• Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    When i started 12 years ago as a city carrier we had routes that were bigger. Had more mail volume, more stops, cased all of our mail, handled all change of address card and took pride in "owning our routes"! Now we have DPS that sorts 60% of our mail, we can't veiw change of address cards, and the only thing that management worries about is MSP scans! If they would allow us to "own ouir routes" again they would find that we can carry more and do more if they would allow us to do so. We need to get away from 204B's and get real managers. We have not had a real supervisior in 4 year! We finilly got a "real" postmaster in October of 2009, but i don"t think she has work a 40 hour week since! Twelve years ago we had one true postmaster, work every monday-friday 8-5. We had one true supervisior worked 7-4:30 Tuesday-Saturday. Now we have a "partime" postmaster and two 204B's. I could save the postoffice 50,000 get ride of one 204B. Then make the "partime" postmaster WORK!

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    I work in a small level 11 office, and I find all the odd denominations useful. I also have customers that like the odd denominations to put on packages and flats.

    But I do feel that the forever concept needs to be expanded to include stamped envelopes (not just the addressed ones), postcards, stamped postcards and airmail. I have to order a minimum of 100 of many of these, and I will never go through that many before having them sent in for destruction. Think about how much money is being spent in the destruction of this product.

    Commemoratives-make them smaller. I get too many complaints from customers saying that they are too big.

  • Reply to: Brainstorm Ideas to Help the Postal Service   5 years 7 months ago

    The first thing to do would be to look at each office independently and cut any costs where possible. Obviously with all different types of industries failing due to advances in technology (i.e. movie rental places falling due to the high success of netflix) it's important to figure out what can be done to compete and yet still provide the same if not better level of service.

    Many times when a place tries to change things to run cheaper they sacrifice their service and thus they loose clients.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    [apologies in advance for the long post]

    I have always liked postage stamps. I been a stamp collector since I was a kid (about 30 years now). I give sheets or books of stamps as gifts for all occasions, especially as wedding gifts so the newlyweds can send out all their Thank You notes.

    I believe that USPS issues TOO MANY different stamps. I would like the number of new commemorative issues to be cut at least by HALF. But commemoriatives cannot be discontinued, that would cause USPS to lose a lot of revenue. With so many different commemoratives issues, it is really a difficult financial challenge for stamp collectors to acquire each and every issue. I think most stamp collectors would agree that there are TOO MANY commemorative stamp issues and fewer would make their hobby MORE enjoyable.

    The cost to develop new stamp issues should always be looked at for ways to trim expenses. Re-using designs is one method being employed now and should be continued.

    Perhaps there needs to be better forecasting of demand for certain issues so that printing, distribution, accountability, and destruction costs can be better controlled. Perhaps indivual post offices need more local control over the quantity of stamps sent to them. Perhaps a longer sales window for each issue will result in higher sales and less cost for recall and destruction.

    As for all the different denominations availble, I believe we still need these. There are a lot of small, rural post offices that are not automated and in order for them to sell postage, they must still use and apply actual postage stamps on letters and parcels.

    I operate a small home business and I ship approximately 60 small packets and parcels every week. I continue to use actual postage stamps for the vast majority and I buy an average of 200 dollars worth of stamps per week to ship these parcels. I keep an inventory of stamps worth about 400 dollars on hand at all times. I rely on the variety of denominations available in order to meet all the different postage rates required.

    There are so many domestic and international postage rates that I need all of these stamps in order to fit my postage onto small-sized parcels. My smallest size box has a top measurement of 4 inches by 6 inches. After affixing my address label, the small customs form, and an airmail rubber stamp impression, there is not whole lot of space left for postage. It can be quite a struggle to fit the required posage in the space I have left. I rely on the largest stamp denominations possible to get the job done without wasting postage by applying more value than needed.

    My current stock of stamps for shipping parcels includes the following denominations (in cents):
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 17, 23, 27, 39, 41, 42, 44, 50, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 69, 70, 72, 75, 76, 78, 80, 84, 90, 94, 98, 1.00, 4.80, 4.95, and 16.50
    Most of these stamps are from old rates and were issues several years ago. For example, a 23 cent stamps has not been available for probably at least 3 years. The few 60, 63, and 70 cents stamps I have now are the last I will be able to get -- when I run out I will not be able to get more.

    Just this past week, I wanted to buy some 72 cents stamps at a post office. They had none as, I assume, they had to send back their stock for destruction. Now, I am having a harder time putting $1.44 in postage on interntional parcels that require it. I now must visit a post office that does have 72 cent stamps available or purchase them online at usps.com.

    So, to summarize:

    The number of commemorative stamp issues can be easily reduced and still satisfy stamp collectors and those that wish to use commemoratives for mailing. Let local post offices order quantities more in line with their anticipated sales.

    The number of definitive issues should continue on the present course. The needs of small non-automated post offices need to be considered.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    1.stamps have more than a pure utilitarian function in culture.

    2. the customers who are just looking for postage for the item sent, should have it. This would naturally
    reduce stamp stock to be destroyed.
    An educated guess: this would mean more advance sales against future mailing costs by customers. Inflation protected postage rates.
    May as well sell gift cards with a postage rate locked in to buy postage anytime in the future. No stamp stock until needed. Maybe they already do.

    3.Virtual stamps are not practical yet. Virtual mail including multimedia attachments sent to your street address(not email) is already available and no postage needed last time I checked.

  • Reply to: How Can the Postal Service Reduce the Costs Associated with Postage Stamps?   5 years 7 months ago

    You don't want to totally obliterate the things that make the PO unique. Stamps are one of those things. While economically it may make sense to not even have stamps, I think there are a lot of people that would not like that to happen, including collectors, but also some people like to use different stamps at different times of the year, and even stamps of things they like like lighthouses for example. I don't feel that way personally, but I know a lot of people do. There are a lot of other ways to save money without destroying what people recognize as unique to the USPS.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The unions are the biggest impediment to getting the job done. They refuse to embrace new ideas and go out of their way to protect the most unproductive belligerent members. I don't know how management can function and get their job done.
    I;m hopeful the new contract will end these obsolete work rules that date back to the horse and buggy

  • Reply to: The OIG Wants to Know How You Feel about Sick Leave   5 years 7 months ago

    Employees must remember they volunteered to come to work for the United States Postal Service. As a condition of employment sick leave is earned. When you have employees who abuse sick leave every paycheck it makes a difficult situation to cover the workload. FMLA is abused due to the frequency someone may use it. Postal Service should give credit just as they do with Annual. Set a maximum carryover and offer a buy back option at the end of the year.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The USPS is the most militaristic oranization in the government. The managers and supervisors manage with an iron hand with no diginty or respect in their work place. I witness a very abusive management style over my 30 years of service. The work environment is goal driven by the management. THe OIG and USPS need to review the top ten companies that score above a 4.0 and see how well they treat their employees.

    The USPS has a vast uneducated managerial staff in lower and upper management ranks. Education plays NO role in promoting USPS supervisors which is a direct cause to the root problem of a very poor work enviroment. Give the USPS management and supervisors a standard test to be promoted. The nepotism, the who you blank or know current policy is the reason for the 2.8 score.

    That will never change unless the USPS educates it's management staff with more of a caring attitude towards their valuable employess. Make certain educational requirements for all the managerial staff.

    I was so glad to see that abusive management to come to and end at retirement. What a difference working for a company now that values their employees.

    It so sad to see hard working dedicated employees teated like dirt. I thank god it's over for me.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The lack of Accountability is what affects morale the most in the unit I work in. We have employees that spend too much time in the locker room,sitting in chairs under the sorters or talking to co-workers. Supervisors are rarely in the unit and
    show no interest in supervising the work product.

    The light duty/limited duty person can't use a tape gun but on two occasions has
    carried a large crock pot of food into the building. She must have a great Dr.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    As a clerk in a P&DC, many conversations have taken place regarding low morale, which causes poor work performance, which causes attendance problems, it is all connected. managers are paid good money as well as receive bonuses. workers are on the most part, harrassed, disciplined, ridiculed, etc. It is not balanced what so ever. Oh, good leaders are needed that is a fact, supervisors and managers need insight and less ego, intimidation because I can attitude. Most employees do a great job without any other incentive except their pay, why not managers? Take this example; Publix. It is employee owned. go into one of their stores, notice how clean, organized, pleasant and profitable it is. Employees are very courteous and I always notice what they are doing. smiling. A little higher in cost, yes, but so worth the environment and great quality. This isnt rocket science. Now, visit the lobby of your local PO. short staffed, employees expressionless, harried, frustrated, I can hardly wait for the next visit.? I doubt that is what most customers are saying. So who are we in business for? I want to be associated with a good quality employer with a good reputation. It speaks volumes about me and us. I'd work hard to keep it that way. But it cant be done without everyone on board. implement better facility rules. lighten up. keep it strong and enforce it.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    When I started at the PO as a PTF I saw a clerk die on the floor and the first thing the supervisor did was punch him off the clock. Thats how low the place is.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    I selected "fairness and respect" in the above survey. This would have the biggest impact on the Postal work environment. All the other choices hinge off of this. Improving fairness and respect among colleagues and management would boost employee morale, productivity, communication, and the like. For example: employees would work harder knowing that their work will be recognized and rewarded.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    Lots of great insightful comments. The resounding principle causes and solutions are clearly directed at USPS management throughout the hierarchy. If identification of the cause is a moot issue, why is the solution so elusive?
    Respectful to the OIG, your current $239 million operating budget comes directly from the the USPS. In fiscal year 2008, as the rest of the USPS had contracted budgets, the OIG had an increased budget.
    It would be naive to think that the OIG would bite the hand that feeds them.
    Without true accountability with independent enforcement, the solutions will continue to elude like in the magician's shell game.

  • Reply to: Total Factor Productivity (TFP)   5 years 7 months ago

    Once again: Theory is excellent.
    Practice leaves something to be desired.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    There are a few threads running through all of these comments. The first is that the average employee cares about the Post Office. The second is that in actuality there is no business model working. It is merely upper, middle and lower management running scared. And, sadly, it appears that the only people who are responding to you are the worker bees.
    Just after World War I Congress almost shut down the United States Military Academy at West Point. There had been a hazing incident and a cadet died. The Army pleaded with Congress for one last chance. They sent in a young dynamic officer to be Superintendent. He called the Corps of Cadets together and spoke to them. " From his experience in the Great War he realized that West Point MUST CREATE LEADERS OF MEN----NOT DRIVERS OF MEN". We need the same.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The answers are all here, Management is top heavy and poor at best. Fire 3 postal supervisors and hire 1 professional manager and allow them to Manage, not micro-manage.

    Get back to basics, eliminate the 12 different goals for a bonus, just use EXFC and leave it at that.

    Investigate a few supervisors and managers for a change, most are fudging their numbers and commiting fraud against the USPS because they get bonuses based on those fradulent numbers.

    Make supervisors responsible for the contractual violations they commit, craft employees are getting paid huge amounts because supervisors try to beat the contract rather then manage within the negotiated limits of it.

    One more thing I would like to see is the OIG act on some of these blogs, we read them and respond to them but little is done about the feedback given. Starting to look like more lip service from the upper levels.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    I almost voted for "Employee morale, recognition, and feedback" but the real critical vote is " senior leadership". Absolutely everything starts with leadership. Leadership excellence leads to employee excellence which leads to satisfied customers which leads to financial results & repeat business. (Disney's business chain from the Disney Institute). Like it or not, leadership is the key.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    the climate is horrible. i just retired and got my retirement certificate via priority mail and was not even signed. The place is toxic, unfriendly, and was just about the worst job I ever worked at.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    I'v worked for the post office for 15 years and this is the worst managed company I'v worked for. I'v been active military, worked for a fortune 250 company,and currently in the military reserves. I'v watched managers with EEO's, plant evidence to write letters of warnings and get caught, dump DPS in the outgoing mails and get caught be promoted over and over. Yet the OIG seems to only go after some low affending craft employees. Maybe the OIG should start by looking at its own priorities first. Why do I stay on with the PO? Pay and benefits.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    A good example of why the Postal Service's employees moral is so low is an employee's mother passed away and the supervisor required the employee to bring in documentation to prove his mother died in order to use HIS sick leave to bury her.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    Get rid of bad supervisors, plant managers, and postmasters. Most of them have had formal complaints filed by employees and the unions. Look at these complaints seriously and FIRE these bad apples. They are the reason there is low moral. Postal workers want to be treated with dignity and respect. Getting rid of the bad management would be a great start in improving the working conditions of all craft employees. How many law suits have to be filed? How many EEO settlements have to be made? How many grievances need to be won? Keeping the bad supervisors is so costly to the Postal Service. Why won't anybody listen to what the workers are saying???

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    The rank and file have, by my observation, ZERO faith in upper management's ability to lead us forward. The micro-management of every detail has turned postmasters in to policy-passers.

    Upper management wants congress to let them run the USPS like a business. A good business hires local managers to run their offices efficiently. Upper management has no clue what they are doing, and in the business world they would be out of work.

    If this continues, we're doomed.

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    Sirs, in no particular order :
    1) recruit managers from the best of employees, not the worst
    2) stop the repetitive wasting of money, the harrassment of employees, and the destruction or workplace morale by managers who cannot or will not adhere to the contract.
    3) hold managers responsible for their negative actions as well as giving them bonuses
    4) demote managers who are obviously incapable so they do not get passed up the chain as what happens now.
    5) streamline management and administration; our manager to employee ratio is 1 to 8 while private business is 1 to 25. How can we live with that kind of overhead ?
    6) narrow the gap between L'Enfant Plaza and the field so that national programs like C.O.R., Standardization of Cases, etc; which have not worked and hurt the carriers productivity are halted BERFORE they are spread to far.
    7) ASK the employees what works and what doesn't. We are your producers not your enemies !

  • Reply to: For Better or For Worse   5 years 7 months ago

    There is no communication from management in our office. We know of upcoming changes only through rumor. Our opinions are never solicited so they make changes that don't work and end up costing money. Our customer service is horrible. Carriers don't have time to maintain their routes. Many, many VH and forwarding problems from frequent route changes. We had 120 clerks at one time and 3 supervisors. Now we have 43 clerks and 3 supervisors,and they work 6 days! If the PO hired honest, talented managers they wouldn't need so many managers managing managers and we could spend the money on the front line employee that provides the service. Listen to the employees, we know how to provide service at reduced cost. The managers sitting in meetings are clueless to the reality.