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Postby twincheckers » Thu Dec 10, 2015 12:40 am

So my fiance started working in the postal system in October and I wanted to share a few things that I've found interesting about how the post office works since we all ship/receive packages pretty regularly.

Right now, at least at his branch, there are postal workers who deliver just the normal mail and there are people designated just for packages. Once he gets to work he sorts boxes onto a truck for a particular route and goes out to deliver. If the truck fills up before all the packages go out, they may or may not go out that day depending on if there are more packages for the same route. So when things get delayed this time of year, it's usually because there was no more room on the truck at one stage or another.

There are carrier assistants and carriers. The carriers generally get assigned to permanent routes. The assistants go where they are needed. They may pick up parts of a route to help a carrier or get their own full route if someone is out sick, on vacation, whatever. This is why you may see multiple people delivering on your street this time of year, the assistants are helping the carriers with the increased mail.

Speaking of increased mail, the mail TRIPLES this time of year just from Christmas cards...not even including all of the packages!

Most of the vehicles are OLD. In his roughly two months time, my fiance has had three vehicles break down on him. They will generally send someone who is not out on delivery out to finish the route. Sometimes, this can cause delays.

They get rough hand drawn maps of where they are going. No GPS. No real maps. So getting lost can happen and slow down getting mail.

USPS once told me that they don't have to scan any bar codes at any time on any packages. Not true. Every package is scanned as often as possible. The scanners have GPS (but the vehicles don't....go figure) so the packages and the workers' productivity can be checked.

The workers are told to cut out steps and extra walking on their routes to speed up the process, which is why you may see them jaywalk, cut across flowerbeds/yards, or even jump down off porches instead of taking the steps.

That's all the interesting info I have for now. If anyone has any questions about shipping or USPS in general, let me know and I can see if he has any information. :) ;)
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Postby moonlightkitty » Sun Dec 13, 2015 3:45 pm

Wow, I find it interesting they provide old vehicles and no GPS, but the packages get GPS to monitor productivity. I also find it interesting that it's policy to take shortcuts. I hope your fiance enjoys his job, it doesn't sound like something I would enjoy.
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Postby Waylah » Mon Dec 14, 2015 4:05 pm

Woah no GPS? That's crazy! Well I suppose if they have the one route all the time they will learn it, but what about the assistant guys who go where they are needed? Gee, even cheap pizza delivery people use a GPS!
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Postby Tosh » Tue Dec 15, 2015 5:43 pm

Congrats to your fiancé and his new job, I've heard that working for the post office can be a pretty good gig! I'm surprised that the trucks haven't been updated with GPS as well, although they do look really old I guess. Sometimes I find it frustrating when the shipping info isn't updated in real time. If they're scanning the packages, it seems like that data should be uploaded automatically. But, there must be a delay of some kind.
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