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Old 03/24/09, 12:20 PM
Ernie's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In the Exodus
Posts: 13,422
Dealing with a rural postal carrier

My mailman is about the laziest woman I've ever seen. She doesn't close the door on my mailbox, even in a rainstorm, so my mail gets soaked. Sometimes my mail gets blown out because she didn't shut the door. Other times I just don't get my mail and who knows what happened to it then. She races down our little dirt road at an abnormal rate of speed and you can hear her coming from down the road as she skids to a stop in front of each mailbox on the route. Although I couldn't prove it, I believe she even HIT my mailbox at one point, uprooting it and sending it flying into the ditch. The mailbox was standing one minute while I was out in the garden, I walked around back, heard her skid to a stop outside and a big thud, and when I walked around front she was gone and my mailbox was in the ditch.

I need to resolve this situation, but I want to do so in a decisive victory that will not result in a long, drawn-out feud. I've already asked her several times to please slow down and make sure she closes my mailbox, but it resulted only in attitude.

Any suggestions?
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Old 03/24/09, 12:26 PM
chickenista's Avatar
Original recipe!
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: NC foothills
Posts: 14,033
Two thoughts...
- try honey. Maybe a tip and/or treats in the mailbox etc.. along with a note to please, please get a grip. Repeat.

-try vinegar. Report her to her supervisor and ask that the problem be solved from that end. Come with specific instances and wet mail.

Possible results:
- you give her treats and it works and she becomes a good carrier that looks out for you.
-Waste perfectly good treats with no change.
-Supervisor fixes the problem and your life is good.
-She just gets ticked off and you never see your mail again.. at least not in one piece.

Life is just annoying, isn't it. I know it is not a 'big' thing, but it can just get under your skin. You have my sympathies.
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Old 03/24/09, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: ohio
Posts: 693
is the box on th edrivers side or does she have to reach through the vehicle?

have you tried pulling in th eway she does and put yourself in her shoes for a while...
my dad was a mailman and his policy was to close them twice and then go ahead if they didn't stay closed.....some were so hard to reach,he couldn't reach them to close..sometimes they would be open when he arrived and the vehicle was so close that they wouldn't raise..... ask her if there is anyway you can make it easier on her to reach your box..........
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Old 03/24/09, 12:31 PM
bluemoonluck's Avatar
Crazy Dog Lady
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 3,440
Get a PO Box and have all your mail forwarded there.......
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Old 03/24/09, 12:32 PM
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: MD
Posts: 179
Wow! Make a complaint with your Post Master/Mistress. It might be a pain but could you get video of her driving/delivery? Pictures are worth a thousand words. Maybe get your neighbors to complain too?

Sorry you are going through this, we've had a couple doosies ourselves...but none of them ran over our mailbox!
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Old 03/24/09, 12:33 PM
Hawkfamily's Avatar  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 411
Great answer, chickenista! You've done some problem solving before!

I don't have answers. I just wanted you to know that you're not alone. geesh.
We'll see the mail delivered whenever she feels like it, it seems, which isn't more than 3 days a week. Now, apparently, she picks the mail up at the post office every morning. (making it seem to them as though she's delivering it, too). But, she isn't. We'll get a HUGE stack on Tuesday, not having seen her since Thursday. And, forget Fridays.
She also leaves our box open enough so that the ratbird starlings nest in there around this time of year, using our newly shredded mail for their nest.
We've had no resolve on these matters ourselves.....
She has not, yet, knocked the box over, but I'm not hopeful that it wouldn't happen.
Good luck!
(definitely, calmly and professionally, file a complaint at her head office. That's what her manager would expect you to do.)
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Old 03/24/09, 12:42 PM
BlueberryChick's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,672
Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
She races down our little dirt road at an abnormal rate of speed and you can hear her coming from down the road as she skids to a stop in front of each mailbox on the route.
I'm picturing the mailman from the movie Funny Farm with Chevy Chase. They pretty much just saw a cloud of dust and heard a cackling laugh when the mailman came by.

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this in real life. Our mail carrier, also a woman, is just fine. She calls if she has a package that won't fit in the box. If I am home, I go meet her at the road. If I'm not home, she takes it back to the post office and leaves me a note. Best wishes for solving the problem.

“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
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Old 03/24/09, 12:44 PM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
Happy Scrounger
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 13,635
According to our mail carrier,they have to scan a sticker that was put on the mailbox every day to prove they were actually at the house. Don't know if that is part of the rural system, tho. It's a barcode sticker. Obviously not the same in Canada, tho

anyway. I'd set up some form of video camera focused on the mailbox to see what she actually does. If she's trying to close the door, but it doesn't stay closed...that's one thing. If she doesn't ever try...that's another kettle of fish.

Speeding down the road can be seen on a video camera, too. It's really pretty easy to mount a nanny cam sort of system up. Or just a video camera on a timer set to run when she's expected.

Have you spoken to any neighbors about her? If you can find out if this is something that more than one of you sees, then you have a case to go to her supervisor with. The supervisor needs to know it's more than one person that is being affected. And it would keep the mail carrier from taking it out on YOUR mail.
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
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Old 03/24/09, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Central Indiana
Posts: 531
I'd rig up a spring, so that the mailbox self-closes.
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Old 03/24/09, 12:51 PM
Macybaby's Avatar
I love South Dakota
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 5,317
I think I'll go home and put a few more jars of Jam in the mailbox - you all make me appreciate the wonderful mail carrier I have.

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Old 03/24/09, 12:55 PM
Wisconsin Ann's Avatar
Happy Scrounger
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Central Wisconsin
Posts: 13,635
Originally Posted by Bruenor View Post
I'd rig up a spring, so that the mailbox self-closes.
hmmm. Or put the hinge on the TOP of the box. Easy fix maybe.

oo! or maybe one of those door closer things for screen doors?
"A good photograph is knowing where to stand. - Ansel Adams
(and a lot of luck - Wisconsin Ann)
Rabbits anyone?

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Old 03/24/09, 01:09 PM
In Remembrance
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central Kansas
Posts: 11,076
Bolt a piece of angle iron or flat iron to the front of the door and let it hang down below the bottom of the door so that the weight of it will self close the door. The carrier will have to open the door to fill the mailbox which should also send the message that you asked her to close it but instead you had to make it self closing.

Is this carrier a regular rural carrier or a contract carrier?
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Old 03/24/09, 01:41 PM
lurking in the shadows
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: North FL
Posts: 285
The Postmaster usually takes complaints of mail tampering very seriously, especially from within, I would/have confront(ed) the mailperson about your complaints and let them know that if it doesn't stop or if there is anymore trouble that you will make sure that not only will her immediate supervisor know whats going on, but THAT person's supervisor will know.
The mail carrier I was having problems with was found to be stealing medications from residents at the VA home, they arrested her with their guns drawn while she was working her route!
The Post Office doesn't mess around with stuff like that.
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Old 03/24/09, 01:45 PM
Ernie's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: In the Exodus
Posts: 13,422
Lots of good suggestions. I guess I'll try honey first. Then if problems persist I guess I'll have to escalate it.

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Old 03/24/09, 01:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Corpus Christi, Texas
Posts: 4,341
If I'm not mistaken, mailboxes have to be approved by the postal system. If you make any modifications that aren't approved, you might not get your mail delivered at all if the person delivering the mail wants to be a real horses butt.

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Old 03/24/09, 01:59 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Virginia
Posts: 2,512
Not sure about self-closing, check your regs. Here they aren't allowed by code because of the "danger" to the mail carrier getting the lid smacking into their arm.

I have a mail carrier who is on limited duty and can't leave the vehicle...which means she doesn't leave packages and we have to go pick them up...except that she leaves them in her vehicle for days so you wait an hour in a line over and over. Very annoying when it is plants! She even does this when my car is in the driveway and she sees me walking toward her...just zooms off. After a while, I stopped her when I know I'm getting a package by standing in the street! After all, she has to write out the little brown ticket. Ugh.

So anyway, honey didn't work for me so I went and made a couple of complaints. Now they send another truck with packages down our street every few days after they build up back at the post office. With someone who CAN deliver a package!
Growing Human

When wearing narrow lenses of hate and ignorance, is it any wonder one finds it difficult to see clearly? - Me
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Old 03/24/09, 02:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: PA.
Posts: 330
That's a tough situation sometimes when you're dealing with rural carriers. I've met nice ones and plain miserable ones. You can file a complaint with the postmaster and see what happens. Rural carriers have a different union than city carriers, and I know they get away with alot at the expense of the postal customers. See what happens with a complaint. If it continues set up a veido camera to record her actions. Make sure your box is in good shape and operates well and is of the proper height from ground level. Also make sure when talking to the postmaster that you mention she may be not delivering your mail; this is taken seriously. When she leaves she may just take your mail for a ride and upon returning just lay it at the sorting case for the next day. Nobody checks what the carriers bring back. I know, I worked for the Post Office for 21 years.
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Old 03/24/09, 02:13 PM
Common Tator's Avatar
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Southern Taxifornia
Posts: 6,287
At our house in the burbs, the mail carriers are on foot with a big bag over their shoulder. They park their car at one point and walk part of the route. For years we had a carrier that refused to bring the boxes out of the car. She prepared the 'you have a box or registered letter' notices in advance and left those, so that you HAD to go to the PO to get your box, and you had to go again and again. We didn't get better service until she retired. I complained about her many times over the years. It never did any good.
I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam.

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Old 03/24/09, 02:21 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: iowa
Posts: 2,642
If the honey does not work I would talk to the postmaster and explain to him/her that your box does not get closed.Have the postmaster inspect you box to make sure it is the right height,etc.You should then expect better service.You can also get a form from the postmaster to send in to the district manager to make them aware of the problem.They must give you this form if they want to or not.I am a retired postal worker and I have seen results from this.You usually get results from talking to the postmaster.
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Old 03/24/09, 02:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: north Alabama
Posts: 11,256
Ernie- check out these two items-
A locking mailbox that drops the mail into a bin, where it won't get blown away or be subject to the weather

A mail alarm that tells you when the mail arrives:

A nice 4" speed bump about 30' in front of your mailbox could be entertaining the first time she zooms up...
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