Delivery of mail is anticipated event during the year such as the holidays. There are surprises of cards and packages to break the monotony of regular mail. While people expect prompt deliveries, there are many things that can be done to help get mail efficiently through this busy season. The mail carriers often have to fill their cars twice in order to deliver everything in one day.
Becky Asher of the Garden Valley Post office has used social media to make suggestions to residents on how they can make things a little easier for the Post Office and mail carriers. Becky says, “Customers if you have questions or comments, let’s hear them!”
In rural areas, mail carriers are often contract carriers. Contract carriers are bound by work contract that only allows a ½ mile deviation from their routes to deliver large packages or obtain a signature for a package. Becky says that means if your house is more than ½ a mile from the mailbox, then you will get a notice in your box that there is a package waiting at the post office.
Some subdivisions have a cluster of “multiple box units” with extra parcel boxes for larger items. Even with the addition of more parcel boxes to those units this past fall, they get filled up fast every day. “It is important during this season,” according to Becky, “to make every effort to collect your mail daily, so those lockers can be emptied and used again.”
Becky also states, “Your carriers are having to hire additional help or make two trips this time of year as well. That means your mail may not be delivered at the “usual” time. If you have outgoing mail, I recommend getting it to the mailbox early or dropping it off in a blue collection box that are collected at specific times. As far as delivery, your mail could be delivered as late as 5pm or even later. We are going in extra early this year, but mail has to be sorted at the post office before it is released to the carriers.”
Amazon uses the post office as a delivery drop off in rural areas. This is a good thing for the post offices but at this time of year, there are more packages than the norm. This increases the work load. Becky says that they literally “have 3-4 times the parcels daily than two years ago” due to Amazon. The holidays increases that package count even more.
Once there is snow, it is important to keep mailboxes clear of snow. Becky explains that often this would include the front and the back of the multi box units since some older boxes are delivered from behind. Mail will not be delivered if snow is piled up around the mailboxes and then that requires a trip to the post office to gather your mail.
Becky adds, “The mail carriers are trying their hardest in an almost impossible situation at times. We will do everything we can to get all this extra volume delivered with a smile. Just have a little patience with us and if there’s ever any questions, just ask! We are happy to help. Despite the stress and extra hours, I have always loved this season at work because it is so much fun to be a part of bringing loved ones cards and gifts if they can’t spend the holidays together.”