PO-ed

A few times in the week following Isaias, I got no mail at all.

I chalked it up to the storm. Either no one was sending anything, or it got delayed somewhere along the way.

But after reading stories like this one about problems with the US Postal Service, I’m wondering if my empty mailbox is part of a larger issue.

Nearly everyone in Westport loves their mail carrier. These men and women are devoted, efficient and friendly. They know their routes, they know us, they deliver the mail with smiles and speed.

(Photo/Penn Videler)

Similarly, we love the Westport post office. We may not like its crowded parking lot or cramped confines, but we know we will get excellent service. The clerks answer our questions — from basic to complicated, and often idiotic — with patience and clarity.

Whatever is happening to the US Postal Service has nothing to do with them.

But it’s important to crowdsource this one. So: Has your mail delivery been slower than usual lately? Are there fewer collection boxes around town? (The one near CVS disappeared years ago.) Have you noticed anything else in the past few weeks?

Click “Comments” below. And the next time you see your postal carrier: Thank him or her for their service.

50 responses to “PO-ed

  1. Green’s Farms Post Office has a very convenient location and excellent parking. It’s a friendly atmosphere with an amazing and knowledgeable staff. I love it’s “small town” charm.

  2. There have been several days with no mail. My Sports Illustrated Magazine has not arrived in over 6 weeks.

    • Jacquie Littlejohn

      I noticed a mail delivery slowdown in Weston earlier in the summer, a slowdown that has only increased (substantially) over time. I originally thought it had to do with Covid-19 until I started reading about the actual causes. Very glad Congress is returning early to address this.

  3. Have been thinking the same thing. We had a day last week without mail – a first in 21 years and also chalked up to Isiah (and the Amazon Prime trucks having siphoned off some of the Usps packages. See, Amazon IS good for USPS)…. and Saturday I rcvd my overdue issue of a weekly
    Magazine….along with this week’s issue. Hmmm.

  4. I received little to no mail for 3 days last week, and what I did receive was junk mail. Very unusual. I’ve also noticed that credit card statements received over the past 2 weeks are arriving much closer to their due dates than usual.

  5. Definitely seeing negative changes. Route is no longer consistent, as the mail comes at very different times each day, if it comes at all. With all the junk mail we usually receive, I find it highly unlikely that there are any days that we receive absolute nothing.

  6. No mail whatsoever but packages for at least 3-4 days. starting to wonder about bills – or bills I’m paying on line that require the bank to send a paper check.

  7. Christine Barth

    We have had several days with no mail. Outgoing has also been a problem. One bill payment, via certified mail, took 23 days to reach Cincinnati, incurring a late fee.

  8. I haven’t used a free standing mail box since the vandalism of several – was it last year or 2018 ? Why take the chance you’re mail won’t reach its destination.

  9. That’s our mailman! My mail has been slow- except for the ads and junk- that seems to get through. This is worrisome in light of the upcoming election.

  10. From what I can tell, mail handling in our neck of the woods is being done as it always was (mostly very efficiently). But mail from some parts of the country does seem backed up — one package from Maine took over 6 weeks to get here, and mail due to arrive (per Informed Delivery from the USPS) will often arrive a day later than reported.

  11. Arline Gertzoff

    I am very conscientious about paying bills on time yet I got two late fee notices which I am refusing to pay as they were mailed in plenty of time I checked a bill due 7/27 which was received at my bank 7/21 For payment An airmail letter from Belgium 🇧🇪 was posted in Brussels June 1 and I received it July 15
    Hopefully Congress will stop this unheard of
    Action by the current administration

  12. NIna Streitfeld

    You bet I love the Postal Service and its many wonderful employees in Westport and Norwalk. As to delivery delays, the President of the United States has cut operating funds to the Postal Service in doing his utmost to destroy the USPS to prevent voting by mail and sabotage the election.

    Testimony as to the work of the Post Office, a heavy box of books was shipped to me from Osaka Japan’s post office via sea, was missing for several months, and was finally delivered to my front door in pristine condition – dry, clean and undamaged, despite the pandemic and the curtailed budget of the Post Office..
    Thank you, postal employees, for your dedication in delivering my mail safely to me in all kinds of weather, and for your kindness and patience in answering l my phone calls and in your offices helping me solve various problems over the years.

  13. A padded envelope with a DVD of two CT-scans was mailed on June 17 from Manhattan and appeared in my mailbox on July 14, long after the local doctor needed it.

  14. We receive very little mail these days. Laura, our regular mail carrier, has been out on disability and we miss her so. We rarely get magazines anymore. Our absentee ballots did not arrive until Friday before the Tuesday election. Very scary how the US Postal Service is being run into the ground. My parents depend on it for delivery of their medication! I’m buying our holiday card stamps now, and I urge everyone to buy ahead. Let’s do what we can to support our mail carriers.

  15. We also have had a significant drop in mail volume over the last few weeks – which I am sure is not the fault of our beloved mail carrier!

  16. We have always been the end of the route and generally receive mail after 5. For the last year we do not get mail every day and some days we just get bulk and some days only regular mail. Most recently During the storm we did not get mail for 11 days. Post office in Westport said both a trainee could not find my house (on a main road) and mail was not being delivered to the area because of the storm. We filed a formal complaint with the USPS and got our mail the next day. There are clearly issues.

  17. Luisa Francoeur

    The Catalyst email newsletter has a list of actions we can take to keep the USPS working as it was designed. Go to: https://mailchi.mp/ffe09b74f4e0/kzis8d6ahz-2158709?e=766111df30
    for their browser letter. Or just search for Save the USPS.

  18. Bonnie Erickson

    In Monroe, our mail volume dropped significantly the last week of July and has continued that way since. Very little junk mail now which is good. However, in a couple of cases (Verizon and Eversource) the bills never arrived. Overall, total daily volume reduced by 1/2-3/4.

  19. Mail not always picked up at the house, even when red flag on box is out. Sometimes sits in box 3 days before pickup.
    Mailed small package at Post Office to family in OR using prepaid box. Took 2 1/2 weeks to get there…. Used to take 5 days…

  20. We have experienced all of the above lapses not just recently, but for several years. I have frequently had to deliver mail to addresses with our house number on different streets, Important mail has “fallen through the cracks.” The best yet: my next door neighbor found our soggy Town tax payment moldering in the pachysandra near her mailbox. As much as I would like to believe that Donald J. Trump somehow engineered this, I just can’t. The malfunctioning of the USPS predates this administration. When the possibility of mail-in voting became real, I was and still am horrified. I intend to deliver my ballot personally, however possible. The specter of voting by mail is indeed terrifying, but not for Trumpian reasons.

  21. My wife and I are friendly with our mail carriers too and think they do fantastic jobs under trying conditions. They deserve to be treated well and paid well. However, I have to say I’ve grown pretty fed up with physical mail, which for us seems to consist mainly of massive quantities of catalogues interlaced with bills. Desirable communication comes mainly in the from of email and text,

    I’m not saying we don’t still need the post office, because of course we do.

  22. June Vreeland Maier

    Listen to NPR one
    The USPS is first report this morning.
    Our mail deliveries are also sporadic but most people are using electronic mail in lieu of snail mail these days, everyone may agree on, sadly. My neighbor told me all overtime was recently cut out.
    I filled out an application for a NV mail ballot which arrived in a timely manner. However, there was an option to scan and email it back so I chose that.
    This contentious idea to defund the USPS just to blatantly affect the election results makes me angry and sad/disappointed with the administration once again.
    A former 5 year student at Saugatuck ES and 1954? Graduate of Bedford ES and 9th grade Bedford Jr HS… now living one mile from Pacific Ocean in eclectic sunny Costa Mesa
    Looking for former classmates of d

  23. June Vreeland Maier

    Looking for former classmates of Lavaun Riggs kindergarten class of 1947 or 48.
    I’m scanning Westport Town Crier today to send to Dan.

  24. I have gotten very little – a few bills that I normally get early have not showed up – big business needs to start putting the pressure on the president

  25. Our mail has been unchanged. Our carrier Mike is awesome, and our mail continues to flow daily. Zero issues. Don’t be fooled by the current sensationalism. Mail is getting thru. Maybe a day slower in places, at times. This is a non-issue.

    • Reading all the comments, Mark, it is NOT a non-issue. Many people have many issues with their mail delivery.

      • Which is why we should eliminate mail in ballots, except for those with health issues or disabilities which limit or prevent them from physically voting. The Postal Service is incapable of effectively and efficiently handling the burden and responsibilities of our votes. If we can shop for groceries and actively protest …then we can take the time and show up and vote safely. Voting in person is a commitment to our rights and freedoms…If you are not in a high risk category for COVID…show up In person and show you care.

        • One doesn’t have to be “in a high risk category” in order to voil by mail. That is nonsense. The post office is absolutely capable of delivering mail and ballots as it has been doing for over a hundred years. Call your town hall and request your absentee ballot. It is safe. It is legal. It is reliable. You have the right to do so. It is your choice.

        • Jamie, have you ever had to wait hours in line just to shop for groceries? Have you ever worked two jobs just to make ends meet (with extremely limited free time)?

          This shouldn’t be viewed as a political issue. For all of us who believe in the fundamental right to vote, why do we make it so difficult in our country to cast a ballot in contrast to some other democracies? Do you honestly think the low voter turnout in the United States is entirely due to voter apathy or intense dislike of the choices?

          Quite frankly, we should all be glad President Trump won’t be required to stand in line in Palm Beach on a Tuesday in November to cast his vote.

          • No Fred, I have never lived in Venezuela so I have never had to wait hours in line just to shop for groceries. Yes Fred, at times I have worked two jobs to make ends meet (with limited time). However, apart from allowing you to score points for virtue shaming, I don’t see how any of this matters. The USPS is a bloated whale of a government bureaucracy that has been poorly run and heavily subsidized. It should not be trusted with something as important as the election of our next President. Fred, don’t you prefer the knowledge that your vote was cast and counted to wondering if it actually arrived at it’s delivery address. Isn’t it better to take the time to go and vote than it is to wonder if your ballot is sitting in a mail bag on a loading dock…undelivered?

            • Jamie, I guess I didn’t make my points sufficiently clear. You made it sound as though because people have time to shop for groceries, they certainly have time to vote. But, the bottom line is, in-person voting in various parts of the country can require people to wait in line for hours—in contrast to grocery shopping. And for people who have extremely limited free time because they work two jobs or for other reasons, how is that a truly viable voting option? Why can’t we make voting more accessible in this country?

              I’m voting by absentee ballot; I have no other choice this year. Many of our military vote by mail in every election (because they have no other choice). So, yes, I am confident our votes will be counted.

  26. Rosemary Milligan

    I have the same complaints as all of the above. I live in Eugene, Oregon and never know if bills will arrive on time, my last Verizon bill showed up i4 days late, as foe magazines – who knows where they are.

  27. That is Greg, who was our mailman on Mortar Rock Rd for several years and was absolutely wonderful. He not only was careful with our mail and put deliveries on the doorstep out of the rain but was a real friend to Winnie, our dog and always had a biscuit for her. He and i commiserated about the Mets annually. Don’t blame the carriers for the crisis because folks like Greg do care about their patrons, and we miss him.

  28. Definitely slower! Had a box sent to us USPS priority last week with a Tuesday guaranteed delivery. Tracking showed it stuck in NJ for 3 days. We got it late Friday, a day after it was needed. And just 1 bill in our mailbox yesterday which although not disappointing, is certainly unusual..

  29. We forwarded my son’s mail from Philadelphia to Westport on April 11th, received a confirmation, and have received zero pieces of mail so far! That’s a Phila. issue but shows how screwed up things are.

  30. John D. McCarthy

    Great to see Penn Videler photo credit, the 3rd generation of a great Westport photography family. Nice shot

  31. Mary Anne Liesner

    First time I can ever remember I left 2 letters to be mailed in my mailbox.
    they were to go across town. The first one never arrived and I sent a second
    so far it has not arrived. PO said there is no way to track 1st class mail.
    They may turn up. This is very unusual . Love our postal service

  32. Six days for a piece of certified mail to be delivered from Westport to Stamford; six days for the signed-for receipt to come from Stamford to Westport.

  33. I had to request an absentee ballot for the primary this year and did NOT arrive on time for me to use it! Sent paper work back in June and it arrived the day before the election, when I was no longer in town. WE ARE IN SERIOUS TROUBLE if we don’t do anything to stop the current gutting of the postal service for political purposes. We will not only miss the mail service… we will end up missing DEMOCRACY too!

  34. You are correct on both counts: We love our mail carrier, Trudy, and I have not been getting the normal volume of mail in the residential box or in our post office box.

  35. As I read about the love so many of us have for our mail carriers, I think about my mom who died three years ago. She would have been 93 last Saturday. Her dad was a mailman. He never made enough to own a home, but my mom never felt deprived. Shortly before she died, she reminisced about Christmastime during her childhood. Although she was suffering from end-stage cancer, her face lit up with a smile as she described the celebrations of more than eighty years ago as if they were yesterday. Her father would bring home gifts from people on his mail route. She and her parents and her younger sister would open packages filled with cookies and cakes and candy and envelopes filled with cash. This was during the Great Depression and it would have been easy, maybe even sensible, for people to tighten their grip on what little money they had. Instead they shared it with their mailman and his family. Those acts of kindness were never forgotten by my mom and influenced the way she lived the rest of her life. And she lived a wonderful life.

  36. Fu….. with the mail is the ONE thing Trump has been successful at.

  37. Definitely much slower delivery…

  38. I wish I had added this when the post came out, but, “In 2006, Congress passed a law that imposed extraordinary costs on the U.S. Postal Service. The Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) required the USPS to create a $72 billion fund to pay for the cost of its post-retirement health care costs, 75 years into the future. This burden applies to no other federal agency or private corporation.
    If the costs of this retiree health care mandate were removed from the USPS financial statements, the Post Office would have reported operating profits in each of the last six years. This extraordinary mandate created a financial “crisis” that has been used to justify harmful service cuts and even calls for postal privatization.” R.6407 – Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act sponsored by Rep. Davis, Tom [R-VA-11] (Introduced 12/07/2006)

    • Thank you for this information Sandra. It is the actual, factual and correct history of the post office’s real problems, as deliberately created by congress for the purpose of undermining the post office.

    • Bill Strittmatter

      To be fair, in 1990 the FASB enacted SFAS 106 which, essentially required companies to accrue the liability for post retirement healthcare and to include in their income statement the annual cost of those benefits (similar to pension accounting) rather than account for them on a pay as you go basis which is what they historically did, the USPS did until 2006 and which government continues to do. The purpose of SFAS 106 was to ensure proper disclosure of the cost of the future benefits being earned by current workers.

      What the 2006 law sort of did was try to put the USPS on the same accounting basis as the private sector but with the additional provision of requiring funding along the way, presumably because the USPS is, nominally, supposed to be self funding. Knowing if they actually were setting aside enough money for the benefits they promised makes sense in that context.

      Of course, in the private sector, the consequence of SFAS 106 was that companies simply stopped providing any sort of healthcare benefits to retirees, letting them pay for their own gap coverage, if any, to supplement Medicare. For better or worse, the USPS did not do what public companies did which is why they have a problem.

      As for government accounting, if they were obligated to follow the same rules as public companies….well, you we be appalled by what you saw.

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