would give me a half of a route/full route to do all by myself. As a CCA, I would start at 10 AM: in the midst of clocking in, the supervisors would send me out to do some Express Mail so the regular employee could finished casing my route for me. By the time I get back from doing my Express Mail, it would be around 1030 AM or so. Now, it is time to load my parcels, DPS, flats onto the truck. And by the time I am ready to leave the office, it would be after 11 AM. On top of it, the supervisors wanted me to be done by 3:30 PM. The supervisors do not care if you have never done a particular route before if you are do not know where the mail boxes are- they expect you to get the mail to be delivered within 2 or 2.5 hour for a half for every two trays of DPS/Flats, not including the parcels.. With that being said, after 1 month and a couple of days of being on probation, they had me come into work and worked half of a regular employee route, and another half of another regular employee route, and two more trays of another route without having done their routes before. As I came back into the office around 530 PM or so, I was greeted by on of the supervisor who pulled asided and informed me of my termination letter. HOW shady is that, they made me bust my ass for the entire day and ended up letting me go…. With that being said, I have no ill feeling towards the USPS, there are many good and nice people out there and not all supervisors are bad. And as a veteran of 13 years, I feel like being in the battle field and slepying on the cold dirt is better than being a CCA or carrier slave. It is better to make minimum wage and be happy than better stressing yourself and not eating your lunch everyday. Therefore, for those people who want to endeavor a career in the USPS, I say, good luck to you. You have been warned….

  24. Mike Gabriel

    January 22, 2016 at 7:39 pm

    I am a retired combat vet. I was a casual for almost 3 years . I didn’t get hired and when I saw a guy with less time than me, he was a regular. I called EEO in Denver and explained and threatened. I got hired a week later. If you are white , you have to fight harder to get a job. The USPS wants ONLY minorities so they can look good. It’s a good job but now its really screwed up. Get a different job if you are white. Unless you dont mind doing all the work.

  25. michael serad

    January 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    hello I started my job as an rca in may 2015 and well my last day is today jan 2016, as an rca on a j route you only work 1 day every other week so my trainer said I would need another job to fill in the blanks if I wanted to support my family so I did, well while I was working my other which is 2 1/2 hours away and I kept getting calls from my wife saying the supers at the office were calling and being very rude and unprofessional and hanging up on her, why do that when they knew I was working mon-fri at another job and my postmaster knew I was out of town working, well this week I got a call from my regular and asked if I could work her sat for her I said I have to look at my schedule and call her back and for the next two days I tried calling her back but no answer and she never called back and so sat comes and I am working and the super calls my wife and she tells them I am working and she said well he has no choice in the matter if we call he is supposed to be here so have him turn his badge and keys in mon. I just want to know if I have grounds to file a grievance and also I am well was still on my probationary period and I have worked over 8 hours a few days and still got only my regular pay, so they owe me overtime for those days or not? note to everyone that applies for any postal job you better be well known or be born with a silver spoon or you will be pushed out.

  26. stressed

    January 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    Wow, I could have written each of these. Been a CCA for a couple of months now. Makes you wonder where is the justice for the employees of such a large organization. Supervisors are horrible, disrespectful and bullies. Yes the work is hard, and that’s okay, but the disrespect is unbearable. The expectations are unreal. Every route (according to supervisor) takes 2 1/2 to 3 hours regardless of the load. Its truly unreal. 3 days training OTJ is all that is allowed at the PO. But in the real world a person is allowed 90 days and any additional training to become a valuable employee. I love the job, but find management a bit much to deal with. Constant threats, belittling and just unbelievable logic. I have to laugh at half the crap they throw at you all the time thinking..bring your behind out here and SHOW me. Oh and lets not forget the job I quit for this average 2 days (called in) not scheduled. They forget to tell you need a cell phone, GPS and a flash light at your expense. If I make it or not, I’m certainly going to find out how to hold them accountable for how employees are treated.
    Its unreal. The stress level is awful even after you are off work. Everyone you mention problems to, agree, know it but yet nothing is done to correct problems. While preaching how it wont be tolerated by the PO. yeah right…its a joke.

  27. Waste of time

    January 26, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    I am in my second month on the job and have worked a total of 4 days. In at 6am five flats of DPS mail to case along with the other hot case mail you get. By the time your finished sorting your parcels its 11:00-12:00 Noon. Im expected to be back by 4pm with a route of 275 dismounts 350 stops total. Mail boxes are 75% away from the curb. they also want you to turn off the ignition, curb your wheels and seat belt on at all times or if your caught you will be sent home on the spot. [PEN Editor – this post has been edited – you may repost without using any vulgar language]

  28. 24yroldCCA

    January 26, 2016 at 10:21 pm

    I’ve been with the PO In Maine for just over a year now. I’m a CCA and just came back from my 5 day break on 1/23/16. I’ve had a hold down on a route since July 2015 because that current regular became a 204B in my office. The route she had she ran because management made her fear for her job, so she ran for so many years that she is so injured she couldn’t imagine going back to being a carrier again. I do find myself running the route all day just to make it under 10 hours. It’s terrible and I’m constantly getting walked with as a CCA because I’m slower thanthe okd carrierr. This route takes on average 1.5-2 hourse casing, and consistently 7 hours on the street for me. Not to mention our office is so short handed with people being out on injury that I’m always given half hour to an hour on someone else’s route. And then my supervisors act disappointed and dumbfounded when I come back to the office 10 minutes after 6. Or they call my personal phone asking what time I’ll be done and don’t understand why because the computer told them I should be back at 4:30. It’s a constant rush against the clock all day and it’s exhausting, I do take my breaks except I constantly find myself skipping my second 10 minute break. In my 90 day period I didn’t take a single lunch break, and maybe a 5 minute break, not a full 10. I literally only ate 2 cliff bars a day and lost 25 pounds (I’m only 130lBS).I was too afraid to take them. My first week at the post office I was training in the beginning of February and it was the worst winter we’ve seen in years. I pulled both my hamstrings trudging through all the snow and losing my footing on almost every step, with my only footwear at the time being my steel toe Carolina boots (heavy as F). Not to mention the added weight from snow gear, mail, and satchel. It was the most excruciating pain I have ever had to “buck up” through. A coworker/ regular carrier noticed me limping and suggested (like most people said previously insinuated in training) if you show you’re easily injured or are a liability they will fire you without remorse. So I kept it to myself in fear of losing my job, and was taking approximately 4 Aleve every two hours so that I could walk, (basically destroying my liver to the point where I never had an appetite) nonetheless take a step without crying. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to endure, to go back to work every day and walk that 11.5 mile route, up stairs and hills in the snow, and somehow allow my body to heal. and not breath a word of it to my supervisor so I could keep this job that I went through such a stupid process to receive. I’m sad to hear my office isn’t one of the only toxic ones, and unfortunately there are plenty of management figures that lack tact and common sense enough to realize we are people and not machines complying with a specific deadline typed into a computer. But it’s nice to see I’m not alone in feeling like I’m being driven crazy. I’m due to make regular soon but at this point I don’t even see what’s in it that’s worth it. I’m so young and I could really accomplish anything i set my mind to, and this job has helped proven it. I’m not setting my mind to lining managements pockets for the price of my integrity, well being, mental state, and simply not having a life because I barely get every other Sunday off, and most every day is a 10-12 hour day. Thanks for listening, today was an exceptionally bad day due to micromanagement and power trips. I needed this.

  29. defeated

    January 29, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    Today was the greatest day ever. I quite!! After 2 weeks after my OJI training i was told your on your own today. Working as fast as possible i finished casing my mail loading my truck it was 11:45am. By the time i fueled up didn’t get to my first stop until 12:15. I knew i was very late but did the best i could. Finished my route and back at 6pm. Post Master was very upset because everyone else was back at 4pm. He told me i was too slow and asked me if I’m happy doing this job. I felt so defeated. I went and took care of all my accountables for the day and signed my resignation.

  30. Roe

    January 31, 2016 at 11:35 am

    My heart goes out to “all” who work for the USPS. I have 17 years in, and every story is 100% accurate. It doesn’t matter where you work, what area, but the stories are all true. In some rare cases, there are offices with some normalcy, but usually they are very small, maybe a 10 route office. And my advice is….if you can handle the job physically and mentally, stay. But, 98 % can not fit the criteria. I have seen and experienced it “all”. Read hundreds of articles in my career, and every one cries out for justice…even people in higher mgt., (hard to believe), go through abuse, and can’t handle their problems. The problem lies with the way the mail system is designed. Mail “must” be delivered…no matter what the circumstances are. While it is understandable that most all 1st class mail is “important” to the recipient…like a check, passport, serious personal situations, parcels for gifts, medicines, etc., it’s the way in which it is not handled on those who govern us. They design routes with changing daily obstacles. But, they expect you to deliver everything, without sympathy about the realities that are never-ending changes. But all of this design comes from those above and the union, who design and redesign the routes. So there is a vicious circle, starting from the heads of all who run USPS. The domino effect is how it’s played out. So their can never be a time where running each office, could be done daily in some logical way. Because we have thousands of those above us making decisions, that don’t jell with the realities below them, because the bottom dollar is all that matters. Time is money and money is time. Management is taught how to run us….no exceptions. And yes, rules are always broken, lies abound, favoritism reigns, power and intimidation are the reality. Very rare to have a leader who “cares” or is kind. They are taught to be tough, and push you to
    the limit, or their grilled for not doing so. And honestly, fighting them back is almost worthless. You may win some, but very few battles, but you will pay dearly for it. Where I work, everyday is a game. The pressure levels are so high pitched, so many are miserable, and everyone really wants to leave and never return….but they get paid good money….so they stay in the battle. Physically and emotionally shot, they plow through each day. The unions are weakened, and compromise with mgt. Deals are made, and the game goes on and on. Some things are won, but you may be harassed for it forever. Because, those above us are scrambled eggs….and don’t know how to assess each office they control. The numbers must be their perfect reality…not “how can we make the necessary changes to improve the offices issues, to run a smoother ship”. They just keep repeating “their new formats” and end up making things worse…and it all falls on the carriers, clerks etc., A few years ago, they got rid of two routes and 3 vehicles, and re-designed the whole place. Now they never foresaw the “parcels” becoming there new money maker, so now, the whole operation is going backwards….their adjustments for saving $, ended up costing them millions of dollars against us. Carriers and clerks pushed to the limits…understaffed, exhausted workers, managers juggling ridiculous expectations, and everyone is literally burning out! Decisions made above us literally crush us, and no one seems to know “what to do”!!!!!!. Then you have the workers who get away with murder,who goof off, and no one seems to notice certain ones, for whatever motive, and let’s them literally keep doing it! While workers who kill themselves, get harassed. And some of the workers are so fed up, they turn on each other, and everyone is watching everyone’s else’s performance, when they themselves are guilty of doing or saying wrong. So, everyday…it goes round and round, and nothing is ever resolved…maybe rarely. It is a no win place, period. I went in with no illnesses….17 years ago…I am literally physically falling apart….years of pushing myself every day, and my constant injuries, but they say…suck it up, or your considered a total loser, both by your co-workers and mgt. I can’t retire, so I literally pretend that I am ok. I’ve been tormented for all my years, and watched so many if not all, be treated like dirt….they call you a “body”. There is no other work place like this one….as most of us have worked for many companies in our lifetime, and we all equally say….this is insanity here. And there is no one to get help from. Once in a blue moon do,you here of someone winning a big grievance or an eeo, but it’s rare. Sink or swim…that is the game…no in betweens. I hope that everyone who reads this takes heed. If you can hack it or have to hack it, don’t give up. I pray everyday for God’s help, and just pace myself daily. I leave my life to the Lord. But if you have the chance to get out….run. And share with your friends and family all you have read and know….so they can make the best choice for their lives. I personally tell people not to apply there. I’ve been through too much, seen to much, and hanging by a thread. I have never seen any thing like this place, ever!!!! But….truth be told….it’s only getting worse and worse. Red flag….pray to the Lord, if you are a christian for guidance…if not one….I would take seriously these comments, and try to find something for your health or go to tech school and get a trade….we are all thank ful for our jobs, but our hearts are all hurting for all we’ve experienced. May God bless all who read this….thank you for letting me share.

  31. princess

    February 1, 2016 at 2:05 pm

    I feel so bad for everyone going through this. I started working for the postal service in october 2015 and can you believe that i quit the job last week because i have not gotten paid for the months of october and november. I was a great clerk and i truly loved this job this job. I wanted a career out of it but i realized its not worth it i have a degree and i think i should use it. I STILL HAVE NOT GOTTEN PAID ALTHOUGH I QUIT. i was thinking to work again at a different location but after reading these stories i think i will pass. am not sure what to do next about getting my paycheck. PLEASE HELP!!

  32. Glenda Smith

    February 2, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Well here is my RCA story !! I was like everyone else. Took exam,background,interviews,orientation,academy. I was hired by a small post office. Only 2 routes. 725 boxes ,2 dismounts 75 miles.Reg takes 6 1/2 hrs. Sub for reg carrier on route 15 + yrs. Day 1 shadowed. Day 2 1st half.took me 4 1/2 hrs (was criticized)same 2nd half. I was asked by PM to come in practice casing. Did this for 3 days to be told I wasn’t getting PD for it!!! It was on my own time!?!?! Long story short. I went out on my own Fri and sat. Didn’t get out till noon got back 8:30. !! I removed my console.scratched up my car. Trying to come up way I can organize my own way to speed up won’t get the chance!! Postmaster wants me to come in. Now him or reg will not answer my calls. I can’t believe they are firing me after 2 weeks!!!

  33. way to go team!!

    February 2, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    During my training i heard the seasoned regulars and reliefs were going to make the new hires try to quite because they were a threat to there hours and seniority. Well what a waste of training dollars by the government.

  34. Anonymous

    February 3, 2016 at 6:33 am

    I would have never quit my other job if I knew how unorganized, shady and inconsiderate a company like this exists. I WAS a PSE Clerk, but got exterminated today for “failing to follow instructions”, which was funny. As I was running the mail in automation, the STUPIDVISOR, tells me to go grab ONE more cage of mail that’s hanging out in high speed, which I grabbed the ONE like she told me to.
    As tour 3 supervisors came in, they found out that there was one more cage of mail that didn’t get processed the day before, and of course, I got the blamed for it.

    First of all, it’s not a clerk’s responsibility to go grab the mail from high speed, it’s a mail handlers job, so it will be out of my job description as a clerk. Second, how is it “failing to follow instructions” when I grabbed just that ONE cage like the STUPIDVISOR asked me to?

    This workplace threw me into work without proper training and expects me to make no errors. It took me at least a month and a half to finally know how everything works. And no, we were not informed that we will be working 12 hours everyday. Even when you’re trying to go take your break at your 2 hour mark, the STUPIDVISORS will force and tell you to hold onto your break until your work is done! It’s illegal, but no hire ups are willing to lend an ear because they’re all on the same side!

    And heads up, if you’re going to pass probation within your last month, they will try to do anything to get rid of you before your probation period ends. They got rid at least 20 people ahead of me. I’m actually trying to get a hold of an Union Representative.

    I recommend everyone to stay out of this place! Stick to emails!

  35. Mike

    February 6, 2016 at 4:38 am

    What a terrible job i started a yr ago i know i toughed it out more then most of you but i seriously thought the longer i was there things might change.boy was i wrong , as a cca i was expected to show up everyday the only times i was off was when your put on the on call list and if they call you and you dont come in managers would yell at you. You also were expected to d. Nearly twice the workload as the regulars but complete it in the same time. Ive had 15 other odd jobs but never have i experienced the amount of disrespect i got from supervisors at the post office . the final straw for me was when i put in for a week off and had it aproved by a manager only to find out come the day before my vacation that i was expected to work and if i didnt show up it would by my fault .union is also weak and cant do nothing for you and funny thing the station i worked at the union rep was best friends with management and any complaints you told him would inly be transmitted to management who will make your life a living hell if you cant quit the job right away because you need the money . to anyone thinking about working at the post office if you love your life dont do it

  36. Pete

    February 7, 2016 at 12:43 am

    I have been put on the pre-hire list and have orientation on 2/11/16. I have yet to find any positive reviews online. I’m not desperate for a job to go through any of these experiences.

  37. Pam

    February 9, 2016 at 8:36 pm

    I have orientation in 2 wks … I don’t know if this is truly worth it … doesn’t seem like it is to me …

  38. Good luck

    February 10, 2016 at 10:34 pm

    I did everything possible to learn this job. Learning the case was impossible with only working every other week. You totally freeze when you start by yourself and you have hot case mail, DPS mail, large parcels, small parcels, express mail, certified letters, postage due and your plum flyers to case within a reasonable time. By 9:30am all the regulars and old timers were loading to leave the station. Day 3 by myself i was still leaving at 11:30am. With 350 stops. Supervisor told me i can’t keep sending someone out to help you. With all the negative feedback and with one of the reliefs who has been there 7 years and waiting to become a regular I decided its not worth it. What they tell you in orientation is nothing what your about to experience.

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