"YOU EXIST ONLY TO REDUCE OVERTIME"
September 26, 2014 7:10 AM   Subscribe

 
Well, that certainly made me want to hug my postal carrier.

Also, some form of the word 'scream[s/ed/ing]' appears 12 times in that article. At first I thought maybe she was exaggerating and by the end I decided it was a deliberate repetition to hammer home the idea that yes, every supervisor has a permanent case of Angry and Abusive.
posted by komara at 7:34 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


It sounds like CCA combines the worst of adjunct teaching and automated warehouse worker.
posted by michaelh at 7:40 AM on September 26, 2014


Postal carriers are unsung heroes. They are invisible eyes-and-ears, often noticing (and addressing) issues among the empty houses of neighborhoods across the country. They are a welcome face for the elderly and home-bound. It's a shame the Postal Service has gotten the short end of the stick for so long.

If I'm home when the mail comes I try to go out, greet the carrier, and ask about her day. She often seems tired, but she puts on a friendly face and gives a smile in return.

I think I had the same romantic vision of being a carrier that the article's author had, though I never acted upon it. I guess I should cross "Mail Man" off of the list of things to be when I grow up.
posted by jazon at 7:41 AM on September 26, 2014 [17 favorites]


Now that they are eliminating home delivery service in urban areas in Canada, I do feel bad for the elderly/disabled folks who genuinely greet their carrier with kindness and interest.

Given the expensive clusterfuck that is Canada Post, I always stand up for the USPS back home because by god, sending stuff around the country is hella cheap compared to here. (I also ask that people who hate the USPS think of how impacts people who are not you--rural folks, poor folks, sick/elderly/disabled folks. Not everyone can do everything online. It's a privilege most of us don't give a thought to.)
posted by Kitteh at 7:48 AM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


we have numerous photos of postal carriers from last year's floods delivering mail in horrific conditions, standing on their LLVs to reach across a chasm that used to be a road to put mail in the box. now that I know the truth I wonder what awful boss screamed at them because they weren't able to complete routes fast enough on roads that basically didn't exist
posted by lonefrontranger at 7:51 AM on September 26, 2014




I never said it was on life support; I'm well aware of how it's being gutted to nothing by the Harper government.
posted by Kitteh at 7:58 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


The highest number of consecutive days I worked in a row was 12.

In a civilized country this is so totally illegal it's not funny. Like the labor board sues the employer kind of illegal and then racks up huge fines.
posted by Talez at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


Mail and milk: Struggling Postal Service wants to deliver groceries

After nearly six years of multibillion-dollar losses, the U.S. Postal Service has developed a new plan to help turn its finances around: Daily grocery deliveries.

The Postal Service sent its proposal to the Postal Regulatory Commission on Tuesday, seeking approval from the panel. The agency wants to begin testing on Oct. 24, with the process lasting up to two years, although it could choose to make the program permanent at a sooner date.
And not a word about why it is losing money, having to prepay it's employee obligations higher than every other government or semi-government agency.

My local service is meh. I'm near a hub, so we get whoever is not busy or folks who are on restricted duty.

We have postal workers in the family, so I see both sides of it; the experiences in the OP are not uncommon and probably what I would have gone through if I had somehow beat all the hurdles to employment. I did well on the exams, but had a lot of competition in the area and was told that without military service or someone in the local group advocating for me I was unlikely to be hired.
posted by Buttons Bellbottom at 8:06 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


In a civilized country this is so totally illegal it's not funny. Like the labor board sues the employer kind of illegal and then racks up huge fines.

They're working to change that here in good old Wisconsin.
posted by rocketman at 8:12 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait, if Canada is eliminating home delivery in urban areas, how will people get their mail? Will you have to go to the post office and pick it up?
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:12 AM on September 26, 2014


FTA: inspired my boss to scream, “I’M NOT PAYING YOU TO HAVE A CONVERSATION.”

You are not paying her at all - your customers are.
posted by soelo at 8:15 AM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


I would love to shove this article in anyone's face who says "junk mail is the worst."

My job is doing newsletters for several state NALC unions and I read versions of this story over and over (since starting the job in 2001). Without the Letter Carrier Union these employees would be worst off than an Amazon warehouse worker.

(Side note: I worked for the Amazon warehouse in Coffeyville ks for 2 weeks in the summer of 2000. I was a temp worker and was told to try and not hurt myself by falling and potentially damaging the product. Meaning the Whitney Houston CDs I was packing were more valuable than me.)
posted by stltony at 8:16 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


They will be creating these for folks to pick up their mail (as well as have an post office option too, I suppose).
posted by Kitteh at 8:17 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait, if Canada is eliminating home delivery in urban areas, how will people get their mail? Will you have to go to the post office and pick it up?

Community mailboxes in less dense urban and suburban areas. (Rural areas which currently get roadside delivery won't lose it; Harper knows who votes for him.) Apartment buildings where you get your mail in the lobby boxes will still get delivery there. It's not totally clear what will happen in dense urban areas that do not have apartment buildings, like much of Montreal -- they think maybe there will be agreements with stores to pick them up there.
posted by jeather at 8:21 AM on September 26, 2014


And not a word about why it is losing money, having to prepay it's employee obligations higher than every other government or semi-government agency.

The USPS was a shining beacon of government enterprise, serving the community and even providing a dividend to the government.

The Republicans had to gut it so that they could point to it and say "SEE GOVERNMENT DOESN'T WORK (even if we deliberately fucked it up to begin with)"
posted by Talez at 8:21 AM on September 26, 2014 [28 favorites]


Where can I read more about how the USPS was gutted?
posted by narain at 8:36 AM on September 26, 2014


I am sadly unsurprised by most of this article. My wife is a plaintiff's employment attorney and I sometimes tease her that she should change her business cards to read "USPS Anti-House Counsel" because she is so often involved representing their employees.
posted by Lame_username at 8:49 AM on September 26, 2014




Slam them together and UPS and FedEx have more employees than the US Postal Service.

Yet the Postal Service is a horror show, while UPS and FedEx are regularly ranked among top places to work.

So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

No, wait, don't tell me. I'm sure it will involve a screed about evil corporations.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:09 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how this can happen -- isn't this a slam-dunk lawsuit? Just record the supervisor fiddling your hours then go straight to an employment tribunal. Is that not a crime in the US?
posted by richb at 9:18 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


CPB, maybe because UPS and Fedex offload the unprofitable last-mile scut work to the USPS?
posted by notsnot at 9:26 AM on September 26, 2014 [17 favorites]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

Because they are mandated to provide delivery everywhere of practically everything at uniform rates, even if it wouldn't be profitable. Come on, you need to troll better than that.

I'm sure it will involve a screed about evil corporations.

But this is a useful point. Note that the USPS isn't designed to make a profit. Don't pretend that your local 'coop' or friendly hippy store doesn't treat it's employees the same way. It all comes down to the deliberate decision to squeeze money out of the employees, it starts at the top and everyone is shaking down everyone else below them for dollars.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:27 AM on September 26, 2014 [8 favorites]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

Because USPS is required to deliver mail, at the same rate, throughout the whole country. Do you really think that FedEx or USPS would deliver a letter for 49 cents from northern Alaska to backwoods Florida?

Now, whether you think that it should even be possible to mail a letter for 49 cents from Alaska to Florida is another question, but it's disingenuous to pretend that FedEx or UPS offer the same service.
posted by andrewesque at 9:27 AM on September 26, 2014 [20 favorites]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

You should try asking that in Hawaii.
posted by Talez at 9:28 AM on September 26, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yet the Postal Service is a horror show, while UPS and FedEx are regularly ranked among top places to work.

FedEx is most definitely not a good place to work — for example, they just lost a lawsuit about misclassifying employees as independent contractors in order to circumvent labor law.

UPS is an acceptable place to work for one small subset of their employees — full-time drivers. For everyone else, it's miserable. This chapter1 on work practices at the UPS hub in Louisville is informative.

1: This is, I know, sort of a weird book to cite here, since it's from a book that's mostly about academic labor practices, so it focuses on a particular program whereby the University of Louisville provided student workers for UPS. Nevertheless, it gives a very good view into how packing center work works.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 9:35 AM on September 26, 2014 [11 favorites]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

Technically, it's not. You can pay UPS to send your letter either priority or as a package if you want. Of course if you're shipping it to somewhere remote, they're just going to hand it over to the post office to deliver.

I think that if we were serious about cutting costs to the USPS, we'd switch to alternate day deliveries where you would receive deliveries Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Most of us wait a day to watch that movie from Netflix anyway.
posted by dances with hamsters at 9:39 AM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

Because it's in the Constitution, like the military. Like the military, funding shouldn't be an issue, and we shouldn't be hearing blather about cutting USPS costs (but unfortunately, Nixon changed it into a 'corporation').
posted by Rash at 9:55 AM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


"There's nothing for you today, Chinaski."
posted by klarck at 9:55 AM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


I was hoping Bukowski would show up in this discussion.
posted by Rash at 9:57 AM on September 26, 2014


alternate day deliveries where you would receive deliveries Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.
I was surprised they wanted to ditch Saturday delivery instead of an approach like this.

I don't think of FedEx or UPS as a better place to work than the USPS. One guy I know didn't get to leave his temp shift on Christmas Eve when his pregnant wife was in the hospital until he found someone to cover for him. He didn't need more work that year, but knew he'd never get another temp gig with them if he left.

I have had issues with both FedEx and UPS trying to deliver when I am not home and then having to drive an hour or more to the pick up location. There were many of their retail stores in between my house and this pick up place both times, but they refused to leave the package at any of them. Instead, for one I had to drive out to a scary-at-night parking lot, sign in at a shack, walk through the poorly lit lot to another building and pick up the package. In the other case, we stopped at 3 different locations in one town before finding the one that held the package, but it was deserted on a Saturday and surrounded by a razor-wire topped fence. We were eventually buzzed in and given the package.

When there is package that needs to be signed for from USPS, I drive 7-8 minutes over to the office across town.
posted by soelo at 10:19 AM on September 26, 2014 [5 favorites]


UPS is an acceptable place to work for one small subset of their employees — full-time drivers. For everyone else, it's miserable. This chapter1 on work practices at the UPS hub in Louisville is informative.

Holy CRAP. Is there a Metafilter post on THIS labor practice?

That's dystopian as hell.
posted by selfnoise at 10:20 AM on September 26, 2014


I feel sorry for the Angry and Abusive supervisors. They must be subject to anger and abuse themselves, only worse and more of it, since they're stuck at the station, where they're always available for anger and abuse from their supervisors, who probably get worse anger and abuse from their own supervisors.
posted by ogooglebar at 10:26 AM on September 26, 2014


Perhaps inevitable.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:30 AM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


Two things:
1) I want to chime in to reiterate the importance of the USPS as a service. A profit motivated corporation would never, ever, deliver to the more remote areas of this country such as rural Alaska. (Consider all the people who live outside of urban areas who need to receive paper checks).

Furthermore, one of the reasons UPS and Fedex can be so profitable is that they often hand off to USPS for the less profitable runs - meaning that USPS essentially subsidizes those businesses.

2) (Only slightly related) In 2003 I had a summer job as a UPS driver. I was in the best shape of my life going in and it was still absolutely grueling mentally and physically. Prior to that I'd done farm labor every summer since I was 12 and had worked in a scene shop doing light construction the year before. I was no slouch. I have so much respect for anyone who can sustain that job. I couldn't.

None the less, say what you will about the Teamsters, they made sure that work was 1000x better than this. I missed my targets every day (despite hauling ass and working harder than I ever thought possible) and never, not once, was I yelled at or put down ( I was reprimanded, sure, but in a totally professional way) even as a lowly temp. When I got horribly sick and couldn't come in, they reminded me that someone would have to pick up my slack by way of checking that I was really ill but when I told them I was sorry but really couldn't make it, that was the last I heard of it. I give the union 100% of the credit for the fact that I was treated like a human being.



It should be obvious, but these people deserve a hell of a lot better.
posted by lucasks at 10:37 AM on September 26, 2014 [15 favorites]


Why doesn't Amazon own the USPS yet?
posted by gottabefunky at 11:06 AM on September 26, 2014


If interaction is the reason to maintain daily delivery then the USPS should consider implementing opt-in electronic mail management. The majority of people would use it and those who didn't would still get the visits. This would drastically reduce the need for long routes and carrying heavy bags. It would also help to solve the remote delivery (Alaska, etc.) expense problem.
posted by michaelh at 11:07 AM on September 26, 2014


I say that because jobs like this one do not get better in the long term. They get worse and then they go away out of necessity. It takes extraordinary courage and discipline to improve the quality of a job and a company culture in the middle of a decline and a budget crisis. USPS doesn't have that kind of leadership on the management or union side. Mail advertising is drying up, so now is the time to make proactive changes that will preserve what we like about mail carrying when the carrying itself is nearly gone, even if it reduces the ubiquity of carriers before absolutely necessary.
posted by michaelh at 11:13 AM on September 26, 2014


Oh hey, I worked at UPS for a few years, night shift, at one of the packing facilities. (The same job described in You Can't Tip a Buick's link)

Interesting things from that paper - "minimum standard for error-free sorting is one error in
2,500." Ha. That's what's on paper - they actually want one in 4,000.

"Today I had a total of over 1600 packages with no help, the bastards." You are fucking kidding me. It's 2,000 a day, minimum.

Though, the worst parts are just that 1 - there's no heat in the warehouse, the bay doors are always open, so it gets a little chilly in there in the middle of winter at 1 AM (me and the other workers on my line actually worked out a makeshift "frostbite rotation", which management did not fucking like one bit) and 2 - the ink particles and cardboard fibers will fuck your lungs up pretty fierce.
posted by mrgoat at 11:56 AM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


I didn’t run between houses to deliver the mail as fast as I could to prove I could do it and do it well... I ran because I didn’t want to be screamed at. The only proof that I had done well was if, when my boss called toward the end of the day, screaming “WHERE ARE YOU?” I could say, “On my way back to the station.”
Yes, every day screaming, and the worst days are when you get "walked" by a supervisor who follows you the whole day, ordered to see why you take so long. Imagine the hostility.

This article is so painfully true. My father has been a letter carrier for over 30 years, and many of our family friends are also letter carriers. Over the past decade or so the demeanor and behavior of supervisors has deteriorated drastically. When she talks about the constant screaming and aggressive focus on milking every possible day and hour out of you without paying a penny more, know that this is truly every day.

A few years ago my father's station (in Northern Philadelphia) was in a state of revolt. The supervisor was notorious and hated. One letter carrier had to be arrested for assaulting the supervisor; someone else set her car on fire. When my father was hospitalized after an emergency and I had to call and tell her, the only thing she said was to tell him to make sure he gets back to work. She displayed no concern, perhaps because it's been squeezed out of her. It had to be. Because there's no way this type of management could be ubiquitous in the USPS unless it was mandated policy.

The station's revolt had two results: 1. The supervisor was transferred out. 2. The station was moved to an older, smaller building, not because there were fewer workers, but because they no longer deserved adequate space.

A few months ago she became the supervisor again. My father is officially retired October 31st and they're throwing a party but nothing can match the party in my heart.
posted by Danila at 12:15 PM on September 26, 2014 [9 favorites]


July 1 is (unofficial?) Postal Worker Appreciation Day. This year, I had a friend (who is a pastry chef) make a cake. All done up in red white and blue, with berries on it, and "Thank you for your service!" written on it.

So July 1 comes, and I head into the post office about 10 minutes after opening. There's already a line. I'm waiting there, cake carrier in one hand and a bag of disposable plates and forks in another. Eventually, I make it to the front of the line and approach the window.

The clerk eyeballs the cake and says, "You want to ship that?" I can see she's already thinking, oh my God, there is no way this cake is going to survive a trip through the mail.

"No," I smiled, setting the plates and forks on the counter, "This is for you. Today is Postal Worker Appreciation Day, and I thought you all might appreciate a little treat."

She teared up and looked in disbelief at the cake, and said "This... is for us? Really?"

I nodded and smiled, and wished her a good day. Later that day, our carrier brought our mail to the office, and thanked me for the cake. She said it was the first time in a long, long time that anyone had done anything like that. They're a hard working bunch doing a really tough job. Give 'em a high five and a thank you; they probably need it.
posted by xedrik at 12:26 PM on September 26, 2014 [25 favorites]


So, tell me again why we allow USPS a monopoly on first-class mail?

They don't. You can send mail by Fedex or UPS and pay ten times the rate.

Fedex and UPS would have significantly reduced profits without the subsidies from the postal service. The postal service delivers 30% of Fedex and UPS packages, the less profitable "last mile", while Fedex and UPS retain the more profitable delivery routes for themselves.

Meanwhile, the postal service pays Fedex $1.5 billion per year to fly their priority and express mail, which represents 60% of Fedex air freight revenue.

Yet at the same time, the Postal Service is forbidden by Congress, to advertise their own express and overnight service in direct competition with Fedex and UPS. Who do you think arranged to have their competition silenced?

Congress requires the Postal Service to operate as a private corporation, yet retains control over days of delivery, prices for stamps, number of post offices, how they must fund their pensions, and how they can advertise.

The Postal Service represents 330,000 union workers who vote reliably Democratic and the Republicans are determined to kill it off.
posted by JackFlash at 12:27 PM on September 26, 2014 [22 favorites]


So much discussion about the (non-existent) monopoly status of the USPS and the (non-existent or greatly exaggerated) amazing working environments of Fed-Ex and UPS and so little discussion of the absolute fucking war being waged (ha) on the working class (even the author describes herself as lower middle class). I mean, discussion of the necessity of the USPS is not the topic of this article and yet, here we are, focusing on what are rather abstract concepts (politics, constitutional mandates, the economics of the postal system) and largely ignoring the actual lived experience of the author and folks in the working class in general. Which, you know, is (mostly) the actual point of the article.
posted by the lake is above, the water below at 12:57 PM on September 26, 2014 [3 favorites]


I mean, discussion of the necessity of the USPS is not the topic of this article and yet, here we are, focusing on what are rather abstract concepts (politics, constitutional mandates, the economics of the postal system) and largely ignoring the actual lived experience of the author and folks in the working class in general.

Well, you can't discuss the war on the working class without discussing the economics and politics and financial interests that are driving it. Things don't just get bad all on their own. There are forces driving the war and you can't fix it without understanding its source. The Postal Service is being degraded and made awful because Republicans want it that way.
posted by JackFlash at 1:14 PM on September 26, 2014 [2 favorites]


Perhaps you're right, JackFlash. Maybe it has a lot to do with Metafilter's demographics, but I've seen many similar articles go in this direction. Often there will a few folks who talk about their time slaving in a shitty retail job, but it seems those experiences often don't lead to further discussion and are sort of islands in a sea of comments similar to the ones in this thread. I also think that these more abstract level discussions that seem to dominate progressive discussions of working class issues contribute to the division between the two groups that should (at least more often) be a united front.

However, I admit I can be super sensitive to this type of thing, so I could be seeing things in a distorted way. I know there has been (what I consider) good discussions in the threads about how difficult can be to be poor or escape poverty.

Anyway, here I am, myself, contributing to what I'm complaining about! So let me just say that nearly all of my experience in working class jobs has been awful: dehumanizing, degrading and just characterized by an overall meanness and pettiness that I think many many people on Metafilter maybe really don't understand.
posted by the lake is above, the water below at 1:31 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Slam them together and UPS and FedEx have more employees than the US Postal Service.

Yet the Postal Service is a horror show, while UPS and FedEx are regularly ranked among top places to work.
"

Regularly? And if an organization is routinely found to have violated labor laws, do you think that a list that ranks them as one of the best places to work is using accurate criteria?
posted by klangklangston at 1:42 PM on September 26, 2014


There is another angle here that never seems to come up in discussions concerning working conditions: ethics and the lack of basic human decency in the dealings between bosses and underlings.

I come out of the financial services industry -- and was senior / executive management therein -- and the fundamental disrespect and sometimes all-out nastiness dumped on subordinates by management up and down the food chain is all too common. Here we're discussing the mess that is the USPS. But bullying -- which is what this is -- seems like it is, if not everywhere, exceedingly common regardless of organizational purpose, function, structure, efficiency, profitability, or what-not.

I was born at night, but it wasn't last night. Was it always this bad? Before the flood?
posted by cool breeze at 1:42 PM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


I mean, discussion of the necessity of the USPS is not the topic of this article and yet, here we are, focusing on what are rather abstract concepts (politics, constitutional mandates, the economics of the postal system) and largely ignoring the actual lived experience of the author and folks in the working class in general. Which, you know, is (mostly) the actual point of the article.

I would like to know what a non-abstract discussion about the author's actual lived experience, by people who don't know the author, would look like. Discussing the working class in general is abstract, so that wouldn't count.

The author has offered their personal story to, among other things, make a general point about the USPS' situation, so it's okay to discuss it. Believing, as I do, that resolving the larger issues of the USPS is the best way to make the working environment better for its lowest-ranked workers is not insensitive or missing the point.
posted by michaelh at 2:05 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


If nothing else, I think we have an explanation for the package delivery troubles certain members seem to have.
posted by ob1quixote at 3:24 PM on September 26, 2014


When the Execrable Charles Murray wonders why modern working class culture has gotten so coarse, I'd like to drag him by the neck down to the sorting center and let him see for himself the scenes described in this piece. "That's why, Chuck! You miserable prick! Employment-at-will and right-to-work and every other fellation of the capital class you call for. It's a goddamned human rights violation but to you it's just the free market at work."

I'll stop there. I could go on for a while in a tirade directed at Murray and his ilk. Suffice it to say, people need dignity in employment and our current economic arrangements are not providing it.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:09 PM on September 26, 2014 [7 favorites]


. A profit motivated corporation would never, ever, deliver to the more remote areas of this country such as rural Alaska.

Enabling living outside of high density areas is a good thing?
posted by jpe at 4:17 PM on September 26, 2014


Sometimes, yeah. Especially for indigenous people.
posted by klangklangston at 4:52 PM on September 26, 2014 [6 favorites]


cool breeze, a lot of these companies will continually fire and replace managers for underperformance, until they get one who is a big enough asshole to do what it takes to squeeze blood from a stone. The problem isn't shithead shop floor managers per se, it's upper management and executives whose policies specifically weed out any shop floor manager who is not prepared to be a complete shithead.
posted by George_Spiggott at 9:10 PM on September 26, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think that if we were serious about cutting costs to the USPS, we'd switch to alternate day deliveries where you would receive deliveries Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.

That would create an even worse working environment: workers would find it difficult if not impossible to schedule a second job on alternate days to make up for the lost days of wages.
posted by jamaro at 10:49 PM on September 26, 2014


There's a Post Office location in San Francisco that has a Supervisor who is always barking orders at his employees and treating them like they're rabid dogs. The Supervisor is Chinese, and exhibits all the worst stereotypes of how I imagine a sweat shop labor factory is run, in China.

I had seen this guy abuse his employees more than once until one day - while waiting at the counter for service, I pointedly told him (in an animated voice) that he had no right to speak to his employees that way; that it was abusive, and that if I saw it again I would report him to the Post Office and every labor rights organization in the city. His employees couldn't believe it, and neither could he. He slinked away.

A few weeks later I was back, and he was there - repeating the same behavior. I told him that that was going to be his last chance. He looked incredulous, but at the same time, chastised. I warned him that from now on I was going to come in at random and check up on his behavior. Things have improved at that post office; I rarely see him berating any of his employees, and they all greet me with ear-to-ear grins whenever I stop in. I don't know if it had anything to do with my actions, but it appeared to me that this Supervisor had simply operated out of abusive habit, as if there was no other way. It's sad to see such hard working people as Post Office personnel taken advantage of, and taken for granted. They don't deserve that; nor does any other hard-working person.
posted by Vibrissae at 5:29 PM on September 27, 2014 [6 favorites]


I think you've found the way out of the devil's jaws there, Vibrissae. As Americans you are treated as the lowest of scum as employees, conversely as customers you are allowed to expect to have your every petty selfish little whim indulged by those lowest of scum. However you are the same people, so the solution is to defend each other rather than kicking the pain along.

When some vicious martinet of a supervisor or self-entitled prat of a customer gives a service worker a hard time - speak up.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:41 AM on September 28, 2014 [3 favorites]


workers would find it difficult if not impossible to schedule a second job on alternate days to make up for the lost days of wages.
Workers would still work every day; deliveries would be every other day to one section of town and the opposite days to the other section of town. Essentially, cut every route in half. One half gets Monday and Tuesday's mail on Tuesday and the other half gets Tuesday and Wednesday's mail on Wednesday. They got Monday's mail on Monday, along with Saturday's mail. Each half will take longer than it did before, but not twice as long.
posted by soelo at 7:17 AM on September 29, 2014


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