|Delivering information when you need it most.||February 1998, Vol. 1 No. 5|
by Paul Gereffi
Management is losing it.
I mean it, they are going totally nuts. This bonus system and the ridiculous lengths to which it has driven managers to grab a piece of the pie has apparently driven them totally out of their minds.
The way they are currently running the Postal Service has no relation to serving our customers. It's strictly figures=bonus, and that's it. Customer be damned...full bonus ahead!
Lately, it's been hard to keep a straight face at office meetings and it feels like we're dealing with a relative that has developed a mental illness. Anyone who has ever had to deal with a nut case knows what the doctor's orders are. Just listen to everything they tell you, nod in agreement, and them totally disregard it!
"Oh look, it's raining pitchforks and bowling balls!"
"Yes, yes, Aunt Matilda, whatever you say... now why don't you go upstairs, take your medicine and lay down for a while?"
The other day in my station I asked why they changed the locks on the collection boxes. I was told, and I am NOT making this up, that the Russian mafia has been breaking into the boxes so they changed the keys.! The boss might as well have told me that little green men were planting listening devices in her ears.
"Whatever you say, boss, just want to know what to tell my customers!," I said as I walked away sideways (had to keep an eye on her.)
We have a new policy of the supervisor personally checking our cases for sleepers or any kind of mail, forms or equipment left at the case before we hit the street. To get near the case to make this inspection, they often have to step over dozens of feet of curtailed mail. Often, the undelivered mail must even be moved out of the way, so that the boss can closely scan the shelves for a sleeper or, heaven forbid, a candy wrapper. They simply ignore dozens of feet of undelivered mail to look for one or two letters stuck in the case!
It makes you want to yell at them, "What are you doing out of bed...take your pills and go back to your room!!!"
They have been issuing letters of warning in our office for carriers who leave coffee cups, pens or even blank forms on the case. How does that harm anything? This kind of punitive punishment for such meaningless infractions has nothing to do with service. It's just their way of trying to humiliate and degrade us. This is what managers resort to when their other methods have failed. And they failed not because of us, but because we have no respect for these kinds of silly rules put forth by those of questionable mental acuity. (Look it up, bossman!)
the clerks are sorting the mail to be brought to the carriers and the window clerks are selling stamps, the supervisors are on the microphones giving instructions on some matters totally unrelated to our main function of serving our customers.
"Put the proper colored plastic codes on the undelivered mail (instead of delivering it),... fill out whether keys or car fare are required on your help slip (you are not getting any help anyway),...and completely empty out your drawers and put everything in your locker because we're having a 'surprise!' inspection today."
Whatever you say! There, there now.
I had two women come from the main facility in my town to help with my DPS. It had been coming in the wrong order and I was consistently getting mail for the other side of the city. They were both very professional. They went through all the DPS, took meticulous notes and promised to correct the problem quickly.
Later that day, I went into the swing room. One of them was on her knees gnawing on the corner of a table while eating packets of Sweet n' Low, paper and all. The other was having a spirited conversation with the microwave oven. Needless to say, the DPS problem has not been corrected.
(I made that up, but I had you thinking for a minute there, didn't I? But the DPS problem truly hasn't changed at all. Not one of the many errors has been corrected.) When dealing with people like this, it's best to just ignore their rantings, just as you would any mentally ill person, (except most of them are usually harmless, unlike our managers.) Instead of getting ourselves aggravated, just nod your head yes, then do as you please.
I prefer to think of our supervisors as bumbling fools, staggering around in stained nightclothes, talking to the only people that will really listen...themselves!
If they keep this up they could drive themselves crazy and end up wandering the streets, shuffling back and forth, picking up cigarette butts, waving their arms around and muttering incessantly to themselves: "...you're under reference volume," mumble, grumble, "...past proven performance...be back in eight hours"...mumble.."the carriers are doggin' us I tell ya, THEY'RE DOGGIN' US, GOTTA STOP 'EM!!!"...mumble, grumble..."I'll be Postmaster someday, you'll see, YOU'LL SEE!" Whatever you say, boss, ...whatever you say!
Paul is a member of NALC Branch No. 2550, Fort Lauderdale, FL. He was featured in the September, 1997 issue of the Postal Record, On the Record, page 16. He is a writer for his branch newsletter as well as a contributing reporter for Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, among other publications.