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

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

  1. kenneth l. smith   January 11, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    I was recently fired from USPS on my 85th day which was 10 days before Christmas. I had 2 days off during those 85 days then was fired for being to slow, I was evaluated on driving the LLV , But I drove the 2 Ton truck 95% of the time I was there, I feel very bad about the way I was treated and to top it all off I’m a disabled Vet I made $8,100 in less than 90 days if I was so slow why was I working so many hours. I feel that this is truly wrong and just would like to know can anything be don about this.

  2. Steve Deputy   January 13, 2015 at 7:09 am

    There is a “Good old Boy system in the Suncoast”. I am a Post Mater Relief in Florida. The Post Master position opened up September of 2013. I had already had the Post office transferred to me July of that year. I have 6 years of college, 6 years of military. However when the selection of a Postmaster was done, a person who did not want to come to the office with no college, no military, not familiar with the system applied, he got the title. The office was never transferred, nor did the person ever work there, other than two 2hour shifts a couple of months later to put mail up when I went on vacation. I was told we were equal but the other person had more seniority. I did not see anything equal about us, nor did I get any explanation as to why someone would be considered for a job they did not want to report to and than to be hired over someone doing the job!!

  3. jana eichwald   February 8, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    Have been a city carrier for over 20 years and have loved my job until recently.
    2 weeks ago, I became the 2nd (my boss was the 1st) employee to be accused of assault by a fellow carrier. All that I did was brush his shoulder on the way to the bathroom! I did say “Excuse me”. This happened after I had clocked off on a Saturday and, Monday morning, I had to meet with a Postal Inspector. Since then, the assault allegation has amounted to nothing but I am stressed everyday in the office. Do not know about “stress leave” but am considering looking into it. The union president told me that I can’t file an harassment grievance against the fellow carrier.

  4. T McKenzie   February 9, 2015 at 3:44 pm

    Recently I had been railroaded by the union and the arbitration process. I was not informed of my rights nor the representation was not trying to keep incontact with me. The hearing went on and I had no clue. The current union Pres. said,”…we didn’t have a good number for you.” well how was I able to talk to HR and they have the same contact info everyone else has. My phone number hadn’t changed in 5 years. I’ve been bullied and harrassed and the Managers and union don’t help. They sent me to EAP (CRAP) for paperwork purposes but no real solution to the supervisors following me and omitting information and adding false statements to the records. I have witnessed the harrassment first hand, and the same supervisors are on the job NOW! If there is anyone that can clean this type of issue up- their help would be greatly welocomed!

  5. Kevin   February 9, 2015 at 8:14 pm

    My wife works for the Post Office in Michigan as a RCA. She became the office union steward about 2 years ago. She has been targeted several time over a number of different reasons. To the point that she comes home in tears on a regular basis. In addition another carrier brings her daughter to work on a daily basis for over 3 years. She stays in the office and has her how code to the Post Officer. Several employee’s have expressed concern over this, and my wife has taken it to the PM he supports the idea. This same girl was arrested in the parking lot by the Michigan State Police the PM knew about it and did nothing, continues to allow her to be present in the office with access to the secure cage. It came to a head this week when as the steward she filed a grievance about a safe work env. and the employee girls mom cornered her in her case and make threats. She reported it to her PM he did nothing, that afternoon upon returning from delivery again cornered, she had to call the local pd in order to get the inncidents documented. Today she was called into the office to and she was given an investigatory interview for causing a disruption on the work floor. After 2 threats in a day she got disiplined. I don’t get it. We have called her bosses PUM, the postal PD, and tried to follow the chain of command with no help. How can I help my wife get relief. I have an extensive history management and the union side of things. I have never seen practices like this. I have at a lost for words with the obvious intent with no accountability. Thanks in advance for any advice.

    Kevin – first let me say that PEN is NOT a legal advice site nor a union advice site so we cannot advise you on this problem. If your wife is being threatened we believe she should report this to your local police department IF your local postmaster and union will not handle the situation.

    She may also want to contact the postal inspection service – here:

  6. melissa   February 12, 2015 at 12:51 pm

    I have been at post office for two months I have been given impossible deadlines, its never fast enough I never eat cause I don’t have time and I am never given a day off unless I am sick. I have been harassed repeatedly by other employees because I am not getting the route done quick enough and I have been shorted on two checks. do not work here please

  7. Shawna   February 13, 2015 at 8:22 am

    I am currently a CCA in Greensboro, NC. The unrealistic goals of the post office is just ridiculous. All they care about is looking good on paper. Employees don’t really matter to this place. If you want a life, don’t work here. I highly warn anyone considering working for the post office to research and really take in the comments of fellow and past employees. I sure wished I did.

  8. Martin Hayes   February 15, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    Maybe it would be better that the postal service be sold. That way the
    postal service would have to follow the laws like other companies. I have
    been treated with disrespect from management and the union officers,
    over 10 years and the union knows are part of it. Their is a conflict of interest with the union. That is because the union time is on postal money. They are not accountable for their time and don’t carrier there routes. I always say “if what I say is wrong or incorrect, respect is built
    with honestly. So if I say something and I am wrong , I feel you have a right to state you case. If your right , I will respect your opinion and change (wrong) my opinion. After all these years I don’t recall that happening in a long time.This is not written very good ( adhd) this is a problem that is got me very emotional with no help from union or management.

  9. John Bob   February 16, 2015 at 2:20 am

    Just started working here; after 3 days of actual letter carrier ‘training’, not counting the driving days, (more like lectures & campfire stories), I have reported for work. My last two days which were also my first have been horrendous.

    I moved from another state with a very secure job to pursue this employment with the USPS as I was told this was a great career opportunity, and that I possessed the skill-set necessary to do well.

    Being of strong body and capable mind I set out to make this happen, however, I have found that after the extremely limited and brief orientation I have been thrown into the mess of things with very little knowledge or preparation to make this a good career.

    There is no standard for carrying, as most of the carriers I have met each do so in their own different way. The company is in shambles, as employees are in constant competition with each other, and the management seems to hold itself apart.

    I’ve been on two different routes on my own so far, and although I work as hard as I can to achieve my goal of completing the route, I have not been able to make it through without depending on other carriers. I do not take lunches, or breaks, just to do as much as I can. When I asked some of the carriers who have relieved me of a portion of the route many have said to disregard safety practices to ease time constraints, use a ‘pee’ bottle, and not take breaks.

    Really let down by this organization. I have a child to support, I have left my career for this ‘opportunity’, and bills to pay. I will continue to do my best as honestly as I can without cutting corners, as that is simply not my nature. I do things honorably.

    However, as I cannot depend on this organization to provide me with the opportunity they promised I have already began looking for a new job in the area as frantically as possible. I highly advise anyone interested in this as a career path to seriously consider all other choices before this.

    The pay is tempting, and the promise of good hours, but the reality is the workplace is chaotic; you will be forced to fend for yourself from the get-go, and you will have no fair representation if you should need any inside this organization.

  10. Mona T.   February 19, 2015 at 11:07 am

    It really saddens me to read that people everywhere who works for this organization is experiencing the same thing, and yet and still, NOTHING is being done to change the atmosphere of this place. I wish I could say that life as a mailhandler in a Baltimore area post office was any better, but it is not. I have been a postal worker for the past 7 years and I am losing my mind. I was working on a B.S. degree when I started 7 years ago, and due to the stress of the environment, I have had to drop semesters, or take a class at a time. I hate to say that I am still working towards that degree to get away from that place. I have been injured doing my job and I’m in constant pain, and this company does not offer short/long term disability. It is so bad that my fiance is looking into finding another full time job so that I can quit this hell hole and focus on school full time so that I can move into a career that won’t physically or mentally drain me. If anyone is considering employment with the USPS, please understand we are not bitter or incompetent workers. The job is full of good, hardworking people; but we are so mistreated and it makes you angry and depressed. The comments the people are leaving are real, and I could go on an on with anecdotes from my location, but I won’t. Please seek employment elsewhere.

  11. Hope   February 21, 2015 at 7:29 pm

    It’s sad to see that so many have experienced these conditions all across the nation in the U.S.P.S. I have over 25 yrs. and I’ve been lied to, disrespected many times, discriminated against, sexually harassed numerous times, given unrealistic deadlines, shorted of pay & higher level pay and too many things to list. I’ve sustained many injuries and the health clinic the po sends you to works for them. They send you right back to work with your injury telling you that you are fine & minimize your work related injury. Management “rules” with intimidation & fear and most are just putting in their time till retirement. If I could turn back time, I would have never worked for this company. After all these years, I am broke up, depressed, stressed & unhappy. I have a family to support so I’m putting in the next 5 yrs. hope to get out and live my life. The LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Those that are in mgmnt or want to be, will try to steal your joy and it seems they their goal is to use you up then intimidate you into leaving. Meanwhile, they will step on anyone & do anything to move up the ladder & make more money. I wish those that ended their lives would have quit instead, as for the others keep hope alive that as workers begin to speak up there is hope for change for this organization. btw the Voice of the Employee survey omitted the comment section so employees are discouraged from voicing their concerns..

  12. Louis Hychko   February 23, 2015 at 4:45 pm

    I am new at the post office and can related to the abuse and lack of respect towards us as people. Pray for all the families. No disrespect to anyone but I need help trying to find a lawyer for a workers compensation claim and I don’t know where to turn.I am in the state of Ct.

  13. moe   February 25, 2015 at 1:47 pm

    My 1st day and I don’t think I will go tomorrow. If I do it’s to tell them that the job isn’t for me. Today I unloaded 4 cages if mail ALONE!!!! I am a very small girl, weigh about 110 pounds. There are like over 15 carriers (men) standing around watching but nobody offered to help yet they all complained about me taking long. I didn’t meet my post master until 10 minutes before it was time for me to leave and even then she only said about 10 words to me which was report to work the same time and I will be doing the same thing tomorrow. I had to go isn’t he bathroom 3 times to cry. That work environment is just so negative and unorganized. They don’t care about their employees all they care about is things getting done. They don’t care if you break your back while doing it they just want It to be done. Like I can describe it as best as I can but it’s something you has to experience or see to believe me. I literally rather clean crap off of a toilet. Today was seriously they worst day of my life.

    USPS and the unions do not allow employees to cross crafts – so, if any carriers were watching you they were not allowed to help you. If you were/are a mail handler then yes, USPS does expect you to do the job that you’re hired for by yourself. Sorry it did not work out and yes, working for USPS is MUCH harder than the public will ever know.

  14. cindy   February 26, 2015 at 8:50 am

    I am a postal support employee and have been with the USPS for 2 years now. Since I began I have been sent from post office to post office covering, while my supervisor does bargaining unit work at the post office I am assigned to. I’m constantly running because my supervisor does everything from po box, flats distribution tasks, etc. I recently complained and was threatened by my supervisor and postmaster. I involved the union and nothing has been done. I am upset and stressed out. I’m an Air Force Veteran and a very hard worker. This is unbelievable.

  15. Amanda   March 6, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    I’m a Rca and the post master told me today I’m bring disaplined for 6 months. What does that mean?

  16. Barb   March 23, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Wow. I didn’t think that this many people really understood why you shouldn’t work for the Post Office. I have been there a total of 31 years and it is waaayy worse now than 15 years ago. No customer service, no caring about the welfare of the people that go out and make the money for the upper management bringing home 6 figures. Management won’t let us “peons” get away with anything, but management can do whatever they want. Like right now, there is an employee working the workroom floor in an open-toed boot. In December, I was told I couldn’t step foot on Post Office property with a boot on, let alone come in the office and actually work. It really hurts too that the management bringing home 6 figures is one of the reasons we are in so much money trouble. Don’t have the money to buy us new scanners or even give us vehicles that work, but yes let the Post Office give a secretary to a POOM making 6 figures. (and the secretary is making the 6 figures too). DO NOT ever tell me that the Post Office isn’t making money. After the last 2 years and what I have seen and heard, we have money to burn. It just isn’t getting put to good use anywhere. All upper management wants to do is take, take, take and treat us like we are robots with no feelings, conscious or blood.

  17. Regular Letter Carrier   March 24, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I’m a regular carrier and been on the job 9 years, toxic is a perfect word to describe to the USPS workplace. And let me warn you that if you get hurt, even if it was caught on camera and it wasn’t your fault the Dept. Of labor will still find a way to deny your claim. I’ve never worked with such unprofessional people in my life, from manager to co workers. It looks like a juneveile detention center..
    And on top of it all, you put in 30 years or so and get a crappy $1500 pension for all those years of wear and tear and stress??? I think not, I’m ready to quit. I feel for the new low wages hires.

  18. Rjay   March 24, 2015 at 1:38 pm

    Someone pls help me find a better job! Im a RCA been working for this company since 2008 transfered to different offices trying to find management that makes any damn sense, have not found it yet. Im a Marine veteran the only job i could find when i got out, someone pls help me get out of this hell hole company!!! To much stress under appreciate lack of commonsense ahhhh crap is crazy. Too much idiots and backstabbers.

    Post edited by PEN for language.

  19. happy   March 29, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    I was just employed with the USPS as a PSE Sales/svcs distribution clerk in the Midwest. I worked for 86 (working) days and let go for “not being fast enough” and having poor attendance, because I took off two days due to asthma issues which i reported i had before i took the job. I understand it was my probationary period but c’mon, i can’t breathe, how am i to sort and distribute mail? The too slow thing is BS, because the one day the manager watched me I was taking care of 5 zip codes with between 50-75 carriers. I got the DPS trays on the shelves for everyone at 4 per stack (if not more) in under 3 hours. I had only been there 79 days at that point.

    I had hoped to return to the USPS, but i figured out that it is because I enjoyed the people I worked with that were not management. Management won’t let me return to my office.

    When they told me they were letting me go they wanted me to sign a Letter of Resignation on the spot so i could avoid being fired. I didn’t do it day of and have since decided that unless i got it in writing that they would not fight be on getting Unemployment Insurance then I’d rather be put down as fired for incompetance or whatever else they want to say about me.

    I will take my chances with finding a job with a single “fired” incident while still under probation.

    My previous job to the USPS? I worked for a company 10 years. The one before that? 4 years.

    I’m so disappointed by what has happened. But I’m moving on and chalking the incident up as a learning experience.

  20. Postal Pirate   March 29, 2015 at 5:53 pm

    Toxic is putting it mildly. I’ve been with the USPS for going on 11 years. Started out as a PTF Clerk and was excessed once, then the wonderful PostPlan displaced me yet again, only to open up another PTF clerk position now in the same exact office I got muscled out of. Now I have finally got a NTFT 40 hour position, but I have to drive over an hour one way to work in an office full of backstabbing gossips who get favorite treatment from the spineless managers. I used to love my job, but, now I am just praying for a quick fast forward to my retirement.

  21. Heidi L Blesch   April 6, 2015 at 12:13 pm

    I certainly hope some people lost their jobs over that incident! Are situations like this investigated?

  22. melissa   April 10, 2015 at 9:13 am

    I have been a rural carrier for 22 years, and I loved my job for years. It has been in the last 10 years that we watched the wonderful service deteriorate. Every year became a little harder, and the injuries were mounting because we were so short-handed we couldn’t keep healthy. We had people there with even more seniority than me unable to take vacation for the holidays, births, family outings, or any important function because we didn’t have the manpower to cover the routes. The demeanor of everyone began to change and it became almost unbearable. I just want a full compliment of workers so very deserving people can take off work when they need to so they can stay healthy and have a positive spirit for the customers!

  23. Angela   April 21, 2015 at 10:59 pm

    This job has been the worst that I have ever had. I have been a PSE for about seven months now and they abuse me as a worker and have made me feel dehumanized and exhausted every day. I only get one day off every two weeks, and my days off are spent in bed because I’m either so exhausted that I am sick, or I am so depressed and unmotivated to get up that I just don’t do it. I’m trying desperately hard to find another job, I just can’t take it anymore. Recently the other clerks were angry that my one day off fell on a Saturday so they decided to start rumors about me and have been treating me like a dog ever since then, since they felt that THEY should have had the Saturday off, like I had ever asked for it in the first place.

    I’ve been forced to work on torn ligaments in my foot, have pulled my shoulder, and my back pain is so bad that I find it hard to sleep most nights (and I’m only 25!). Since I started, I’ve been sent home three times for being so depressed that I’ve been caught crying in the break room with an inability to stop. I hate this job, and every day I hope that I get a call back for the others that I’ve applied for. Even with a Master’s degree, this is what I’ve got, and I don’t see any point in being alive if this is what my future is.

    Best advice I could ever give: don’t ever dare apply for this place unless you want to be turned into disposable machinery. I’m not considered a person here, just merely a tool to make the real people happy.

  24. Hal   April 22, 2015 at 6:46 am

    Unfortunately we are coming up to the infamous “Going Postal” 30 year anniversary of the Church St. shooting. Have there been any improvements? No. Fact is morale and environmental conditions have worsened.

  25. Kathy Whalen   April 22, 2015 at 6:31 pm

    29 years ago while being trained as a city carrier,the person training told me something I’ve never forgotten and has only gotten worse over the years.”This is the only job you will ever have that from the day you start until you retire,”THEY WILL TRY TO FIND A WAY TO FIRE YOU”.It was true 29yrs ago as it is today,if your new to USPS-RUN,RUN FAST!!!!

  26. freeze   April 22, 2015 at 8:42 pm

    I have been working as a PSE for the last 3 years. The thing that gets me is how PSE”s are treated like crap by some of the clerks we do the same job as the full time and PTF”s they act like there much better than us. Plus the union keeps telling us were gonna become career employees and some excuse always comes. I am blessed to have a job but if I was a little younger the USPS would be looking for another PSE.

  27. joan   April 22, 2015 at 9:08 pm

    I work at the USPS in Maine as a Mail handler casual. They make us wor six days twelve hr shifts. We’ve been doing that for a yr and an half. It’s getting tiedsome. I would guilt before I kill myself.

  28. Brooke   April 22, 2015 at 9:15 pm

    I was converted to a career employee in December 2014 from a PSE. I had only been with the postal service for 5 months. Dream come true, right?! Wrong! My supervisor was not happy about my conversion due to the fact it guaranteed me 29 hours in the office. She claimed the post office was wasting money on me. In February 2015, my kid was sick. I stayed home to take care of him. For the next week, she treated me like I was worthless. Nothing I did was right. She was snapping and screaming at me in front of my coworkers. She gave me my 60 day probationary review where she told me I would never improve. My job duties had not changed since my prior 90 day probation as a PSE. She also told me I made my bed and should lie in it for not coming to work when my child was sick. She could fire me at any time. I drove home that day and almost drove my car into a guard rail on the highway because I felt so badly about myself and how I had thrown away a career job. I called EAP. They helped get me back on track in my outlook on the situation, but my supervisor found out and fired me for deficiencies in my probation 15 days before I would have passed my probation. She is being removed from that post office, but will still be able to hurt others in another office. This is the third time she has been transferred for her treatment of her workers. Not sure why she has not been let go. And due to probation, I can not fight my termination. Every office I had ever helped out wished they could hire me because they said I was a smart, hard worker. Such a shame that some supervisors can play with people’s lives this way.

  29. Jim   April 22, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    I am a City Carrier with the USPS. Over the last few months, I have been on a detail that affords me the opportunity to see the postal service from behind the management curtain in several large offices in my area. The culture is indeed toxic. And it is fueled by the following.

    1. The adversarial relationship between the Unions and Management results in grievances. The grievance process has winners and losers. When management loses, they take it out on employees in other ways. When the Union loses, they take it out on management in other ways. Everything is always escalating.

    2. There are certain behaviors on both sides that should be contractually prohibited, but aren’t (or if they are, can not be practically enforced). Carriers use the lack of enforceable performance standards to stick it to management. Management verbally harasses carriers. They use their unilateral authority to schedule carriers as a means to punish employees they dislike.

    3. Carriers are working too many hours. This is largely a result of the inability to staff properly. New employees have no ability to limit their own hours during their first 90 days. Not even the legal 60 hour limit can be applied because if they protest the insane hours, they can be fired without cause. After the 90 days, they can at least enforce the 60 hour rule, but this often results in them being scheduled 7 days a week (yes, we deliver parcels on Sunday now).

    4. Management can not staff many offices properly. New, part time, postal employees are paid a hair about $15.50 in my craft. And for many that seems like a very nice wage. Until you realize that you have to work 7 days a week. 10 hour days 6 days a week and come in on Sunday mornings for 4-5 hours, too. On top of that, when the USPS sends out 75 interview invitations to people who passed the carrier exam, only 5-6 show up, and of those, half are excluded by their driving records. The others get hired regardless of qualifications and of those 80% quit or are fired within 90 days of starting.

    5. Of those carriers who are fired, many are never given a real chance. After 90 days you can basically work for the USPS for the rest of your life if you keep your nose relatively clean. So management fires people a LOT during that period. It is their only chance to get rid of the bad apples. In my opinion, both the USPS and the Unions would be well-served by extending the probationary period to 18 months.

    6. The standards applied to carriers are arbitrary. Management documents everything, but they don’t understand the data they are looking at. The computer tells them when carriers are supposed to be done and without applying any local knowledge they are encouraged to regurgitate the computers estimates without consideration. Carriers hear these standards demanded again and can not achieve them even working as hard as they can. They are made to feel deficient without cause. Meanwhile other carriers who understand how to work the system have lackadaisical days and are left alone.

    7. Supervisors are not promoted for demonstrating leadership. The selection process for Supervisors right now in the 2 largest offices in my district are effectively to approach every single part time employee and ask them if they are interested in management and promote them to 204B.

    8. Most Union employees will not take a management job with the USPS if offered. And even fewer stay in the positions after they realize what is involved. The CCA’s who are promoted to supervisor positions are paid the same as if they were carriers. Any regular carrier who wants to make more money can place their name on the Overtime Desired List and make MORE money than a Supervisor while working fewer hours. Supervisors work the worst hours and are treated even worse than carriers by their bosses. Then that mistreatment trickles down to the work room floor.

    How would I fix the problems?

    1. Starting employees with the USPS need to be paid more. At the very least, they need to get insurance and 2 weeks of paid vacation.

    2. No employee should work more than 11 days in any 2 week period. Period.

    3. Supervisors should make enough money more than a carrier that they have to think about turning down a supervisor job.

    4. Supervisor jobs should be merit based. All employees should be tested and measured based on established published quantifiable traits and a written test to select smart leaders with the character attributes a Fortune 500 company would look for. Not toadies and ‘Yes’ men. Not a good ol’ boys club.

    5. Supervisors should not be drawn from new employees. 5 years minimum before you can apply.

    6. Supervisors should be trained to treat all employees with dignity and respect at all times. A good supervisor told me the other day that he treats all new employees like he is trying to turn them into a 30 year employee. 30 year employees should be treated with reverence.

    7. Extend the probationary period to 18 months. No one can “fake” it for that period of time. A 30 year career shouldn’t be flushed down the toilet in day 85 because someone can’t carry heavy routes in 8 hours. This is not an easy job. And sometimes it can be quite hard.

  30. Postal   April 22, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Postmaster General Meghan Brennan needs to read these comments. This is what your workforce has been reduced to, PMG…..broken men and women. Humilated, ridiculed, belittled and demeaned.

    Mgmt has made the job so unbearable. You want to right the ship? Stop closing facilities and start taking care of your workers

  31. Michael   April 22, 2015 at 10:31 pm

    I needed to take a disability retirement after many years of abuse while performing my shop steward duties. I was “removed” for carrying an empty cup if coffee, reading the bulletin board before work and 30 other ridiculous reasons. Saved my sanity and I’m getting a pension. It’s hard to live on ….but at least I didn’t have a stroke or other serious illness worse than the ptsd and depression.

  32. Johnny Criss   April 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Kenneth Smith,

    You have a lot of rights as a veteran, especially if you’re a disabled veteran. You need to go in and speak to the Union about it

  33. Isaac   April 22, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    I am a veteran and I have worked for the Us Postal service for almost 22 years. I have never been hurt and I had always followed managements orders. I transferred from Nyc to south florida for family reasons. I hurt my lower back delivering a route, I used up all 400 hours of sick leave before i was granted workers compensation. I returned to work and continue to work for almost an entire year not know i had a herniated disc and budging disc. The doctor put me on home rest. In lest than 30 days i had postal inspectors spying on me. I went to all my appointments and returned home. I was gaining weight fast so 2 doctors suggested i do home exercises (not being specific) i bought a lawn mower and tried to mow my lawn. I was called back to work and then placed on a 16.7 suspension. I now have been on this 16.7 suspension for 2 months and yet the post office or union have resolve my issue. I recently went into a formal step A. and management asked the union they needed a little more time investigating that was two weeks ago… I honestly dont know which direction i should go….if anyone is reading this please e mail me at for suggestions…ty

  34. Beee   April 23, 2015 at 12:00 am

    I really wish I had done my research before I took this job. I work at Morgan PDC and it’s terrible. You are harassed, watched and always in pain. Will be resigning soon in fear I will get the “postal limp”.

  35. Arlene   April 23, 2015 at 12:07 am

    When I started with the Post Office in 1979,it was an awesome job. We were about customer service and had a pride of working there. It was even fun! I retired in July of last year due to the high levels of stress. I was a Supervisor for the last seven years and I treated my carriers and clerks with respect. It became hard watching hard working employees giving their all and it was never good enough. I knew that it was time to retire when I hated the thought of going to work and the stress that I received was more than I could bear. I pray that changes are made soon as I have a daughter who is a carrier and has many years left.

  36. Kim   April 23, 2015 at 5:04 am

    Ive been a carier for 20 years. And would recommend this job to NOBODY! Its all about what looks good on paper. Go faster, do more but don’t take any extra time to do it. Lunch break? Yea right. Eat while I drive. Moral in the office? Its at an all time low. Get hurt on the job? Be prepared to get disciplined. The more they push, the more accidents happen. The more accidents, the more employees out. The more employees out, the more they push the rest of us. The more they push, the more accidents. And around and around it goes.

  37. Susan Miracle   April 23, 2015 at 8:46 am

    I was the third female mailhandler hired in the plant. I had an outstanding supervisor. I worked hard so no male could say ” She gets paid the same as I do, why do I need to help her?”
    My supervisor became my mentor. I moved up in the PO. I respected the plant managers and they respected me. I had opportunities one wouldn’t believe. I loved my job.
    I received monetary awards.
    The after 20 years the area decided we were to homegrown. We all started at the plant and moved up, so we couldn’t possibly think out of the box.
    The new district manager over my plant manager was a control freak. I did what was asked and he said I could ask for anything I wanted.
    I asked to talk with him as he would come into the plant and tell me one thing and the next day the plant manager would ask why I did so and so.
    He got upset and three days after praising me, sent an e-mail stating he was going to take me off the PECES list as I couldn’t do my job.
    My plant manager retired. He brought in one from out of state. They must have talked about who needed to go.
    It was review time. ( four months after she came) This is what I was told.” I was going to give you a does not meet expectations but looked at your OPF. I see you have had 6 putstanding merits in a row and received cash awards. It’s a little hard to do what I want as I can not justify it. However, next year when you don’t make your goals, you will get a does not meet and two of those and your out.” I hadn’t received the following years goals as of that time but she knew I wasn’t going to make them.
    It got so bad, that my immediate supervisor( that came on the coat tails of the Sr. Plant mgr. ) would call me when the plant manager came on the floor to tell me to go to lunch and get out of the building.
    Luckily, believe it or not, I found out I had a severe vascular disease and got disability.

    From 22 years of loving my job, to being grateful for pain and surgery, getting disability to maintain an income.
    Within 14 months after the new arrivals that thought outside the box, our scores dropped terribly, and 10 upper managers transferred, or retired. Even the Sr. plant manager’s sec. quit with 15 yrs. service.

  38. Joe   April 23, 2015 at 10:22 am

    This is what you get when you try to run a worldwide multi-billion dollar operation with mostly just high school graduates or GED equivalent managers!!

  39. Joe   April 23, 2015 at 10:54 am

    I’ve been a carrier for 28 hrs. Mgmnt truly does not give a crP about us. My supervisors boss is the most despicable smug Jerk offI’ve ever known. My secret to tolerating this whole environment is earbuds turned up loud. Good bye stress. If u choose to let it bother u then quit and I wouldn’t blame you. They suck and we don’t. O yeah

  40. Sally   April 23, 2015 at 11:17 am

    I am a PSE in an RMPO. There are 6 Post offices within our group. The APO Post Master does not come to work. I only receive 24 hours a week at my office. I have been begging for additional hours at the APO. RCA’s are running rampant there. They are doing clerk’s job and working the window, getting overtime. We have no supervisor. I reported this to my POOM and nothing was done. I have contacted my Union rep for the hours the RCA’s are using as clerks. I am struggling financially on 24 hours a week, fighting for my rights is affecting my health. I am on blood pressure and stomach medication now.

  41. Kristle   April 23, 2015 at 5:41 pm

    The Post office is the dirtiest most disgusting place to work. Management wants you to fail. They love to fire people and tell them how stupid and useless they are. Management lies straight to your face, they will tell you that you have 30min undertime on your route and give you a 45min extra and not allow travel time or unfamiliarty. The paper they are reading off of actuall says you have 3omin overtime on your route. I have seen it after i was lied to. The trucks barely run, are filthy, leak water when it rains usually on the seats you have to sit on, soaking wet. There is mold and fungus and the exhaust leaks inside. There is no hot water in the restrooms, toilet paper or towels, and they are beyond dirty. There are never enough rubberbands or dolleys to go around nor any other basic tools you need to do the job.The managers and Postmaster act like the devil on steriods. They lie, cheat, and steal your time on your clock rings. New Carriers are intimidated to NOT take their lunch breaks, breaks or stop to urinate. THis creates false performance times that will haunt you. Take your time People. Take your breaks, your are PAYING THEM by not doing so. Yes the Union doesn’t quite do their job in instances of carrier to carrier altercations. I know, I was a victim of a fellow carrier stalker, who turned it around and blamed me as a crazy B#$*(h It is the good ol’ boys club and nepotism is like incest there. The worst people get promoted while the good ones are subjected to torture beyond your wildest imagination. If Prisoners were made to work for the post office, Every ACLU, etc, would step in and say it was cruel and injust punishment. Those trucks are so hot, the floor gets to over 130″ in the summer. Yes, I put a thermometer, there. My feet were on FIRE! There are no shelves or a way to organize the truck, it looks like a mess. Management goes around watching you while you deliver and will stop you and look inside of the truck and write you up for a messy,unorganized truck. YES!!! You have to sort all your letter and packages that you pick up when you get back. You are allowed less than 5 mintues, which is impossible to unload your truck, do that and return your accountables, etc, then run to the dirty bathroom.Everyday Management will change their mind on “rules” if it’s your day off and you miss that verbally and do it the next day, you are written up. They are crazy, and you go down for it. No matter how many EEO’s and grievances a PM has it is viewed by the PO as badges of honor. Postmaster’s have even been found guilty of changing employees time cards to eliminate overtime…Yes!!! and when these PM are found guilty, they are NOT fired, no, they are sent to another PO, and they do it AGAIN!. Like I said Badges of Honor. How could anyone not get sick there???? HORRIBLE HORRIBLE HORRIBLE PLACE AND IT IS GETTING WORSE EVERY SINGE MINUTE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 60 MINUTES OR?? SHOULD GO UNDERCOVER AND REPORT THIS….PLEASE!!!!

  42. anonymous   April 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm

    Well obviously something is wrong since my station just had a carrier put everyone on the ground with a loaded 9 mm this past Monday!!! He was loading his llv then came back in demanding everyone to the ground…The most quiet non confrontational person with no criminal history and has officially ruined his life now not to mention traumatized the whole station!!

  43. Linda   April 23, 2015 at 8:23 pm

    This is the very reason I took an early out from the Postal Service back in Dec., 2008. The stress from retaliatory actions by managers and the “good old boy” complex of their Union cronies had my blood pressure up to 180/100 and the constant threats of disciplinary action for taking sick leave due to my Lupus and COPD (even with FMLA papers on file) — well, I had had enough. The last straw on this was when I was hospitalized for pneumonia and my supervisor called me IN THE HOSPITAL on Thursday and told me that if I didn’t work the upcoming holiday on Monday, I would be considered AWOL and subject to disciplinary action. This is what today’s postal workers have to put up with. Luckily, I was old enough and had the service time in to retire early. I can’t say what the outcome would have been if I hadn’t. . . but I can say it wouldn’t have been good.

  44. John Mullins   April 23, 2015 at 8:27 pm

    The only way this treatment will ever stop is to go to your congressman with your story and hire an good Attorney . Not an Attorney that someone with in the postal service recommends . And don’t think the union is there to help you . They are as poorly qualified as management and lets be honest , the Union works hand and hand with management.
    Our plant in Louisville Ky. is pathetic . I have been retired for two years but I still care about my old friends there . And some of the things that go on there make me sick .
    The real problem is that there is No Accountibility .
    Please , hire a really good Attorney , go to your Congressman and get this [edited by PEN] Stoped
    There is a very good reason that there is a term ” GOING POSTAL “

  45. Whitney Wallace   April 23, 2015 at 9:27 pm

    The orders from on high need to change. Let us help customers, but also let us take no ***** either. I just think of it all as a test. If I do my best and live to see tomorrow, I pass. If it’s not one thing it’s another. Why waste brain cells on getting worked up? There are FAR MORE toxic environments to work in. For me, the benefits outweigh the toxins. Anyone who feels otherwise should quit. No one should hurt themselves over a job.

    Edited by PEN for language.

  46. Mas   April 23, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    At the station where I use to carry from in NO Ohio most of the carriers are treated like Rodney…”No respect”. I’ve been with the PO since 11/2003. 20 year military service prior to that ( 14 of those with Marine Corps infantry). I am not a stranger to hard work and long days. During my 90, station manager planned to fire me ( had issues with undeserving retired military) on day 89, but announced it on 92 due to his vacation. I was assigned to a route that was1hr out of adjustment until I made regular in 2006, and subsequently adjusted by a regular. Since then management seems to have painted a target on me, creating undue stress through unreasonable expectations, false accusations and demeaning treatment. I have been up for removal 2x, and now awaiting 2nd round of arbitration. What I find most disconcerning is that management has no leadership training, requirements or qualitative evaluation standard. Nor are they held accountable for thier wrongs. I am sure they (mngmt) will tell you otherwise. Reassignment to another facility in the same capacity is not accountability. Also CCAs with at least 90 days can become a supervisor. Would that be considered qualitative leadership anywhere else in the business world.
    It has also been my experience that more than a few supv’s and mngr’s were substandard as carriers and opted for management. Please don’t get me wrong on this. I am not saying that there are not good supv’s and mngr’s out there, because I have met a few. But, I have observed on too many occasions, childishly immature clickish behavior from the people appointed authority over me. Persons whom have gained favor with management ( and not because of WORK performance) are rarely disciplined and get preferential treatment, while hard workers who happen to get on the wrong side of management, and not necessarily for work performance, are ridden and harrassed into removal for any reason they can make stick due to lack of evidence. What I mean by this is that management will manufacture a vague accusation and pick an article in the RRM that, even if not supporting thier claim, is based on thier interpretation, to which no one has witnessed otherwise.
    My customers love me and constantly comment on my courteous and professional service and the pride with which I perform it. This is not however considered in managements reasoning for removal. Nor is there any thought given to the poorest of quality equipment they give us to do the job. One that they either haven’t or won’t do. I know this to be true because I have been told so on occasion by supv’s as well as fellow carriers stating the same.
    After reading this article ( pub’d in 2010 ), I wonder when will the necessary change in management practices come, or do we have to reach some unknown number of “going postal” events before change is enacted.

  47. Kurt D. Reineck   April 24, 2015 at 1:49 pm

    I retired as soon as I could partially due to work environment. I think the employees who bust butt to achieve corporate goals are completely under appreciated by upper management. Leaving them frustrated covering work that should have been done by another employee with minimal effort. The USPS allows for many substandard emloyees to thrive and flourish. Standards are high and sometimes were unrealistic, but compensation is high also. I saw way too little effort from many employees they ignored the productivity standards. Often the employees who cared were the frustrated ones

  48. Dandy   April 24, 2015 at 3:16 pm

    I worked for them for 6 1/2 years and I am glad I got out when I did! I do have to say that when I started we had 2 supervisors that did appreciate what you did for them and they always returned the favor. Everything was always rushed by mgmnt and if you did rush you got yelled at by fellow carriers because your running their routes……..Damn if you do damn if you don’t kinda ordeal. Some of the other carriers in my office were like children, I got called into the PM office because I had parfume on…SMH. Then our office was investigated by postal police because 1 married woman started sleeping around with a whole bunch of the married men in the office. I’m telling ya you can’t script this stuff! But my over all experience with the PO was terrible! I also have 2 herniated discs in my back because of that place and never once received one dime of compensation from them. And then good luck trying to find a lawyer that will take on a federal work men’s comp case- NO ONE WILL DO IT!! The PO is a pathetic, horrible, jail term that I served 6 1/2 years at!! Good luck to anybody that us still working there or is going to work there.

  49. Erock   April 24, 2015 at 6:11 pm

    As a mailhandler in one of the plants out west, I can confirm it’s just getting worse and worse in the PO. We had a supervisor get caught red handed altering clock rings, nothing happened to him. Fellow employees bickering and gossiping like children, management showing up just for the check. I’m actually looking forward to privatization. These people need to meet reality.

  50. happy   April 24, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    i have worked for the post office for 24 years. i love my job.
    yes i see many disgruntled people at work and they tend to poison their coworkers who then become disgruntled. I think most of it come from them not being happy with themselves.
    its a job to make money not your life.
    i don’t have a collage degree just barely made it through high school and i make $60,000 a year with no OT. i feel i hit the jack pot.
    yes some of the supervisors and managers are worthless, but at the time no one else applied and they got picked. or it was some secret handshake. I found it best to forget what others are doing or not doing. do your 8 and go home to your family and enjoy time with them. But if you start spending your day looking at others not working you start to bread hate inside yourself and become one of them. life is what you make of it.

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