Casual Mail Handler/Clerk/Garage Attendant (Former Employee) – San Jose, CA 1750 Lundy Ave 95101 – August 6, 2012
A typical day was gaining knowledge, experience, skills, and wisdom to work in a General Mail Facility via sorting mail and parcels on a mailroom floor, learning how to repair Federal Government vehicles in Fleet Operations. The Postal Service has always taught me that there is no competition when it comes to actually getting down and doing the work.
General Office Clerk, Tour One (overnight) (Former Employee) – Harrisburg, PA – August 15, 2013
In the 1980s when I began my career at the USPS, there weren't very many automated mail processing machines in use. The jobs were mostly manually worked mail positions. I began on an existing machine, the MPLSM (multi-position letter sorting machine) and the atmosphere was congenial despite 7 day 12 hour work shifts. The Postal Service began to become threatened by privatization and began frenzied attempts to automate, streamline and become more budget oriented especially when they became non-federal and the overall atmosphere began to change.
I successfully bid the job of General Office Clerk in 1995 and held that job until it was abolished in 2010. Typical nights meant that I was responsible for originating and maintaining Postal forms, annual leave books, staffing books, overtime desired books; generating outgoing correspondence; telephoning employees for overtime; answering all in-house and customer telephone calls; paging employees and supervisors; pulling data from automated machines; working as a liason between management and the unions; working all in-house official mail; ordering, distributing and keeping count of all on-hand supplies; canvassing employees for holiday staffing; all filing and maintaining necessary forms; directing visitors, customers and employees to the proper departments or people; and assisting the Manager of Distribution Operations on Tour One (overnight) with any and all tasks when needed.
After the General Office Clerk job was abolished, I bid a City Section manual position which mainly involved sorting letters and flats, tying them out andmore... sending them to the proper trucks for dispatch. At this time i was diagnosed with severe Type 2 Diabetes. Since the manual section didn't involve a lot of physical activity, my diabetes was controlled by medication.
In 2011, I bid a job on the FSM (flat sorting machine) which involved heavy physical activity. In this position I had to walk/stand/run approximately 7 miles per night; load mail into the machine; sweep mail out of the sorted bins and load them into the appropriate containers for dispatch; push and pull containers weighing upward of 500 pounds, bend, stretch, lift, throw, lable and scan barcodes. I lost a great deal of weight in a very short time while in this position and my diabetes became out of control. I was taken off all medications and was instructed to try to control it with nutrition. I was having severe hypoglycemic "lows" and contracted many communicable diseases, as well. It was the burden of the Postal Service to offer me "reasonable accommodations" to help me gain control over my disease. I was unaware of the Americans with Disabilities Act and i was also unaware that there was an "Accommodations Committee" at the Postal Service. The USPS never made me aware of these options and, when counseled for my sick leave by my immediate supervisor and I asked to talk to him about it, he told me to "shoot myself." I was removed from the USPS in May of 2013 for sick leave. As I stated, it was unlawful, and, being a union position it is being grieved after having been denied at Step 2, it is now at arbitration.
Whether or not I am offered my job back, I will choose to retire from the USPS after almost 30 years. It has become a very hostile work environment. Managers and supervisors come and go very quickly and they ignore Contract rules and safety rules, as well. Very many people who were not planning on retiring or quitting have felt pressured enough to leave their jobs. Incidents and altercations happen almost daily. I have been in contact with Postmaster General Pat Donohoe, Congressmen, the American Diabetes Association and the Americans with Disabilities Act personnel.
All in all, my experience with the Postal Service was always stressful because of the continual fear of competitors and the pressure of management, but generally co-workers, supervisors and managers were always wonderful to work with. It was a well-paying job and gave me a sense of pride to work for what I considered to be an American institution with such a great and rich history. I learned to be a very fast team player and I got a great sense of accomplishment when the mail "made" the trucks in the morning. I was continually astonished with the vast amount of knowledge I could retain and the masses of mail I could move rapidly and accurately and within the time constraints. It was a bittersweet experience.less
well paying position, great co-workers, manager became my best friend and was a joy to work with and for.
harrassment, continual fear of job loss, two very short breaks and a half hour lunch per shift, insane pressure to produce with understaffed, contract ignoring, unsafely short-staffed machines, non-compliance with osha regulations.
Overworked employees/Lack of organization and training available/Incompetent Union
City Carrier Assistant 2 (Former Employee) – Corpus Christi, TX – June 18, 2015
A typical day is getting a call at 8am-10 am to let you know what station you are working at and what time to arrive. Dress according to weather, arrive at station, get map, phone number of supervisor, scan barcode of route, load up LOV truck with mail and organize packages and you must deliver urgent mail/packages first. Sometimes you must use your own vehicle. When you come back from delivering sometimes you pick up another route or you go home early. Average hours per day guaranteed is 4hours, this pertains to using your annual leave as well. If I am sick I can only use 4 hours of my annual time for that day instead of 8 hours. Overall worst experience, I got blisters on my feet from walking and had to walk in wet grass so blisters took weeks to heal. You do not get uniform allowance until after 90 days and it may take longer. I also got bit by a dog, it took management weeks before I found out if dog actually had rabies. I was never compensated for my injury and still have scar. I got diarrhea on driving route and began throwing up. I got yelled at by management and told I must have doctors excuse and it better be an emergency. I returned with Dr. excuse from ER. I was given an IV for dehydration. I returned and thought I made my 90 days because I was never given an evaluation prior to 90 days. I was told by a person who was not a supervisor that I should resign because they had no hours available and this was the reason that they were going to another station. A few days after my 90 days I was fired due to poor performance although I was meeting my time on every route,more... Since an evaluation was not recently done they based their decision on the very first coaching I got my first month there. I improved greatly after my feet healed, never called off, did not take my lunch, even urinated on myself from holding it too long trying to finish my route and meet my time. I was told by post master that I would come back, Union would fight for me but I would most likely not return to my station. Union took forever to call me back and just told me to talk to office, they could not do anything for me. I found out the union president was on vacation in Hawaii, so I guess I paid my union dues for nothing. I spoke to a Human Resource member about being laid off and they told me I had no rights because I was a temp and signed a At Will contract. I asked about my last check that I had not received and she was surprised they never took me off payroll and I would receive it in 3 more weeks. It has been 2 months since I got laid off and I have not received my check. I keep in touch with my ex co-workers and they look like they are wasting away, overworked skinny, dark from being in sun and told me they are now working 7 days a week because of new contract with Amazon. My other co-worker did not make it either, she hurt her knee jumping in and out of truck. Not to mention my brakes went out several times and truck turned off in traffic after I called incident in and manager shrugged it off until he was directing traffic. It could be worse, it could have set on fire like my coworkers truck. Oh and the new vans are hazardous with their blind spots with side windows being covered. Every time it rains or is really hot outside I pray for my fellow co-workers and pray they do not get skin cancer like one of the women who no longer carries and is now a mail clerk. I guess the post office will use you one way or another. And to all the women, its tough because you sweat your make up off, get rashes from walking, they fail to mention this in training to wear boyshorts, no time to change pad and no bathrooms so you run risk of UTI's /bladder infection. Not to mention all the harassment from the male customers. Well I definitely appreciate my mailman or mail woman after my experience working there.less
come in after 8am, federal job, qualify for Obama student debt relief, get employee discounts
working in extreme heat, rain, dog attacks, skin cancer, mosquitoes, using your own vehicle, no hours available to work
If You Want No Life Outside of Your Job, Become a City Carrier Assistant!
City Carrier Assistant (Former Employee) – Springfield, Missouri – February 26, 2014
A typical day as a City Carrier Assistant for the US Postal Service is exactly what you think it might be. You arrive at work by 7:15 AM (if you have to case your mail), 9:00 AM if you are just carrying your mail. Then, you load your mail into your LLV or FFV and hit the streets, rain, sleet, or snow. A typical day usually ends between 4:30 - 5:45 PM.
The co-workers were probably the best part about this position. They are all great people, and will help you with anything. This is what I will miss the most about the US Postal Service.
For me, three things stood out as the most negative aspects of being a City Carrier Assistant. First, one of the worst parts of the job was the poor communication. For a federal government position, it's poorly managed. In my case I was told three different reporting times for the same day during my training period. I was also not given the opportunity to give my current employer two weeks notice, even though I was assured I would, before starting with the US Postal Service. In my case, I received a letter stating "Not to give notice to my current employer," and two days later (on a Friday) I received another later telling me I was starting training that Tuesday! We would have likely started training that Monday, but the Postal Service was observing the President's Day holiday. Thankfully my current employer was much more understanding and flexible than the US Postal Service, so I was able to retain my position I almost vacated. Second, was the totally antiquated working conditions and equipment. In my case, my office was dirty and was told onmore... my first day by management that it had a, "Brown Recluse infestation" problem. For those of you reading this who are unaware, the Brown Recluse is a venomous spider native to Missouri and the Midwest. Until you receive your uniform allowance you are encouraged to wear stained, old hand-me-down uniforms that have been left at your office. Good luck finding something that fits you properly for a job that requires you to be out in all types of weather elements! Also, your tiny uniform allowance will not even begin to cover the equipment you will actually need to perform this job comfortably. Expect to use your own money to get properly outfitted. The vehicles do not get any better. Loose transmissions and steering, high mileage, and old. They are also just as filthy as your office will likely be. Last, and probably the most important thing to consider when making the decision if a City Carrier Assistant is the right career path for you is the total commitment you must have to the US Postal Service. If you are reading this review and considering becoming a City Carrier Assistant, please heed this warning! I made the mistake of not taking the reviews to heart and turned down the wrong job offer! As a City Carrier Assistant you are expected to be at work 6 days a week, 8 to 10 hours a day, period! There is little to no flexibility for other obligations, such as school, medical appointments, secondary employment, illness, etc. Also, on the occasion that you anticipate enjoying an extra day off due to the Postal Service observing a federal holiday, think again. You (CCA's) are sometimes asked to come in and work on those days as well, and by asked I mean told to do so by management. As a City Carrier Assistant you do not enjoy the benefits that "Career Employees" enjoy, such as a 5 day work week, health benefits, etc. Your tenure as a City Carrier Assistant before getting a "Career Position" is indefinite. There are CCA's and RCA's (Rural Carrier Assistants) who have been waiting for a "Career Position" for 10+ years! The US Postal Service is a union position, so it's all based on seniority. So, if you're low man on the totem pole, good luck! Bottom Line - If you enjoy being married to your job with little time for yourself, then by all means become a City Carrier Assistant! If you have any reservations about any of the above stated, then continue your search.less
great pay, great co-workers
married to your job, no benefits, no time off, extremly antiquated working conditions and equipment
CCA (Former Employee) – Dallas, TX – November 15, 2014
A typical day at work consists of management telling you what time you come in the following day. This is of course if you are barely getting your foot in the door. You get hired as a CCA, you basically help deliver the mail. You go to orientation, you learn nothing. You then go to "academy" which you learn meanings and how to sort mail, but that is not enough time (2 days). You then go to get trained (2days) of driver training. The day you go to your station you get placed with another carrier to learn the basics. The following day you carry some of that route, then the third day you are on your own.
Management is horrendous they only care about numbers and focused on not having upper management bark at them. Some times are not doable. You are told to return to the station at 6 no later. why? because they refuse to pay the overtime. from 9am-6pm. Your lunches are 30 minutes which is automatically deducted off your time so you might as well be doing good on your route and take your lunch if not then you will have to snack during delivering on your route. Weather makes this job terrible. practically all of the mail gets wet and fingering the mail gets terrible in the rain. If you slip and fall and sprain your ankle? Management will not care. Majority of management has never carried mail. The mail will get delivered no matter what. There is no excuse if you have sick folks, or a family emergency they will not give you the day off to attend a funeral. You can defecate on your pants they still would want you to deliver this mail without you getting a chance to clean yourself upmore... and go back to do so.
Co workers make the place much better you only see them for an hour or two a day though. Everyone at a station will be glad to help you out or give you their cell # because management will not send you help if you are behind on your time. Co-workers will give you extra pair of pants or shirt or hat if they have a spare because going to the Union Hall is only Monday - Friday 8am-5pm. You will not have any time to make it there to get donated clothes.
You are set to work 360 days after that you are given 5 days of "vacation" and then you start to work again. You are on 90 day probation, or 120 days. Once you worked those days you get a debit card with $400 to use for uniform and gear. You will walk 12 miles a day. You will encounter anything, dogs, bees, snakes in mailboxes.
No matter how fast you work if you finish early there is no going home early you get a help slip of 1hr 30mins to keep going until 6pm. So if your route is 6hrs long or 7 1/2 hrs long and you finish early they will add additional hour or 30mins to that route and you end up screwing yourself over. Deliver are your own pace. It doesn't matter how hard of a worker you are or how fast because everything seniority so unless someone from that station is retiring and you are up next to bid on his route then you will finally FINALLY land permanent and get benefits. If you are lucky that can be within your 90 days otherwise it can take 1 or 3 years to even get benefits.
If you do not deliver an Express mail that you are having to deliver that day by noon then that $20 that customer paid will be refunded back to them by you from your pocket.
Hardest part of the job honestly was walking 12 miles daily, but it gets easier as your body gets used to it. DOGS!!! I cannot stress this enough DOGS! Delivering in RAIN and HOT HUMID WEATHER.
Most enjoyable part of the day was lunch. you have those 30 mins to yourself.less
co - workers, pay, benefits if you can last there and get them
delivering in bad weather. management. workload. dogs, bees, snakes
Don't do it! I mean, if you like working somewhere where you are unappreciated and feel like there is no separation between your personal life and work, go work for USPS. I have been here for going on a year soon and let me tell you, I hate it! The only thing that's keeping me from moving on is the money. You will make a good amount of money every month, but what comes with it isn't worth it for me. I have chronic condition (that was acquired from this job) that makes walking hard and very painful and obviously you will walk everyday as a CCA because all the good routes (mounted) are taken by the regulars. Be aware that you will get the routes nobody wants. So now having this issue with my feet, upon speaking with a dr, I was told that I will always have this problem now. I never had a problem with my feet before starting this job so I have to live with this forever. Management doesn't really care about you. I even spoke with union reps about being harassed by a supervisor and nothing was done.They call you all the time while you are not on the clock and will get mad if you don't answer or call back. Personally, once I'm off the clock, what I do is none of your business as long as it doesn't directly affect them or the company, but they don't see it that way. If you have small children, this job is not for you. You will miss every important school dance, or parent teacher conference, not to mention if you don't have a babysitter... You work long hours, sometimes 10, 6-7 days a week. 7 during the holidays which I was not informed about during my interview and as you can imagine,more... it is so hard on your body. There was even an instance that there wasn't a vehicle for me to use and they sent me an hour away to work, and I had to use my own and I was NOT okay with that! Was anything done? No. They sugar coat a lot of stuff to get you to come work for them, but that will quickly go out the window. It really is miserable and having been a carrier, I respect them all now that I know what they deal with. Not to mention the conditions you work in. Intense heat in the summer and intense cold in the winter and as a CCA your uniform allowance will not cover the necessities. I maybe got 2 pairs of winter weight pants, a sweater, some boots, and that's it for $399. That doesn't even begin to cover everything you'll need for the winter. So you will be coming out of your pocket for the rest, which a good postal winter coat runs about $250. Trust me, it's not what you think it is. Upon starting also, you will train with a person for 3 days, after that, you're on your own and trust me, you will not know what you are doing. It's much more than just putting mail in a box. Oh, and they don't even train you casing so when you finally do case a route, you'll have no idea what you're doing. They work you to death and don't care about you at all. You do not get benefits as a CCA and you make significantly less than regular carriers who work 5 days a week, 8 hours a day while you work 6 days (regularly, 7 during holidays) and up to 10 hours a day. So thank your mail carrier when you see them, you have no idea what they go through. Especially if you live on an auxiliary route, one that has no regular carrier. When you see a carrier, that is most likely a CCA filling in. Please tell them thank you because we work the hardest, the most hours, and get the least amount of recognition. It is not as glamorous or easy as you think.less
Postal Carrier/ Career Carrier Assistant (Current Employee) – Kingston, MA – April 18, 2014
If you are considering a "career" as a Postal Employee, have your head examined. The lure of the internet postings stating 51K a year and Fed bennies is a scam. Although when I was hired in 2012 I made 22.50 ph, no bennies. Two months latter they reduced my pay to 16.25 ph, they never mentioned that in hiring. You will start at 15 dollars ph as a career carrier assistant. Your job is to make it easier on the career carrier. (Remember they make twice as much as you and have those bennies). You will deliver every route that the career carrier does not want to deliver. You see?, the only routes you get are the ones not covered by a career carrier who could make time and half. They don't want it, you get it. You will drive in an oven in the summer, a freezer in the winter. You will not have a five day week. In order to make forty hours they design it so you have between 35 37 hours by Friday. CCAs must work when scheduled. MUST. Conversely, the Post Office, fully accepted by the Union, only has to be liable for 2, TWO, hours a week to the CCA. No work, no money. You complain, you won't work tomorrow. You do not get paid for holidays. When everyone has a 3 day weekend you lost a days pay.Then you know you are going to work Saturday. Because of the economic situation, over the last few years, the Post Office has a never ending supply of these lower caste workers. Chew them up spit them out, order another. If you don't like it, well that's the way it is. You will work every route in the town, and better know it like a career employee. When career employees take vacation, you may havemore... their route for a week, then on to another, or fill in because some one banged in sick. You don't get sick days. You are held at the standards of career employees, You must make their times, and you are timed, you must remember how customers receive their mail, where the mail box is, is there a dog, don't cut across the lawn, etc.etc. You must remember safety rules when parking,exiting, leaving a vehicle, they will have inspectors rolling up behind you to see if the truck is locked, the brake is on, flashers. You are responsible for the junk heap they give you to drive. Mirrors, windshield wipers,doors, general condition of engine. Everyone one of them broken or taped together, still you are accountable. The Post Office and the Union both tout a carrot on a stick to the newly minted CCA. "When a career employee retires, you get the next position." The illusion that some day you'll be a career employee is perpetuated. (You will never, ever, make the money, have the beniftits of a career emloyee now.) Besides it's an illusion. Firstly the job opening must go out to bid. ANY career employee in United States can bid on that opening, not you. Remember you only get the leftovers, what a career employee does not want. Secondly, within the unit your at, there is a jockeying for a coveted route. Again, you get the debris. That route can be split up ad infinium between CCA's, there is no great desire to create another career emplyee. Why the need? There are hundreds of applicants everyday, desperate, desperate like I was, who needed a job. The most enjoyable part of the job? People really enjoy seeing, talking, to the postman. Like you are someone important in their daily lives. Sadly they don't know the underbelly of the USPS.less
The USPS is a sweatshop and the money you earn is all blood-money
Rural Route/ CITY Carrier Associate (Former Employee) – VARIOUS – January 21, 2016
My story begins as a rca in south jersey.. Before I begin, I scored a 90 on their 473 test and qualified as a rca an cca. Rca- this position is advertised hourly~ that's a complete "lie" the post office averages the amount of time your expected to complete a given route ( example- route 1 has a total allotted time of 4 hours for completion, let's say it takes you 5 hours to complete it. The hour extra it took you to navigate poor conditions,unfamiliar terrain, traffic, whatever the case maybe~ your only paid 4 hours!!! ~ Union could care less. Supervisors, will insult and humiliate you life your trash.
Cca- this position is hourly, however, these idiots will move you from route to route without any previous drive-thru or training on the route. Forget about asking anyone familiar with the route , they'll look at you like your an idiot. Supervisors, will talk badly about all their employees and create a toxic working environment daily. When you don't adhere to these absurd timelines created by 10- 20 year veterans that have held the route ~ there are no flex timelines for your unfamiliarity. Then, these idiots will attempt to provide encouragement and positive reinforcement though insults,intimidation and workplace harassment with all the other carriers.
Now, the most important issue, do not get hurt,dog bites,broken bones or an accident with the vehicle. They will do everything to blame you for the injury~ they will coerce doctors,other co-workers and workers compensation representatives. These people are garbage. Personal experience. Suffered injuries permanent scarringmore... to my arm, bulging and disc herniations , these people will immediate criminalize you, question your integrity and will publicly humiliate you in the workplace to turn your co-workers against you . They will do everything to avoid filing an accident report or getting you proper medical care~ ( please if you do get hurt, I don't if its a paper cut g o t o t h e h o s p I t a l , you have no idea what kind of disease you can attract, as this is a filthy workplace ) these places don't have any first-aid either in the building or on the vehicles. Forget about the postmaster,supervisor and workers compensation claims representatives alike. ( As soon as you get hurt the first thing out of their mouth, " he/she's just trying to get a quick pay day" I don't care if your the pope, these people are garbage!
Forget about the equipment your expected to use~ all of the road vehicles are completely outdated and breaking down, not one vehicle has first-aid,no road hazard equipment and these people expect you to use your own cell phone as they don't provide any tools to contact main office. The best is when you do call them and no one answers the phone~ guess what you're expected to continue to call until someone picks up the phone because none of the office phones have an answering service.less
NO LUNCH, MANAGEMENT, VEHICLES, EQUIPMENT AND JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE ..STAY AWAY FROM THIS EMPLOYER!
City Carrier Assistant (Former Employee) – Kingston, NY – March 13, 2014
The City Carrier Assistant position was created so the Struggling USPS would not have to employ full time (benefited) employees to fill in for the regular city carriers when routes were unable to be covered or to help when routes got heavy. The idea is good but the problem is all of the CCA's (City Carrier Assistants) are expected to fill in for a regular carrier and thier route and expected to perform at the same level as the regular carrier for approximately 10 dollars less an hour, while still learning the unique details of the route. They are made to believe there is a chance of being a regular full time carrier but the reality is the USPS wants a disposable work force that they dont have to pay benefits for ( rising costs due to obamacare), but still perform the duties of a regular carrier. For example, There was a CCA that has been there for more then 2 years, which happened to be about the time they started this position. He was told there was a transition freeze so his promotion was on hold which after 2+ years you would think that if there was some organizational flow for promotions he would have been a regular by now. The three month "probationary" period is thier excuse for you to tow- the- line beyond reasonable expectations for a "rookie" mail carrier. I was sent on a advanced walking route on my forth day and was chastised when i didnt get far enough along the route so that one city carrier could help complete it. During the three month period you better have your schedule perfectly clear, I was scheduled to work M-Sat 8-5 every week which was good for the paycheckmore... but bad for life for appointments for health or family reasons from any M-F 9-5 business . DAYS OFF were NOT granted for probation employees because simply they didnt have to, and they knew there were no repercussions for just blatantly saying no for no reason. Typical abuse of a unprofessional unregulated management system The other CC's and CCA's are great hard-working men and women who helped me learn the ropes despite the poor organizational system and weak management. Travel mileage reimbursement ( for when you are assigned to other offices or training) is done at their speed while you shelled out the fuel costs and wear and tear on your personal vehicle ahead of time. At writing this i still have not received compensation for my travel form that was submitted 3 months ago. In summary, There is a reason why the USPS is struggling and its not only on the financial side of things. Their treatment of employees is downright terrible. The "Unions" that are associated with the Clerks or Letter carriers are ASSOCIATIONS not unions. So its practically almost as good as having no "union" at all. When i was inquiring about my compensation and informed the association rep that i was no longer with the USPS he said " So you figured out just how badly the USPS treats their employees huh?". It is truly a Sinking Ship that has a adaptability problem in an ever changing economy.less
co-workers, above average starting pay. customers
managment, lack of benifits for the first year (if they keep you)
RCAs are substitute rural mail carriers. You may work one day a week (or less) depending on which route you are assigned to. Sometimes you might not work for a month or more. Subs really don't get any benefits. I have worked in a few different offices...
Kernersville, NC 2010-2012: Very stressful, large office. Postmaster was evil and treated everyone badly. She was only nice to you when she wanted something. I often got thrown on routes I did not know with no prior training on it, which was VERY stressful. Once was a day after a holiday with a boatload of mail on the biggest route in the office. Someone didn't show up so they called me in that morning. They told me they would give me help on it, but once I got there they said NO HELP and actually belittled me. They made me feel bad because I didn't know the route! I came very close to telling her to carry it herself! They ended up having to get help for me because they were being ridiculous and the mail had to go out. She is no longer there, I am not sure what the current PM is like in that office. Unfortunately she didn't leave before I transferred, otherwise I might have stayed there. Mail trucks called LLVs were provided on almost all the routes. That was nice because if something happened to it they would bring you another one or send someone to fix it.
Pinnacle 2013: No LLVs provided so you had to use your own car. Long routes out in the country with some rough roads. Something always going wrong with my mail car. Flat tires, needed new brakes, stuff falling off, etc... Rural routes are very hard on cars. Nowhere tomore... really eat lunch or go to the restroom out there. PM was ok, but when he wasn't there the person in charge liked to bully most everyone (except their friends).
Westfield 2014: Again no LLVs. Even longer routes on rougher roads with even less places to eat or relieve yourself. Ha. PM (Pete) was the best supervisor I had though. He was nice to all the employees but didn't play favorites and "went by the book." I moved out of state when my husband got laid off from his job. He tried to help me get transferred to another office where I moved, but it didn't work out unfortunately.
I helped out occasionally inside the office at King and Toast. King seemed ok. Don't even get me started on Toast.....
I liked the work as far as delivering mail and customer service. Supervisors were mostly jerks with a couple exceptions. If you had to drive your own car you got extra money, but there was a lot of maintenance to keep the vehicle going. You can't be above using a wooded area to relieve yourself. Sometimes very hot or very cold, rainy or snowy weather and there is no calling in for subs. Not fun when you are sick either. Regulars would call out or take vacation on bad days so the subs would always get shafted. Usually had to work on Saturdays. Missed a lot of family events. The day after holidays were BRUTAL.
I would work for the p.o. again but would rather work as a clerk inside and not have to deal with the vehicle problems.less
no guaranteed hours, no real benefits, some supervisors are jerks
PSE - Postal Support Employee (Former Employee) – Bozeman, MT – August 19, 2015
Plan to work VERY HARD!
Typical day depended on what you had scheduled.
Morning crew - off-load trucks get mail to carriers, sort magazines, get magazines to carriers, get other mail-stuffs to university and others buzzing backdoor - provide FedEx and UPS with empty equipment for more incoming mail. Set-up dock area for next crew. Typically this is accomplished between 2am and 11am.
Next crew - gather mail from everywhere in the post office, parcels, and bring to dock. Sort the mail. This is where it gets tricky, do return mail, clear recoverable mail, continue to back front desk clerks, answer lobby door to distribute mail to others with boxes. Continue to check docks and three other areas for mail while reacting to carriers who can all come in at one time. Sort this mail into outgoing area. React to "other duties as assigned" and you will definitely have them. You have from 2:30pm to 5:30pm to get this done.
What I learned.
You will have to accomplish in 3 hours what almost 10 people accomplish from 5 to 11 that morning. My life and time outside could be interrupted with schedule changes and I had only one period where I had two days off in a row. At our Post Office one person did this work, others have two doing it.
Like everywhere else, politics and favorites, 'nuff said? If you are unliked you will be on the "Next crew" permanently.
Like anywhere else but of the 70 plus people in there a day I only associated with 3 others - see politics and favorites above.
Having to deal with favored coworkers playingmore... politics; reacting to other PSE employees who deliberately worked slow so they "could get their eight" (as a PSE you do not have guaranteed hours). I worked quickly - it ended-up being my downfall as I just got stockpiled with more responsibility and ... well you know the rest.
Unfortunately it was leaving the job because while I liked performing the job, I absolutely no benefits, the coworker's politicking and the favoritism is enough to make you physically ill, the constant schedule changes, PSEs working as slow as they possibly could, complacent supervisory/management made staying impossible. I rarely ended a work week with more than 23 hours so the pay was almost negligible after barely having the funds to pay bills - I took a job elsewhere and left with no remorse. I had much experience in the past with the Postal Service, they will never factor into my future again, waste of four good months of my life.
"Regular" positions are being phased-out where I was. As people retire and hours become available many places are replacing these career positions with no guarantee PSE positions. The PSE union representation leaves much to be desired so expect none. In other words don't bother joining it, they just suck up funds and get nowhere with negotiations.less
No life outside of work, job elimination, lack of union representation makes future privatization a very plausible likelihood
PSE Mail Processing Clerk (Current Employee) – Lansing, MI – December 26, 2015
First off I'll start this review by listing the steps I took to get the position of PSE Mail Processing Clerk (Seasonal):
Applied on USPS website
Took online assessment - WARNING!! Your results from this assessment factor into your overall score. Your overall score determines seniority. Don't be too perfect or it'll lower your score!!!! Be truthful.
After taking the online assessment, you're invited to take Exam 473 which you schedule at the nearest location. LOOK ONLINE for practice tests!
After taking Exam 473 you will get a score emailed to you soon after. The higher your score the better chances you have of getting rehired!
Wait a couple days for an email inviting you to take a drug test and consent to a background check.
When those are completed, wait for the email inviting you to do an interview.
If hired you'll hear within a couple days via email about when orientation is. Orientation is usually 2 - 7 days (8 hours a day) depending on which position you apply for.
Now onto my review...
Working for the USPS was a nightmare. I was hired in November 2015 along with about 15 or 20 other people. We would be told to come in at a certain time and, because of lack of things to do, we were usually told after 2 - 4 hours to go home. This happened for several weeks. On average, I got around 15 to 20 hours per week. It was embarrassing coming home after "working" for 2, 3 hours at a time...
Some days I'd come in and there'd be no supervisor present to let myself and my fellow coworkers know what we had to do. We would wander around looking for someonemore... to tell us, yeah go work in this or that section! It took us half an hour to find someone to "supervise" us.
During "peak season" things FINALLY picked up, but not quite. About 6 more people were newly hired!!! And not everyone who hired on the same time as me were getting a full 40 hour work week...
My supervisor definitely had his favorites. New hires were getting more hours than people hired before them, just because they were complete suck ups. Scheduling never made sense solely because of this.
On Christmas Eve, about 10 people came in to work only to be let go. ON CHRISTMAS EVE. If that's not heartless then I don't know what is. Oh, and the new hire aka Miss Favorite? She's still coming in and getting her 5 days a week. DESPITE people who were hired before her being let go. Complete bullsht.
I have two weeks left of working here and I cannot wait to start this nightmare over again at a different facility. Yes, ladies and gents, I accepted an offer of being rehired. If this doesn't restore my faith in the postal service then I will gladly let Miss Favorite take my 25 hours a week!!
When I first began working for the postal service it was a job that lots of people wanted. People who were hired never left their job. There was pride working for the postal service. Our customers came first. The longer I was there the less customer service was a priority. Services were cut, it became more about the amount of overtime used and supervisors were always on employees' backs about doing their job quicker with less emphasis on accuracy. One of the mottos was "deliver it right....first time". I enjoyed working with most of my co-workers although there are always a few "whiners" and ones to threaten to go to the union. As I was the one who worked most closely with the postmaster I always felt like I knew him/her better than the other employees. Having been the middle child I was always encouraged to take sides. My job was more like the mediator between the employees and the postmaster. I always tried to be the "peacemaker". I did enjoy my years of service and I got to know so many customers and was pretty much friends with all of them. I had some opportunities to advance but never cared much for the management side of the postal service. I'm a better Indian than a Chief. Today, the postal service will hire anyone. I am friends with a postmaster who had three employees quit during the summer months. I understand now there are little benefits and a lot of offices are just looking for "bodies". I always wore a uniform and felt proud to dress appropriately but now you can't even identify some mail carriers. Definitely the hardest part of my job was when I had to carry mailmore... and was not in shape for it. I only had to carry when the carrier sub was unavailable and that wasn't very often. At that time there were strict parking points and no diversion. I carried 3-4 big catalogs at a time, as we were not allowed to drive by or park closer. Sometimes it would be six months before I was to carry and then I was expected to carry 4-5 days. I would be so sore and my feet would hurt so badly I had to change shoes about six times a day. One day I suffered from heat stroke and was told I should have been taking salt tablets and was "in trouble" because another carrier had to finish the route. They never sent me to the doctor and made me come to work the next day and work the window. I was physically unable to work but at that time one was treated horribly if they called in sick. I never called in sick unless I really was and today employees can just text to say they aren't coming in. The postal service has really changed and not for the better. In 1985 I was promoted to full time window clerk so the carrying days were behind me. At one time the two city routes were both 12+ miles of walking. Very difficult way to make a living.less
paid holidays, very seldom worked saturday, excellent sick leave and retirement package
not too many cons except when we cut our services we hurt our customers
Pretty smooth job if the other tours are on schedule
PSE Clerk (Current Employee) – Cleveland, OH – January 23, 2016
I was hired on as a seasonal PSE Clerk at Cleveland, OH main plant. I worked Tour 1, which is night shift. I worked on machines known as Dbcs each machine sorts mail into numeric sequence for each zip code so the carrier can go door to door. You have the pull (sweep the mail) in the order the machine in putting it out in or you'll mis sweep and go out of sequence and all heck will break loose. Machines were very worn down and if there was ever a problem like a mail jam or a belts breaking, maintenance wouldn't fix the problem entirely, just get back running so we can finish the mail(imagine having a zip code with huge number of residents and the machine breaks down every hour or so) if the machine is broken or your mail is late, it is still your fault(even if the machines lack the proper maintenance to run smoothly) The goal was to run 70,000+ pieces of mail a night and had to be done by 5AM because the trucks were there to send mail to local branches. If you were late, they would send all the other employees who finished there zones to help you dispatch (load the mail into cages and ship it out.)
On Saturdays and holidays you have to stage mail which means you run as much as you can and keep it order until the following day then you'll run that mail PLUS the mail you run that day and put it in sequence order.
You only have 1 day off and if the tour before you is running late or still on your machine, you have the option of helping them finish their work or waiting until they're done. So expect mandatory OT.
MDOs (managers) were very condescending and rude. Supervisorsmore... were ok, at least mine were.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR HOURS UNTIL YOU GET YOUR TIME BADGE. Because they will mess up your checks and will not want to write you a advance check (and they can write you one don't believe them when they say they cant. Its in the Employee handbook. That's just a way to avoid the problem they caused!) They'll just tell you to wait next paycheck and they'll add the difference MY FIRST COUPLE OF CHECKS WERE LIKE $500-700 SHORT!! it was a very annoying process to get fixed because they were not concerned about it because their checks were right... and if payroll was not in you pretty much have no choice to wait until they decide to come back to work because they have no one else to handle that responsibility while their out.
Breaks were 15 min plus 5 min wash up (your hands will get filthy) lunch was 30 with 5 minute wash up. You can listen to music and socialize with co workers if your good on time. If you finished your work early they'll let you go home early or find you some other work. Its pretty easy work for what they are paying you. Hope you have a good working partner or you're screwed. Good luck!!less
pay, nice co workers, good work out on arms and legs.
the work load is overwhelming at first but is rewarding if you enjoy a face paced environment. The pay is good for someone without a lot of experience. I would say that getting hired is not too difficult. You are required to take a test but as far as needing previous experience, they don't care about that. the hardest part of the job is all the stuff you are required to learn in the beginning. They are understanding if you don't know it all at first, but they expect to see improvement each week. If you don't let it overwhelm you it can be a great job. That being said, it is not for everyone. If you feel family time is important you may want to reconsider. this job does not guarantee many hours to start, but you will be on call every weekend. you will most likely work every weekend. and if you live near an amazon delivery location, you will likely work both days of the weekend, every single week. you often get off at least by 6pm if not sooner, especially after you learn your route, you can get off as early as 12pm and still get paid for the whole day, if you are that good. but it takes time and practice to get there, and still some things are out of your control, like how many packages you might have to deliver that day and how earlier your post office will let you come in and work. the pay is different for different areas but where I worked it was 16.65 an hour. that is some decent money for someone with not a lot of job experience! but you deal with those on call shifts with extremely flex schedules. you'll be waiting by your phone everyday waiting to be called in you havemore... to wait till about 11 am to noon for that call, so cancel all your plans for the next 10 years cause that how long it takes to go permanent sometimes. some people get lucky and go perm sooner, but not often. once you are permanent, then life gets a little better, you get an actual schedule and a pension and decent medical benifits. but who wants to wait 10 years for that??? and lets not forget the wasps! they exist everywhere down in texas. If you live somewhere ,where there are wasp, guarantee you will deal with them on a daily basis during the mild and warm months. they can sting you, I have heard stories from other coworkers. I am deathly afraid of the things. They are not just flying around, they make nests in the mail boxes. you as the postal worker are expected to get rid of them yourself. I don't care 16.65 an hour is not enough for me to deal with that. Nor is it enough to not have a life for 10 years. I wish I could have the job without the wasps or the really a not so good schedule. I can deal with the high paced environment, in fact, I love that! but I wont deal with putting work above family and church ever single week.less
16.65 an hour, fun faced paced work environment
wasps, on call every minute and on call both saturday and sunday
City Carrier Assistant (Former Employee) – Mission Viejo, CA – September 17, 2015
I worked as a CCA for one whole year, working several entire months with no days off and even if you were scheduled one, they might call you and tell you to come in anyway.
You need to pass a 90-120 day probationary period that is worse than going through Marine Corps boot camp (I know cause I did that, too). After that, it's very difficult for them to fire you. Almost impossible cause you fall under union rules (if you were smart enough to join that questionable organization) and you need to learn the union rules for CCA's cause they will save you a lot of grief! Just know that the union only acts retroactively, not proactively, so you are in for a LOT of headaches.
I learned that the entire life of a CCA was not much more than a game. The CCA was the playing piece and the supervisor staff the gamers. I was constantly strung along as to when and/or if I might be promoted to a career position, which is the only reason to even think about being a postal carrier. First it was February. Then by spring. Then summer. Then the end of summer. When I finally said I'd had enough, it was "maybe by the end of the year". I've been lied to in so many ways by the bulk of the supervisors (there were a couple of good ones who were straight up with me but that's a minority). They even tell you in training that you have to cover your *ss when doing this job cause you can't trust the supervisors to do it! I can only figure that supervisors with the USPS are trained to act like they do. It was too consistent to be accidental.
The training is entirely inadequate for such a complicatedmore... job. After all your "official" training, you are thrown out there to figure out what it really takes to deliver the mail. They really treat you like dirt then too. I suppose it's to try to see who can cut it but I don't know how any organization can get away with what I've seen of employee treatment as I have in the USPS. The stress level brought about by the very nature of being a CCA is enough to ruin plenty of lives. I left their employ due to that very thing. I decided enough was finally enough.
If you want to endure the most difficult job you'll likely ever have, go ahead and joing the USPS as a CCA. The meager pay, limited benefits, no time to plan or have a life and the pure magnitude of stress that can be found should be enough to keep the Postal Service posting help wanted ads for a very long. Oh, and not to mention that you might end up with an office postmaster that is an egotistical megalomaniac who talked to everybody like they were dung.
City Carrier (Current Employee) – Maryville, MO – March 12, 2013
It's a great job for individuals who are willing to push themselves; alot of people think they're in shape...this job will test you. Mornings start promptly at 7:30 with casing the mail...sometimes a daunting task depending on the route size. Routes with 3 cases & several of the case slots doubled up on addresses can seem overwhelming until you get used to it.
Personally, I've learned that individuality in the workplace is very important; that while we are all cogs in a bigger machine, our personal values and influence can affect the whole. Same goes for work ethic.
Management is hit & miss. Being we are controlled by a government (but supposedly we're not "part" of said government), we are subjected to questionable judgements and trials, many of which are not successful or efficient, but we must do as we're told because of another's belief. When the calls are made by immediate management, it's great; they've been in our shoes, they understand...they are not just playing beaurocrat and making calls based on what's in black and white on their report.
My co-workers are a colorful bunch, they come from all backgrounds: Farming, IT Tech, factory worker, military & personal handyman; the diversity is wide. We each bring new ideas and ways to improve and help one another. We spend maybe 15 minutes (combined) a day interacting with one another being we each have our own route to focus on.
The hardest part of my job has to be the merciless elements of nature. That and newspaper day. Everybody knows the days where they'd hate to be the mailman. Fortunately, those days are few & farmore... between. The newspaper days are the basic weekly local papers. Both (yes, 2) are to be delivered on Tuesdays and go to EVERY resident in the county, sometimes making my mailbag weigh 30+ lbs (estimated) on some loops.
The most enjoyable part of my job is probably the freedom to work at my pace. It's a tough one, being I love being outside with nature too. I've been here 5 years & still love that I'm doing a job while keeping myself in shape. 15+ miles a day might sound like alot, but it certainly keeps me out of the gym later.less
pay, location, & daytime hours.
no benefits, having to work out of town, & outside management.
City Letter Carrier (Former Employee) – La Puente, CA – December 27, 2014
I loved the part of the job that included working out in the street, delivering mail. I had the golden Opportunity to meet lovely customers, and use my professional work habits to provide them with great service. I absolutely LOVED this part of the job, but it is very physically demanding, and over a long career, can wear a person down and sometimes cause serious injuries from Dog Attacks, Repetitive Motion Injuries, and other muscle and tissue damage. It has a very high potential for Skin Cancer if you do not take very high precautions to protect your skin. I learned so many different, (and unexpected) things. I learned how to be an On-the-Job Instructor, a Quality Control Specialist, how to strategically organize all tasks, as well as many Postmaster level jobs. Occasionally Outstanding Work Habits are recognized and rewarded with special awards, and sometimes a Cash Benefit. I was being Mentored and groomed to be a Postmaster by one of the Postmasters, but in general, Management will demand better work performance than is humanly possible to give. I was asked to become a Supervisor, but I politely declined that fine offer. I will not treat people that way. The fellow employees try to lower the stress level within the office by making fun of other people. We joke that to survive being an employee, you must have taken "Cruelty 101". Some of the slurs are truly obnoxious, but sometimes it is hysterical, and I couldn't help laughing. Somebody would yell out: "Who let the Dogs out?" and most of the employees would holler out:"WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF!" We were trying not to be putmore... down too much emotionally by Management. There are "Strictly Enforced Non-Discrimination" posters all over the place, but the Management ignores their own behavior. While I was there the carriers were treated like pack animals not human beings. Hands-Down, the hardest part of the job was the Harassment by Management. We could hardly wait to go out to the street to start delivering, just to get away from them. The best part of the job was certainly serving the customers. When you carry a route for a few years, it is like having a very large extended family.less
good wages, fairly good health benifits and life insurance, you can lose a lot of weight, the customers can be really good friends
management techniques very often leave a lot to be desired, the job can wear your body down faster than normal, just like any sport would.
It is repetitious work but has good benefits and job stability. However Job advancement is difficult if you are looking to move up the ranks
Lobby Director, Claims Clerk, & Letter Carrier (Former Employee) – Los Angeles, CA – July 18, 2013
LOBBY DIRECTOR: I dealt with a continuous traffic flow of customers exposing me to many cultures and personalities and it enabled me to become very fluid, flexible and patient as I was the first person they encountered while conducting Postal business . My job was to ensure that the customers were well prepared, and informed about their purchases, and give them a positive experience while visiting our station. I worked closely with management & the retail clerks as needed to attend to the customers and resolve their concerns. The hardest part of the job was when the system failed or a product was lost & the customer was not satisfied. However since I genuinely enjoy people and am very comfortable with face to face contact, it was so rewarding to see most customers leave with a smile on their faces because they had received outstanding service. Seeing most customers happy and satisfied made up for the few challenging times when there was nothing I could do to completely resolve their concern!
LETTER CARRIER: was also very rewarding & I developed strong relationships with my business and residential customers by earning their trust and their respect. I went the extra mile to make sure my customers were happy and felt safe to go on vacation knowing that their mail & packages would be safe until they returned. The hardest part was of course trying to keep mail dry when it rained & the occasional dog owner who didn't seem to understand that most dogs don't like delivery people & that my safety was paramount.
CLAIMS CLERK: a temporary detail assignment allowed me to work in themore... Consumer Affairs Division of the Postal Service and handle customer complaints at the escalated level over the phone. This involved investigating complaints and contacting local managers, supervisors, and/or employees when necessary to resolve the customers concerns. It involved writing letters, sending emails and completing reports as well as phone calls. It enabled me to brush up on my computers skills as my other jobs didn't require any computer or phone work. Although I became quite efficient during my short detail, I must say that I prefer contact with people.less
major paid holidays & sundays off; automatic wage increase & adequate vacation time
difficult to advance and/or change jobs; if you relocate even within the usps, you still loose your seniority
Postal Carrier/Collector (Former Employee) – Albuquerque, NM – December 14, 2015
A typical workday for a CCA was waiting by the phone at a certain time for them to call you (or you calling them) to let you know what time and where to report (it was common to occasionally be "pimped" out to other post offices). And if they told you to come in at a later time than usual (or take the day off altogether), what they DIDN'T tell you is that you were actually "on call", as they could still recall you at any time to come to work, even if they told you to take the day off. Yes, daily situations change (regular carriers call in sick, accidents happen, etc), but forget trying to make any plans of any sort, especially those in line of trying to make any sort of life outside the USPS. And when you finished, they required you to call them before you came back, lest anyone else need "help" on another route. I'm a team player as much as anyone else but at times that got really old.
And when you did get a route, unless you're lucky enough to get a "drive-up" route, you were under tremendous pressure to finish by a certain time - quite a chore if you're on an unfamiliar route, which was often (thank god for GPS!). And forget about taking any sort of "break", especially a lunch of any sort (I learned how to eat while delivering - it's either that or go hungry). In some cases, even being able to take a simple bathroom break could be challenging. You will soon find that your life is suddenly consumed by mail, you find yourself constantly dreaming about it at night (and not good dreams, either) - and truthfully I found it hard to put so much time and effort (and inmore... many cases, your own safety) into something that probably 90% of which will most likely wind up in the trash (especially the dreaded "free ads" on Tuesdays).
As far as my management went, well... I understood they themselves were under tremendous pressure from their superiors to get things done, so while I certainly didn't agree with all their methods and decisions, I believed they did the best they could considering their own circumstances.
If you do this, go in with an open mind - you're certainly going to need it. In fact, your very sanity may well depend on it!less
Great exercise, learn to multitask, you'll get to know your area
Erratic work schedule, constantly learning new routes, consumes your LIFE
CCA (Former Employee) – Cincinnati- Grosebeck Branch – February 14, 2014
Those days of orientation and training, will be the easiest money you will make. That is what we were told in the beginning, and how right they are. TRAINING- Sitting there was a few days, listening to multiple people drone one for hours about the gist of the job, was in fact easy money. However, they did very little of describing what actually takes place once out in the field. For me, it was three days of "on the job training", on one of the easiest routes at the station. Not too bad, but it did little to get me prepared for being out on my own. TRUTHS- You will not receive benefits, until you've been there a year. Uniforms are outrageously expensive and over priced ( a single pair of shoes can cost almost $110(!). You do get an allotment for the USPS of about $500 after your probationary period, but it does not stretch out anywhere near to the point of buying a full set of an outfit. Heck, I talked to a few people there that have worked for over six months, and never received that allotment. LIES- We were never told about the heavy schedules new CCA'S receive. Depending on your station, you may not get an off day. (when I quit, I was already on day eleven of no off days). You may end up working anywhere from ten hours a day, to everyday ACTUAL WORK- After that, I was rapidly thrust into one of the longest, most tedious routes in the station, after being told I would split routes for a while to get the hand up of being on my own. It ended up being a 20 Mile route, with 17 of it walking. I don't know if that is long to most people, but for a beginner like myself, it was a killing.more... I never got any help, despite being told to call in any time I felt like I needed. I like the cold, so it did not bother me being outside too much. Heck, I even enjoy walking. However, The snow of course made the job more difficult, as did the houses that refused to even throw a little salt onto the porches; and don't forget those annoying dogs!
In the end, I felt I had to quit. The job was not what it was made out to be, and the lack of a social life was a killer. If you want to have a career early on, regardless of working conditions, then by all means work for the USPS. For me, this was simply not the one for me.