DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS/EDITOR

EDITORIAL FROM THE SPRING 2016 NEWSLETTER

by Lindamarie Peabody

Hello everyone! Hope you are all doing well. It’s really been a long time since we have been together. Not much has changed in the Post Office. We are still waiting for a contract to be ratified, bosses are still breaking our stones over every little detail of our job and some clerks are still not very happy to be working at the window. Why are we so dissatisfied, you ask, with the state of affairs at the Post Office? Let me tell you.

Although most of our jobs and the mail have remained somewhat the same, the process of going about what we have done for what seems like forever, has changed drastically. In my opinion, whoever created RSS should be made to work the window by themselves on tax day without any help from anyone for the rest of their career with the USPS. The system is slower than the POS, not user-friendly at all, and I swear on some busy days it slows down on purpose to make it even more miserable for the clerks.

I do think the people who want us to shut down created this system to help speed up the process. ALMOST EVERY CLERK I have spoken to pretty much hates the new system and are complaining of arm, shoulder or neck problems already. Enough said because we have no choice in the matter but I had to put that out there for the record!

Another problem that is causing concern is the attitude of the new hires. Is it me or do they just not seem as motivated as the old-timers to actually care about the mail or their jobs for that matter? Maybe it is because of the pay difference, but still, this is your life and the Post Office pays you pretty well to do your job. Whenever one of the senior people tells you about something to do with mail sorting or window work, we are trying to HELP you learn and you better start listening because if you don’t, you might as well start looking for a new job.

I actually heard one of them say, "I don’t have to be nice to you!" to a customer! WHAT?? Of course you do, because the Post Office pays you to give the customer a good experience when they enter the Post Office. Come on people, it is not all about YOU!

Also, all of us need to stop calling out every other week! It is time to stop always thinking about what you want and realizing that when you call out often, it disrupts the entire work day for everyone. I blame management for ignoring this problem too frequently, but in their defense, it is almost impossible to cover everything when you get a last minute call out almost every day! All I am asking is that you take pride in handling the mail and the customers properly, show up to work, and DROP THE ATTITUDE!

One final problem that I see in every office I visit, is that a lot of postal workers virtually hold everything in until confronted by a co-worker or management, and then they explode on any given day or when taken in the office. This is absurd! We are all adults and we need to start communicating with one another when something actually happens at the time it is happening! For example, if your supervisor misses a day of pay in your check, why do you bring it up six months later when you are in the office for a completely different reason? Why didn’t you contact your steward immediately when you realized your check was short? Or if a coworker irritates you on January 1st, but you explode into a screaming match on the floor on May 1st about it. STOP with the negativity and move on.

It sounds ridiculous but these are true stories! If you learn to deal with issues that arise surrounding your postal employment in a timely manner, you might be less stressed and it would help to stop the toxic environment that the post office has become! The union can solve many problems if only they were handled by the member properly. We all need to work together (managers, employees, coworkers) to show dignity and respect to one another to ensure that there is a Post Office for the future.

In union solidarity,

Lindamarie Peabody
Director of Industrial Relations/Editor