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. Lyle   December 1, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I am in the midst of being removed from the postal service because i am accusing a supervisor of creating a hostile work environment…my last run in with this idiot, i called him a jackass and thats why im being fired….no one week suspension….no 2 week suspension….no last chance agreement….just straight to dismissal….haha

  2. Kim   December 2, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I am a new RCA, and from reading this article, I can totally understand it. I’ve been with the post office for 2 months now. I spent a lot of time in new hire training or waiting to attend training. The little time I have had to actually work, I’ve been told to come in on this day…would get there and be told, oh no, you aren’t on the schedule….. or to go in told to do one thing, and get there and find out no, we changed our minds… you are going to do this or that today. I have had little time actually working on the route I am assigned to. I’ve only cased 3rd class mail alone for several afternoons. Before this past Monday, I had only attempted delivering 1/2 the route maybe 3-4 times with someone else having cased the mail and sorted the parcels for me. So, this past Monday I was told I was going to do everything myself. So, of course I was nervous. This is the busiest season at the post office. So, first time attempting to case all the mail. The entire time, I had the post master sitting at the desk behind me telling me I needed to step it up…come on time is passing and I had to get it done quickly. Then, she sent in an experienced sub to “help”. So, it was pretty much like, move out of the way…. while she cased pieces of the mail. I was standing there because now she was in my way because I’m still trying to remember where things are in the case. By the end of the casing period, the sub had totally stepped in and was like, you need to step it up now…. well, the stress got to me and I couldn’t hold back my tears. I told her I was doing my best… she had no empathy at all for me. I was trying to hide my tears as I was embarassed that others would see me. She organized all the parcels in the cart and flagged them on the case. So, I have never had the experience of “doing this part myself” either. The supervisor was nice enough to come out and try to give me some advice as to how to load my truck which I took in every word and was grateful. However, I went out on the route, and for reasons I can’t explain, it still takes me about the amount of time to deliver only 1/2 the route as it would the entire route for an experienced carrier. They sent 2 people to help with the rest of the route. I was happy. I figured I have never tried to deliver the entire route myself alone, so the next days would get better. I went home and thought about ways I could try to improve in speed. I was scheduled off Tues, but my carrier was off Weds, Thurs, and Fri. I was scheduled to take all of those days myself. However, I got a voicemail message from my supervisor that said, “you are way too slow. I saw no urgency in casing the mail…. it took you the amount of time to do 1/2 the route that it would take for the entire route of a regular… we are taking you off the schedule because you obviously don’t get it and you need to be retrained again by your carrier sometimes next week.” SO, that really hurt my feelings. Especially that I was not showing any “urgency” to get the mail cased when I was so stressed about getting it done as quickly as I could that I broke out into tears….. And, I’ve been deliberating in my mind that I should probably start looking for another job while I still have this one since it’s easier to get hired if you are currently employed. I just don’t think I can handle the constant pressure to get everything done so quickly, yet told to take my time so I don’t make any mistakes. What a contradiction that statement is!!!! I don’t see how I’m going to be able to learn all that there is while being careful not to make mistakes, yet having the urgency to rush through the day to make it back by the time the truck leaves. And, forget trying to get anything done when it gets dark outside! That was a nightmare. I spent 11 hours on Monday from the time I got there trying to case, pulldown, and only delivering 1/2 the route with the last few streets in the dark. And, not having a steady schedule of when to work. One day I’m on the schedule to work, the next day they’ve erased my name… etc, etc. I need a steady income to support my family of 5. That compounded on top of the stress and the way they treat you just isn’t worth the $17.02 an hour they pay me. I have tremendous anxiety esp at night when I’m trying to sleep. I wake up dreaming that I am delivering the mail! So, before they decide to can me, I have my eye out for something better to come along.

  3. C. Lopez   December 9, 2016 at 10:39 am

    Kim, I am an RCA. I have been for almost 3 years now. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I started at Christmas time and basically was just thrown on a route and told get it done. At least you got some training. Recently I’ve been working 7 days a week 12 & 14 hour days. I know it’s the season I get it. However, recently I went into work at my usual 7 am with good intentions I loaded the truck for a parcel run as there were so many I couldn’t get to my case to case mail. I left on my parcel run and the next thing I knew I was like where am I. I had totally driven past the neighborhood I was delivering to. I turned around finished my parcel run and headed back to the office where the same thing happened. I passed the office up twice. Anyway, I finally made it back to the office and started casing my raw mail. Now mind you this is a route I know like the back of my hand. I couldn’t figure where the addresses were. It took me an hour and a half to do 20 minutes work. Realizing I was suffering from exhaustion I went to my supervisor and told her I would try to finish the raw mail but after that I was going home to sleep. She said OK. I get home and I am almost asleep when the acting postmaster calls and tells me to get back to the office now! I told him I wanted to be tested for exhaustion he said oh I’ll test you for exhaustion all right. Get back in here now or suffer the consequences. I told him that unless he was sending me to a doctor I was staying in bed at which he replied consider yourself terminated. So yes I understand what you and every other postal employee is going through.

  4. Bernadette   December 13, 2016 at 1:51 pm

    Kim,that is exactly how they are treating me right now.I walked in on Saturday and they wear talking about me.My post master doesn’t care either, I want this job but they are so rude and disrespectful never letting up..If I heard hurry up or go faster once ,I heard it 500 times…. ..Telling me if I miss the truck I’ll have to drive it to the processing plant which is a hour and a half one way…

  5. Lee   December 17, 2016 at 12:26 am

    Kim, I am a new RCA here as well, just did my days. I dont think you can blame the regulars. Its the post office itself. Christmas time is over burdened. I did my half routes yesterday and today, and was told I was too slow. I finished todays half route a lot faster than the day prior. And around the same time my regulr finished the whole route I wanted to be upset. I wanted to be angry. Its not easy. Its enough to make you want to quit. But thats the whole problem. Give yourself slack. When my postmaster looked at me and said he didnt think I could do the whole route myself tomorrow, my heart sank. I couldnt help it. I wanted to be the best. I wanted to be fast. I wanted to go above and beyond. But researching and cutting myself some slack really paid off. I feel better. Ignore the evaluated time for now. Do the best you can do. You dont have the experience they do. You dont have rhe route memorized to every name and mailbox, or the way your case is lined up. And you are getting to do this around christmas! There are regulars in my office on 6-7 hour routes not coming in on evaulation. Do not sweat this. I know its not easy to drop thay feeling but you have to. Everyone in that office is on a deadline, and the postmaster and supervisor just pushes it out

  6. Lora   December 19, 2016 at 12:43 am

    My former USPS Manager is a racist sexist bigot. My job was abruptly abolished after he chose to get rid of me for refusing to have sex with him. I had excellent reviews and the job was recreated and immediately given to a white male. No one at headquarters or anywhere else will deal with him. It is the entire representation of the USPS – nobody cares.

  7. Terrie   December 20, 2016 at 7:00 pm

    I am a regular Carrier and have been with the postal service for twenty three years. Twelve of those as a regular. I started working there when I was thirty years old and one month after I started, I had a heart attack. The stress was just too much. I have now learned to deal with it because of having good bosses up until not long ago and we got a new one who yells at us constantly. I am now back under as much stress as I was when I had my attack. Hopefully I can retire soon and not worry with it anymore.

  8. LAK   December 21, 2016 at 2:33 am

    I have just witnessed a new trainee be given the choice to quit or be fired. She chose the latter. After all the postmaster went thru to hire this individual, you would think more patience and understanding could be employed. Unfortunately this is not the time of year for newcomers to learn this job. It is stressful even for seasoned carriers. I personally believe regulars can do more to lessen the burden on new RCAs: make sure all your mailboxes are marked; create a street list by case and row for casing, put it in alphabetical order; implement a uniform way to mark forwards on the case. Some of these cases have never had their labels updated and are littered with so many post it notes, flags and illegible handwriting that it boggles the eyes and mind! Regulars, you do this everyday. Think of ways to make things clearer and easier for your relief. You may just get to keep your sub that way. Oh, and support them, directly and to your Postmaster. I’ve known regulars who purposefully run off RCAs just because they’d rather get the overtime. The Post Office is a whole different world…it’s not just the actual work that takes acclimating to, it’s the environment, as well. Recall your first days (year even!) and cut the newbies some slack!

  9. Hank Horodyskyj   December 21, 2016 at 10:18 am

    I am a retiree- city letter carrier. I have a myriad of things to say. 1st and foremost- the 2 tier pay system was the worst thing that was implemented. People making $12 ph less for doing the same thing.2nd- Most delivery supervisors are 204b that are on restrictions or could not do the job- I was at my station for over 20 yrs, and can honestly say that I saw only one instance of a good,letter carrier being “promoted” to Titled Supervisor. And now- this- I retired because I could no longer work with the caliber of people being hired. Most-most- would not have seen a 2nd interview 20 yrs ago. Most are looking for a place to fall. The CCAs get together among thselves- plot out what needs to be done to get restrictions. Cant work if its too cold- cant work if its too hot. What- I have to WALK to deliver mail. I had a walking route my entire career. Was also on the ODL. Supervisors would give me an hr extra walking- after doing 9 on my route- while these lazy asses got mounted for overtime. I understand that the NALC has to represent ALL employees, but these people never should have been allowed to get their 90 days in.And THAT is on both Mngmnt and the Unions.The route inspections that are done are a joke. In my office, there were routes that Ray Charles could have done under 8 that were classified as 6 hrs in the field and 2 1/2 in the office.

  10. J Myers   December 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

    I know 2 people who committed suicide because of the Postal Service and countless workers who have started taking meds for anxiety due to the stress of working for the USPS, including myself. No one should have to work like this.

  11. Distressed   December 21, 2016 at 10:04 pm

    Kim, I’ve been an RCA for nearly three years and I totally understand where you are coming from. It’s incredibly frustrating to work for the USPS. I too always do my best but never good enough. Something is always wrong no matter what! To make matters worse, $17.02 is not the actual hourly pay because of “evaluated” time. lol! I worked an 11 hour 35 minute day on Saturday (pay is for 8 hours and 20 minutes) and then worked 10 hours 30 minutes on Tuesday (pay is for 8 hours). Therefore, I worked closed to 6 hours for NO pay! My postmaster told me that this is what I signed up for!! And I am scheduled again for evaluated time on Saturday (Christmas Eve). Really! Something is totally wrong with the USPS expectations and treatment of its employees! No Respect!!

  12. Kim Stedding   December 25, 2016 at 6:36 pm

    This is Kim, and I just wanted to let everyone know that I was told to come in at noon the Friday week before Christmas. So, after not having been on the schedule since the previous Monday when I did the express mail evening run, I went in expecting to help with packages, but I was totally blindsided when my supervisor was waiting for me to inform me that I was being let go because according to him, I was not picking things up fast enough and he said everyday was like starting over. My thoughts…well I guess so considering that I was home more than I was on the schedule to work since I was hired! But, the other person hired same time as me is still employed even after numerous serious mistakes including missing the evening express mail delivery and taking the mail home with her in which the post master had to drive 80 miles to the next express mail office at 3 a.m. the following morning to make sure it got there. And, including losing the scanner and truck keys…not sure if they found or not, how this person is still employed, but I am not because of a supervisor and postmaster’s opinion that I’m not cut out to be a carrier. Bull if I ever heard it…lol And, this other new carrier also telling everyone that she can not see at night. But that person is considered a good fit and still there… I am really speechless as we were all told that speed will come later. Focus on accuracy. Well, my post office, apparently that’s not true. And, I managed to make a nice Christmas for my 3 children with my next-to-last paycheck from the post office.

  13. krst   December 26, 2016 at 4:21 am

    The powers that be keep us living for some reason, I dont know what. But it’s a painful life!@

  14. Jimmy C.   January 4, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    The future of the is more of what we see going on right now. Lower wages at entry level positions will eventually even out as retirees come of age. The need for a skilled and knowledge based workforce is gradually being eliminated. In order for full retirement some employees must work well over thirty years. That is awful. You have a lot of hard core attitudes molded over decades of pathetic leadership. You have people who know the system well enough to get by with the least amount of effort because that is the program. Exceptional performance is not recognized unless you are being groomed by a lustful manager. Supervisors allow their own emotions and personal feelings to govern their actions. They know that there is no recognition or accountability just like the working class slobs know it. The whole crew from top to bottom is just treading water until the day they can leave with full retirement.
    All you have to do is say yes ma’m and yes sir until they walk away and the tell them to go f themselves after they’re gone. If you do something wrong, who cares. Just say you won’t do that again and all is well. Act like you care for five minutes when you get in trouble then tell them to go to you know where later. If a supervisor or manager ever asks what you need to do your job and a year later nothing is done you know they didn’t actually give a crap in the first place.
    This is how the system is setup. Upper level managers tell the lower level to act like they care to the employees because of the poor feedback of the employee surveys. They don’t care. They don’t even act like they care. They might say they do once or twice but you know it is all B.S.
    You’ve got people with the potential to do great things here but instead they rot away inside a system of no accountability or recognition. One bad manager can corrupt and mistreat dozens of good employees. How do you think that affects their performance for years to come?

  15. CYNTHIA   January 6, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    I was told I had 2 weeks to speed up my performance or I would be removed because I made a mistake. I was never given a key code for buildings and always had to call around.When you ask for help that’s a bad thing even if you are new. When I fell and hit my face they said it was my fault.I don’t think the post office cares about new people. The post office doest give you the feeling of lasting they threaten you daily. I never felt welcome more like a burden. I never noticed how badly they treated people tell I worked for them. My two jobs I had before treated me respectful now I wish I would of stayed with them.

  16. Felix Yarbrough   January 11, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    Judging from most of the complaints I’ve read it shows proof positive that no one is held accountable in the post office. Too bad the Sarbanes Oxley Act doesn’t cover issues such as these.
    A government owned, government run institution is froth with unethical caretakers.

    Adding insult to injury it is likely that nothing will be done for decades to come until a republican led congress finally and decisively privatizes the entire operation.

    There is no other remedy that can extinguish the entrenched coal bed of wasteful management. That fire has been burning much too long to be simply put out with a mere fire hose. It must be unearthed, raked out, doused and scattered until nothing rises from the rubble not even a wisp of vapor.
    Employees deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
    Rebuilding this institution from the ground up is the only means guaranteed to succeed.

  17. Teresa   January 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

    There needs to be class action filed representing employees worldwide for hostile work environment among other things. USPS continues to violate OSHA, wage and hour,ADA, EEOC laws. In all my life I have never seen anything like it. Former PSE

  18. plr   January 18, 2017 at 1:38 pm

    I am a recently retired city letter carrier who after 30 years on a walking route in the same postal office and same route can fully empathize with the comments made here. The USPS is probably one of the absolutely most hostile organizations one can work for. In my career in the USPS I have witnessed more forms of employee abuse than I ever believed any employer could get away with.As a union shop steward I constantly had to defend carriers against managements vindictive discipline over the most trivial matters.Supervisors and managers continually lie in their accusations against carriers while getting no discipline themselves for their lies,mismanagement and total disregard for the basic dignity that should be afforded to all employees.Hey who knows maybe someday they will promote people who have integrity and an understanding of leadership qualities instead of the current ongoing practice of promoting the most incompetent people on earth to management positions!

  19. EJZ   January 23, 2017 at 3:20 pm

    I just reacently left the Post Office. After many denied sick days that I requested. The I just could not go on like this much longer. I recently fell and hurt my back. So Friday I went to see my doctor she ordered an MRI for Monday on my way home I call my OIC but she had already left for the weekend so I told the girls that were working. Then Saturday came I went to work called my OIC to make sure she got the message and she said yes we have your office filled. So I faxed my appointment leter showing I have the appointment along with a doctors note for Friday. Sunday afternoon I recived a text message saying another clerk got sick so I will have to reschedule my MRI. Last year she told me in order to even have another sick day I have to have a note stating what town I am in what time my appointment is and who I am seeing. I just can not see me staying there any longer. I work in a 6 hour office 6 days a week and the OIC who runs my office over sees 9 offices and is so short handed that no one is aloud to be sick. I was told by my doctor I will need Physical therapy once a week well that will not happen if I stay with the Post office. They treat there employees like crap and I am done with it.

  20. Jackson, W   February 1, 2017 at 4:52 pm

    I don’t hate my job but I can’t say the same for my coworkers and I think even less of the managers — that is if you want to call them that. I guess it’s not their fault either, they are just a cog in the system.
    I watched a documentary one day where they took a group of manager trainees through an obstacle course. The obstacle course could not be completed. It was physically impossible however that is not the source of the grading score.
    The managers of the obstacle course were graded on how many ways they to try completing the obstacle course regardless of the number of failures. If a manager gave up after he realized it was impossible he received a low score. If a manager kept trying ridiculous attempts he scored high.
    This is what it feels like working for the post office. National managers keep coming up with new ways to fail at serving the customer. It didn’t used to be like this. Procedures didn’t change from week to week. Sure things changed but nothing like these days. We’re changing the name of the mail now. We’re changing the description of how it is processed and sorted. Customers get tired of hearing that something else has changed since the last time they were here. I don’t believe it is good for business.
    Now they have Mystery Callers, District auditors, National auditors, SOX compliance etc etc.
    There are so many little things that are not in compliance it is ridiculous to have auditors who spend tens of thousands of dollars on expenses going from place to place.
    It doesn’t matter how hard an employee tries to do the right thing there is always something that an auditor can find wrong, if they want to. And if they don’t want to find something wrong then what is the point is having them in the first place.
    As a vested employee I can take you to any post office and find a failure in SOX compliance I guarantee it. SOX auditors are a joke. They come looking for one specific item. Whatever the latest directive gets handed down from national is what they are looking for. As soon as the district level finds out what that one little item is they start calling all of their offices to let them know what the auditors will be looking for so be sure that all of your paperwork is up-to-date in that area.
    That is not an audit. That is cheating and just plain corrupt unethical practices. That’s how we do business. We keep micro-managing every little thing so they can file reports to show what worked and what didn’t work. Customer service is not being improved by this. Customers want a smooth transaction and familiarity in business practices not something that changes from week to week on the whim of a top level manager.
    The post office is changing but what doesn’t change is moving mail from point A to point B and delivering it to the customers mail box. That part is simple. Reinventing the entire process of moving the mail doesn’t really help that much.

  21. Dani   February 3, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    I started as a CCA nearly four years ago. I made regular within five months, and thankfully worked in an office that was decent. Small town, smaller routes (mine was a 13 mile walk every day). I decided to make a life change and moved to one of the plants as the administrative assistant, which was a year ago this week. I had no idea what I was doing, and I received no training for the position. I was completely winging it. The AA before me was there for 30 years. Never did i receive any complaints and often did I ask for direction. Just before Christmas I was sent on a 204b detail to a station, which I did not ask for. I felt totally thrown under the bus. My detail was to end January 27. During the last few weeks of my detail, we had several family issues come up including the deaths of my grandfather and mother within four days of each other. From Jan 10 through January 30, I was away taking care of things. My first day back at the plant, to my bid position, I was told by the plant manager that I would be going to in-plant/op support for about a month. When asked what I would be doing and why I was going, I got no answer. The manager of in-plant support came to my office about three hours later, handed me a razor scraper and some graffiti cleaner and told me I would be relabeling and cleaning the bread racks (maybe some of you know what that is). I simply said no. My bid position is in the office at the end of the hall. I had no warning, no meeting, no 1723 on file saying I was being moved. After all of the other issues being dealt with on the home front, that was more than I could bear. I have contacted labor, and they will not call me back. I contacted NAPS, and yep you guessed it, no call backs from them either. I am at a loss as to what to do.

  22. D   February 6, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I was always interested in working for the USPS. I was hired for 2016 Christmas, parcel delivery and I enjoyed the orientation and LLV training. Although; it was nothing like what was explained during the training….safety first my a**!! My first day; I was put on a route with turn by turn directions, I guess a monkey planned?? The time they expect you to deliver; you would have to SPEED, to make the time. We were over packing rental vans ( could barely see out ), constantly yelled at, if we did not make our time. Not to mention, THE LACK OF COMMUNICATION skills???? How did these people get to be supervisors????? No offense, but I really think our post master general ( at our location ) has a chemical imbalance!!! The scanners were always going dead and god forbid you needed gas for your van. No one was around, so I had to use my own money to fill up. After the holiday season was over; let just say I got my life back. NEVER AGAIN!!!!

  23. Michael Fifer   February 6, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Oh boy are you ready for this because it will blow your mind. All my life I’ve been dealing with a serious neurological disability called Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD). I’ve been with the post office almost 20 years. In that time, I’ve learned to put up with the irresponsibility of supervisors and management in general. You see I live in a world that is absolutely and totally disrectful of my disorder and they don’t want to be understanding of why certain behaviors effect my life. Management does not want to deal with this disorder because they have absolutely no idea how this disorder impacts the individuals life. I’ve tried to educate management by providing correspondence by my counselor, who has been working with ADD since 1975, but received no feedback whatsoever which basically told me they could care less. This disability destroyed my finances last year at a tremendous loss of over $12 000 in absenteeism. Even with the help of meds, this still has a crippling impact on your personal health and basically your whole life. Management is so damned concerned with numbers that it’s just is immoralizing to the entire postal workers life. Do you realize that if management cared for it’s employees as much as they do numbers and started providing the proper education for all the employees, how much more mail can be processed, the motivation it provides to the employees, and maybe most importantly the revenue that can be made and possibly and finally get back in black. This reality is that I wake up to life on a daily basis is like beginning another day in hell. Some of you that read this may have absolutely no idea what I’m talking about, I just only hope that you will see this and hopefully understand some of this and don’t condemn the ADDer in the process.

  24. Phillip Hansen   February 8, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Dr. Musacco explained everything in a nutshell but everything is so much larger than what can be explained on this forum.
    Once I came to grips with the fact that I am not the punisher of people who are wrong things started to get easier for me.
    I do not have to meet bad experiences with bad reactions just because it’s justified. Managers or coworkers will sometimes treat employees badly, unfairly, rudely, disrespectfully, and so on and so forth. When I realized that I did not have to pay them back for this maltreatment I felt a burden lifted from my shoulders.
    It has taken me years to come to this philosophy. Long hard years of stress and depression took its toll on my mental health. I know why people nut off. I know it so clearly that it doesn’t take a Ph.D. to explain it.
    Uneducated people like myself don’t deal with things the way a more educated person would. The post office is full of uneducated people who have found a good paying job beyond what their capabilities would render in the real world. We know that.
    This is as good as it gets for us here. We can’t go anywhere else and earn a salary such as this. We’ve managed to build a home, family, lifestyle all based on the income level we have achieved. We feel like we can’t do anything else. WE ARE STUCK HERE.
    We are stuck with the mistreatment and the bullying by managers and coworkers. We are stuck with the unreasonable expectations. We are stuck with the horrible schedules and work hours because we can’t do any better.
    We continue to put up with one thing after another until the time when things turn ugly.
    I don’t have that problem. I quit worrying about it. I know I cannot change anything. Come what may I cannot change one mouse farting thing and I’m okay with that now.
    I’ve got that 1000 yard stare they talk about that combat soldiers get. Even though I haven’t seen combat I feel like I have. I have no feelings anymore. I have no feelings for supervisors or employees. All I have is the stare. It fills my whole body.
    Other people know these things but they are too afraid to talk about it. The PhD did a good job up there on the top of the webpage but there is so much more.
    Be grateful for what you have. Look for things to be grateful for. Try and be a blessing to someone else. Sometimes all it takes is just a kind word.

  25. BHS   February 10, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    I am a part time temp for a 4 hour RMPO. I’ve worked for the USPS for 14 months. Worst job ever!!! For god’s sake, go do something else. Life is too short to put up with the never ending BS you have to put up with working at the USPS

  26. Amanda Hayes   February 16, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I currently work for the USPS as a letter carrier. The only reason I haven’t walked off and quit my job is because I have to provide for my family. I have never hated a job as much as I do working for the USPS. I have thought about ending my life many time the stress this company causes on the workers and their familys is unbelievable.

  27. Betsy Day   February 16, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Postal reform is like reinventing the wheel. A wheel is round and it rolls on a flat surface. The Post Office needs more revenue with fewer delivery points. It is getting exactly the opposite.
    As population increases delivery points increase. As technology develops the demand for hardcopy correspondence falls away.
    USPS management purchases more and more equipment with price tags in the Billions of dollars while claiming that their problem is with employee wages.
    The weakest link in the whole system is the relationship between management and employee. There is a complete bull-ignorance in management. There is no such thing as a qualified manager. They have this terminology “Best Qualified” which means whoever applies for it gets it, that is if the approving manager likes you.
    Best Qualified is a way of making corrupt promotions for employees who would not qualify for any other position. It is a system of cronyism and not what is best for the company.
    If you play golf with the postmaster, like to go out for drinks with the station manager, like to play hanky panky with the supervisor then you may be Best Qualified for whatever position you have applied for. You are not actually Qualified but you will be Best Qualified.

    This is standard operating procedure for the post office.
    Who knows how much longer they will be able to keep this ship afloat.
    The PMG wants congress to allow the USPS to set the postage rates as they see fit without having to go to the board of governors to increase the price of stamps.
    This will never happen.
    The PMG wants to put an end to all waking routes and door delivery. The ideal situation is to utilize neighborhood delivery and collection boxes instead of door to door delivery.
    Management has squeezed as much productivity out of the employee as possible. There isn’t any more room for squeezing.
    Continue to decrease employee benefits and wages while decreasing the number of delivery stops each carrier has on their route while increasing the amount of postage at will.
    Continue to promote on the Best Qualified platform without regard for what is best for the company.

  28. Rasheed   February 18, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Usps is horrible. It’s full of racist, liars, and theives. Most regular clerks are manipulating the system to get overtime and getting paid for hours where they do absolutely nothing. Management Is not held accountable for sexual harassment, racist behavior or anything that is illegal. If someone reports management and you will be targeted.

  29. hard headed   February 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    There are so many examples of what’s wrong there’s no way to explain them all so here is one example.

    One employee is constantly negligent in his duties that it has an impact on his coworkers. The negligent employee is late to work, takes multiple unofficial breaks, engages in lengthy personal telephone calls while on the clock, and the others are left to take up the slack.

    The negligent employee has been reported to management multiple times but management does nothing to correct the problem. Instead management reprimands or chastises the employee who brought up the deficiency. Employees who complain are treated as the problem by managers who do not do their jobs.

    Day after day / year after year the same negligent employees are allowed to screw over their coworkers and they are not held accountable. Not only are they not held accountable the hard working employees who complain are the ones who are reprimanded by management.

  30. PSE   February 22, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    I have been a PSE mal clerk for about 7 months now and I could fill 20 pages of comments about my excursions so far at the USPS. What I most notice is that the 20 year+ employees are 100% lazy and complain that there is work to do. Do they actually think that they are going to come to work one day and there is actually going to be no mail? This is what I do everyday……….I clock in, stack DPS, throw flats, and do PO box mail. I sit back and laugh and wonder how people that make upwards of 35.00 and hour can be so miserable.

  31. PSE   February 22, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    To add onto my previous comment, I actually like what id do and have no intention of ever wanting to become a career employee. I am fine being a PSE as the expectation seems to be lower of me and that’s ok. I do not want the stress for an extra measley 3.00 an hour….no thanks. I get 50 hours per week now and that’s fine. My advice is this. Always remember the USPS needs you more than you need the USPS. The mal MUST be delivered and we are the only ones that can make that happen. Let it ride man……let it ride. Sit back and laugh like I do and enjoy the miserable company your with.

  32. Billy   February 23, 2017 at 11:28 am

    I work at the Post Office but I’ve been calling in since November 2016. Today is February 23, 2017. It’s stressful and they aren’t held accountable. They owe me funds from February of last year (16) hrs. I get nervous when I pull up there. I’ve thought about suicide. I still do, because I’m a coward. I never say anything or disrespect them, yet no one likes me. I feel like its me but then if the world is like this, why be apart of it. My family wants me there to make money. I hate management but I love what I did. Hopefully you all are better than me. If you read this, don’t let them fool you with that Union BS. They work for the post office too. My union steward makes fun of me just like them. I started and still do think its my fault for being weak, but I don’t have confidence or self esteem. I work at the worst station in Dallas.they won’t let me transfer. I don’t know why people hate me so much so I don’t leave my house. Only for food. Lost my car, home, girlfriend because I cry alot. Sent like this before the post office. I wanted to kill myself in the summer of 2016 so that people would be aware of the stress, but then thought it wouldn’t change anything because I’m not **** anyway. I get made fun of so I accepted that im a human punching bag. That is all I am in life.

    Billy – you need to find help asap. Try

  33. VETERAN   February 23, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I am a US VETERAN, Served 6 yrs, US NAVY.
    I was hired HOLIDAY last Christmas. After 3 days of training, I was told I would only work for 3 weeks, and be let go on 1/3/2017. Then, was told I would have about a 2 week waiting period, during which they would reapply me, and I would be hired. I worked 5 days.. just 5 DAYS. Was let go because of “lack of work” the week before Christmas. Then was told, I would have to reapply myself, as they couldn’t since I was being let go. I have applied for 10 different jobs, at 9 different locations. One about 20 mins from home, others about 3 hrs away. I have NOT EVEN RECEIVED ANY INTERVIEWS. I have called 8 different people, who gave me email addresses to contact, and other phone numbers to call. The “other numbers” were voice mails. I have left 9 messages as of today. Have not received any emails or call backs. I TRULY THINK THE USPS IS PREJUDICE AGAINST SENIORS (I’m over 50) AND MILITARY VETERANS. Why else would I not even get an interview, after applying for so many jobs??

  34. Letter to self   February 24, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    My seniority doesn’t give me the right to be lazy but it definitely gives me a better choice of work locations over the more recently hired. I’m old. I’m mentally, physically, and emotionally worn out. I have no intention of working hard during my final few years. The newer and younger employees may not like to hear that but it’s the truth and fact of life in the post office. The older employees who have been here longer have seniority which means they get to choose which ever jobs are suitable for them.
    Don’t think for a minute that the old timers give a crap about what the new employees think about them or what their work ethic looks like. This old timer doesn’t give a crap about anybody but himself and won’t look back for a second once he clocks out for the last time.
    You can save your 30 year and 35 year pins for someone else because mine are going straight into the garbage pail. They’re made in China anyway. The letter of appreciation is worthless.
    Criticize all you want because we remember when the post office used to be something to be proud of. Call it glory days if you want but it was better than what you’ve got now. You’ve got nothing. There is no legacy or tradition anymore. Every day is a new idea that doesn’t work. Every idea is another waste of time and money. Every wasted hour is a drain on employee satisfaction and morale. Look at the survey results. We Suck. The job sucks. Management sucks. The union sucks.
    Keep coming up with new ways that don’t work just so you can make employee lives more miserable. Make sure the old-timers are uncomfortable enough that they will leave ASAP.
    Congratulations USPS you have achieved that goal. This old-timer is just itching to leave and the sooner the better.
    The way it looks to me they can’t even fire a 30 year employee without giving them an early retirement separation. There’s no reason to worry about what kind of job I am doing. Involuntary separation equals early retirement so bring it on. How’s that for incentive? It’s in the rule book. Read it for yourself.
    And for you new hire employees just remember this letter if you ever happen to make it through 30 plus years of service in the post office. Make a note to self into the future to the older you letting him know how awesome and young you are now. Let the older you know how great it is to be young and resentful of old people. Don’t be surprised if the old you doesn’t care (or give a crap) anymore either.
    Peace out.

  35. DONNA   March 8, 2017 at 9:20 pm

    started as a TE in January 2008, the USPS is a joke and the union. Management loves friction and the union sucks the clock….I don’t have 3 years in yet and hate my job. Thank you Union for getting my time put in and screw you USPS that only looks at numbers. I work with people that don’t know honesty and how to earn a living. I took went from 65,000 to 36,000 with my pay cut. Hate all of you, union and our management. WHY DO WE GO POSTAL??????

  36. J. Petterman   March 13, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    One perspective that hasn’t been explored is the sense of injustice created by having a union contract between labor and management then having it violated openly and without regard for the agreement.
    When an employee is given copies of their rights and responsibilities in black and white hardcopy form there are expectations that these rights will be honored by both parties. Prospective employees apply for jobs based on these levels of pay, rights and benefits offered by the employer.

    All of the power is with management regardless of any agreement between labor and management. Management has the complete autocratic power to take away the rights and benefits without regard for justice, due process or fairness.
    It happens too often. Employees are expected to accept the violations with grievance as the only recourse. The grievance procedure is not necessarily a speedy process. Managers realize this and will further antagonize an employee by telling them to “file on it” knowing it will take weeks, months or years for a resolution.
    The end result is simply a disregard for an employee’s rights (people’s rights).
    When someone in authority violates the rights of another person it causes a level of stress and toxicity. Frustration and anger are natural byproducts.
    If a person is promoted into a level of management which allows for making decisions affecting employee’s rights under written agreement a certain obligation to justice must be adhered to. Promoting uneducated and unqualified employees into management positions is a sure way to increase the level of toxicity – frustration – anger in the workplace. Promoting an employee into management who is known to have personality issues and conflicts with coworkers should never happen but it does.
    Employees who are unfortunate enough to be under the supervision of managers such as the ones mentioned above will be subjected to a toxic work environment.

    The contrasting perspective is that an employee in some other organization who had no expectation of specific rights as mentioned previously would not feel the same injustice as those workers (with contracts) who feel entitled to fair treatment outlined in a written contract.

  37. mc   March 20, 2017 at 8:49 pm

    Union Rep told me: “They can work you 6 to 7 days a week”.

    I am sorry but I am not a mule. Today was my last day.

  38. Curly   April 12, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    I would post my comments but I have reached the point where I feel that nobody cares anymore.
    I feel like my supervisor doesn’t care and never has cared about her employees.
    Fellow employees act like they don’t care about each other.
    The customers act like they don’t care for the postal worker.
    I’m just waiting for my cue to leave. I’m done.

  39. petunia bahret   April 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    why cannot the usps treat their employees like wegmans treats theirs? with dignity and respect………

    32 years and same old same old……………….most managers harass the employees and think they will get a positive reaction!

    no one seems to abide by the common sense rules of treating others the way we want to be treated and you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

    this creates a backstabbing environment…………………I have said for maybe 15 years that when I pass I want it to be written on my tombstone that my children never had to work where I did………

  40. petunia bahret   April 20, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    and who does this “moderation” ………….pray tell…….

    what a joke

    Petunia – All comments must be emailed to me before posting because I try to make certain no personal names are posted, no vulgar language, etc. I get around to moderating whenever I can…usually the same day. Rick Owens – PEN

  41. Roe   April 21, 2017 at 7:29 pm


  42. Elizabeth Younie   April 30, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    Been at post office 20 years and was hit by a man on meth and nerve meds my llv was flipped over my boss [name removed by PEN] falsified my time records and said “no workers comp on my watch” it put me in financial hardship ever since then I’ve been threatened by boss harassed wrote up for no reason and was given a letter of removal the day my brother died. [name removed by PEN] also somehow withdrew all of my pay check 2 transactions totalling 1,300.00 plus my last check of 144.01 was never deposited into my account. At step 2 with union rep and running out of time. Bills are due and I have a disabled daughter and 2 grandkids to care for and this man [name removed by PEN] took my MONEY!!!!

    Thank you for posting – we do not allow personal names to be posted. PEN

  43. Elizabeth Younie   April 30, 2017 at 4:46 pm

    I have sent everything to my senator and labor board so edited if you want I’ll go to my local news and let every body know he is a thief and liar. I was called stupid daily told to resign not suitable for the job and I was there way before [named removed by PEN]

  44. bob   April 30, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    Check with your state unemployment office….if your a sub and they are overworking you, you may be entitled to partial unemployment benefits during slow weeks. If you are working full time hours you can collect partial unemployment benefits in the state of CT during slow periods. Don’t let USPS management fool you. If their working you full time hours and then not….collect partial unemployment for the days your not assigned. They will claim they don’t owe you 40 hours but yes they do. If they work you full time hours.

  45. Eric   May 3, 2017 at 8:29 pm

    I’m also a retired veteran and here what you all are saying. I just could not take the b.s. Anymore. At the same time I’m not giving them the satisfaction of resigning either. I as a clerk went to work, and at lunch just clocked out and haven’t been back since. I can say I feel soo much better for doing so. In short sometimes you have to just walk away. The money is not worth it nor is it that great.

  46. Mike   May 7, 2017 at 2:58 am

    I have been with the PO for 25 years plus 6 in the military . This job sucks everyone on this forum has the same old story and nothing is done. I see why people go postal

  47. Joe   May 9, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I have been with the USPS for a long time. Never in my life have I seen such a dysfunctional organization ran by uneducated idiots. The unions stand in the way of getting any productivity done due to grievance filing. And no matter how hard Management works to state their case, the Labor Department gives everything that comes across their desk away because their NPA Goals are based in part on settling grievances (which means paying them out). Everyone above keeps stating how hard THEIR jobs are. Try putting on a tie and being a Manager. It’s ten times worse because not only do we get it from above, we get it from below. We cannot win. The USPS creates their own nightmares with needless rule-making and demands. The people in the highest positions just toss out all of these fly-by-night initiatives that never give consideration to the “other” demands of the day. Ultimately, who suffers but the customer and the employees. Some of us get over 200 emails a day. Just managing that is a nightmare. I can retire next May with nearly 31 years of service. I really am not ready to leave the workplace, but I’m taking the money and running even though it’s in my best interest financially to stay until I’m 62 (5 more years). I am now losing sleep at night wondering if all of the bases are covered and worrying about what challenges face me the next day. It isn’t worth it any more. And since it seems Affirmative Action and the EEO process rules the day as far as promotions are concerned, I know as a white male, I’ll never get anywhere, especially in the Eastern Area where the “Dr.” makes sure “diversity” and “A+” rule the day in any higher level positions. In our District, we haven’t had a white Plant Manager in the last 6 appointments. Now what are the odds of that without stacking them?

  48. MsE   May 12, 2017 at 12:30 pm

    Glad I left the USPS back in 2002. Transferred to another Fed Agency. At that time, it was my ex husband’s idea to work for the USPS. I told him I am taking charge of my career from now on. Best decision i ever made.

  49. Jim   May 16, 2017 at 11:13 pm

    I left the PO in 1969, almost 50 years ago. I have since been in outside sales. Things began getting bad around this time, but not nearly as bad as the comments that I have just read. Things were pretty slack back then. The less you did the more that you earned. I was being harassed daily by a new supervisor. I talked back to him more than once and to this day I’m surprised that I wasn’t written up.

  50. Tony   May 30, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    I have been an RCA in Texas for a year and a half and appreciate all these comments. I found this page by googling being a letter carrier is ruining my social life. Lol. At least I’m not alone and agree with all the above sentiments. I intentionally comment to other carriers that there doing a great job in front of my super and he says oh we dont say stuff like that. What a douchcanoe. Also ours is the only po in the district who wont fix the broken ice machine. Going on 8 years lmfao if it wasnt so sad.

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