Mail fail continues in JP; residents POed at local PO

The Jamaica Plain Gazette reports residents continue to complain about problems getting their mail despite the postal service's apparent effort to clean house at the local post office.

Welby said she will be cutting out the Gazette articles on the problem and sending them with her bills that have come late, hoping she won’t get charged a late fee.



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      The JP PO...

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      is the worst place in town. I'd rather have a root canal than have to get in that insufferable, never-ending line. Is there a permanent work slowdown going on there or what? Millions of dollars were spent on a new facility but the service did not improve one iota. People in the know either use the automatic machines or go to a PO in another neighborhood.

      I agree wholeheartedly with

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      I agree wholeheartedly with this. There has to be some kind of deliberate action (or inaction) that the workers are taking in response to poor management, or something, because they are SO SLOW. There are rarely more than two people working at the counter at the JP branch, and they take forever to handle anything more complicated than buying a stamp. If I can't use the automated machine, I take my mailing needs to the Coolidge Corner branch, where lines just as long are dispatched efficiently.

      As for the mail delivery problems, I can't prove a negative, but I will say that for stretches of several days in the past few weeks, we have received nothing, then on the fourth or fifth day our mailbox is crammed full. We had this problem several years ago, too - the joke in our neighborhood was that the mail carriers' creed didn't apply there, because any time it rained you wouldn't get the mail delivered.


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      It's almost like the workers have some sort of contract which protects them from any accountability for their job performance.

      The nit wit woman delivering

      The nit wit woman delivering in Hyde Square kept giving me my neighbors mail, day after day. I finally caught up with her and she said the whole street must have been sorted wrong. When I asked why not just look at the envelopes to confirm it is the right house she said they aren't allowed to; they are just supposed to blindly grab a bundle of mail and leave it at whatever house they're standing in front of. Whenever I've called the JP P. O. to complain about anything the stock answer is to say there is a new person filling in.

      at least she WAS delivering your mail

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      I didn't get my driver's license or bank statements because apparently our princess of a mail carrier decided that it's not enough that the mailbox say "123 #1" has to have my last name on it as well. I had the same problem at a different address in JP until I marched down to the post office and showed them the regulation from their website and demanded that the carrier deliver my damn mail.

      The USPS regs say you must have the number on the mailbox if there's no number on the building. You MAY place your last name on your mailbox. You do not HAVE to! Nor do I WANT to, because I value my privacy. Yet apparently the carrier decided on their own that having the street number and apartment number on the mailbox was insufficient information to delivery a piece of mail with matching info.

      So, end result? My bank locks me out of my account, I don't get my driver's license, etc. It's going to cost me $50 to get ANOTHER copy of my license sent to me!

      I was always told that for

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      I was always told that for important mail, the name has to be on the mailbox. I forget which agencies have told me this, but I think for passport, and driver's license as well. Whether USPS commonly enforces it is one thing, but that is the only reason I bothered to put my name on my mailbox.

      The Somerville Post Office, unfortunately, isn't much better.

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      The Somerville Post Office, unfortunately, isn't much better. They were constantly short-staffed (only 2 people working the windows), and there were long lines, as well. Now there are other problems; Our mail has been coming much later in the day, thanks to the fact that, due to some upcoming changes, our mail carrier now has to go all the way to Chelsea to pick up the mail for delivery.

      That's hilarious. I remember

      That's hilarious. I remember being taught in elementary school that it didn't matter what you put for city and state on the envelope, as long as you put the correct zip code (which was new, then). Good luck with that. The Post Office couldn't even figure out Burlington CT vs Burlington MA when I put the right zip code and the wrong state.

      This part of the article is bizarre, though:

      Jamaica Plain is probably not directly named for the island of Jamaica, according to the Jamaica Plain Historical Society. There are various theories about the origin of the neighborhood’s name, but the most commonly accepted is that it is a corruption of a local American Indian leader’s name that sounded vaguely like “Jamaica.”

      Really? Because "Jamaica" is a corruption of "Xamayca", and that doesn't sound anything like the Indian names in New England. I know what they say about assumptions, but I always assumed that Jamaica Plain was named for the place the colonial residents made enough money to build all those big houses by the pond.

      Funny you mention that

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      I grew up on Mill St in Burlington, MA and we would occasionally get mail destined for Mill St in Burlington VT. Which is weird, because the Mill St in MA numbers up to almost 300 (my family's place is numbered in the upper 50s) and the one in VT is a short street with maybe three buildings.


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      The American Indian leader in question was Kuchamakin, which I guess kinda sounds like Jamaica if you remove the "Ku" and squint a little. But Jamaica Rum came to Boston pretty early on, so maybe people heard a similarity in the Indian name and just took it from there.

      That's pretty funny.

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      That's pretty funny.

      What about Jamaica, NY? It has more than 200,000 people, and is the official USPS city for addresses in that section of Queens (despite the fact that NYC unification occurred in 1898). So you'd think most USPS mail sorters would know that Jamaica doesn't always mean the Caribbean island.

      One of the worst I've lived near

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      In the 5 years of residing in JP I have received more wrongly delivered mail than when residing anywhere else in over 50 years. Last December I received two items which were clearly addressed to other addresses (one in a different zip code) three times. In spite of writing on the envelope emphasizing the address and putting them back into the public mail box the items still wound up delivered to my address. This was not an exception over the past several years.

      Last week I received yet another piece of mail that was misdelivered.

      Netflix disks seem to get lost in temporary loops. I've also sent mail that was never delivered but was not returned (maybe the mail will be returned in a few decades).

      The pace at the post office itself seems to be based on a slower dimension.

      and you need to black it out

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      and you need to black it out with a grease pencil or black crayon. Our office worked with bar codes all the time and this was the only sure way of it being delivered to the right address


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      My PO box came up for renewal on Jan 26. A week before that, I sent a check in for the amount shown on the remittance envelope they send out about 20 days prior to the renewal date.

      The envelope containing the check was dropped off at the JP Post Office 8 business days prior to the renewal date.

      The check went uncashed. Fifteen days later, I checked my PO box. Inside was a note saying "OUR RATES WENT UP JAN 26. PLEASE PAY CORRECT AMOUNT" along with the remittance envelope and uncashed check.

      What's the point of sending out official information that is neither official nor accurate?

      I wonder if this a regional thing

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      I ordered something online at the beginning of January, unfortunately the merchant sent it to my old PO box address at JFK Station (a glitch in their ordering system defaulted to my old address for some reason), which had a forwarding order to my new PO box at the Clarendon St Post Office, less that two miles away. It was forwarded from the JFK Station on January 10th and hasn't arrived at Clarendon St yet. I inquired a couple of times online and at the post office counter as to its whereabouts and was told that it is "in transit" and to expect it in the "next few days" (I was first told this over a month ago) and that it is not unusual for it to take this long to forward some items. When I checked the tracking number again this week, it said that it was archived. When I inquired again this week with the USPS, I was told that it was "forwarded through a third party delivery company and will not be trackable by the USPS.", which I find to be an appallingly poor excuse. Why even bother forwarding mail if it's just going to be lost (I've only received three forwarded items, all junk mail, since I filled out the forwarding order in November). It shouldn't take six plus weeks for a package to travel less than two miles and I assume it's lost. I could have walked to the sender's address in Indiana, picked up my order and walked home in the time this has taken. I contacted the merchant who, very gracefully is replacing the lost items.

      What's the point of paying

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      What's the point of paying for tracking if they just hand it off to a third party that can't track?

      I'm not surprised

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      the Allston Post Office on Harvard Ave. was the catalyst that motivated me to switch to full e-billing. Bills kept getting lost, and when I went to complain, I waited on line behind 5 people who were complaining their packages never arrived. (The post office said they were all stolen, sorry, don't order packages.)

      I ended up getting yelled at by a supervisor because, when I pointed out the amount of missing/misdirected mail we were getting, he said"we have a substitute mailman this month, and it's not his job to look at which numbers and names are on which boxes." I'm pretty sure that's the *only* job of the mailman, match the address with the mail.

      Sketchy Deliverer

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      Near Hyde Square, the mail deliverer there is regularly out in her personal car until 7-8 at night with mail. She often parks in front of my house and her car is an absolute attrocity. I see her bags and bags of mail in the back of this beat up car (I think it's a '97 Corolla or something very similar, from the "don't-bother mid-90's" school of car design). I've always taken it as strange but had a general "Live and let die" attitude about the whole thing. But with this, i'm going to make sure to take a photo of the vehicle and let the USPS know that their driver is "crazy cat lady"-ing it up with our mail.

      Forced to work in the dark

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      So this woman is forced to work outside in the winter with it's sub-freezing temperatures, icey sidewalks, and snow banks and is out trying to deliver mail in the dark, and you think it will be helpful somehow to notify the USPS that her car sucks? I am sure the USPS will really care about your concern and give it the proper attention it deserves and improve your mail service.

      I am also confident that this woman's direct supervisors know exactly what kind of car she drives and instructed her to take that mail in her car to deliver. But if you have nothing better to do than harass working people to make you fell better, go for it.

      I know the exact woman you're

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      I know the exact woman you're talking about. More than once I have seen her stop in the middle of her route to go get her car to pick up empty bottles that someone put out.


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      She's working late due to her own inefficacy not cruel management or extreme work demands

      There aren't enough carriers

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      There aren't enough carriers - She's probably on her second or third route of the day. She's also likely to be a City Carrier Assistant, making about half of what a regular carrier would make. It's time to privatize a dying industry.

      Dorchester is no better

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      I swear that my mail only comes on the days where I personally know the postal carrier. (Or neighborhood seems to rotate carriers). We had Christmas cards sent back to us with proper postage and mailing addresses. Thankfully the PO near my office in Back Bay is just as terrible for actually mailing something. The workers don't seem to discriminate by neighborhood.

      Widespread failure

      USPS management and Congress is largely to blame. Congress for overburdening USPS with excessive retirement fund monetization, and management for replacing experienced supervisors with ones lacking in logistics and mail delivery experience. They have been cutting experienced staff, reducing the number or routes, making them longer, and using inexperienced, low paid, temp workers. Combine that with road projects to congest traffic, and the result is poorer service. Its yet worse in winter due to the poor state of snow removal on sidewalks and parking lanes.

      What is really to blame here

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      is the fact that Congress is directly involved with the running of the Postal Service in the first place, and has to approve virtually everything management wants to do. For example, this utter nonsense of "revenues from price increases must reflect ONLY the amount of money needed, and not a penny more". Which is why we end up with paying odd amounts for stamps (like 42 cents instead of 45).

      Stay on message!

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      Combine that with road projects to congest traffic

      You are supposed to interject something to indicate your hatred of bicycles into this thread about something completely unrelated to them, like the Post Office, Mark. That's your M.O., dude. Instead, you switched to a different unrelated topic. Stay on message! Stick to the bicycle hatred.


      Impediments to unconstricted (and speedy) traffic is his No. 1 topic overall, ragging on bicycles is merely ancillary to this more primary issue.


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      The daughter of a convicted felon? She may be bad, but this kind of comment just makes you look bad.

      worse than ever

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      it used to be pretty good back in the day, before they rebuilt it. i had a few packages over the holidays, and though I was home for at least one of them, I still found a pick up card in my mailbox. The first time I went in, someone was waiting off to the side of the counter to help people with packages. The rest of the times I had to stand in the interminable line to be "helped" by an unfriendly staffer. Each visit, i saw several people (which i can only assume are managers) wondering around aimlessly, not helping anyone. I asked if one of them could go get my package and she made a noise and told me to stand in line. Since then, I've made it a point to try to use UPS shipping; a friendly guy named Kevin usually shows up at my door and he will even leave my packages if I'm out.

      JP Post Office

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      After filling out a temporary change of address form,I left for Florida,confident that for the next three months,I would continue to receive my mail,forwarded from JP to my new address. I have been away for two months now,and haven't received any mail.I've made several calls to the JP post office to complain,but to no avail. I was told that my regular carrier had been out with an illness,and that the new carrier would be reminded to reroute my mail. Letters,flyers, and junk mail continue to pile up in the foyer of my home in JP. A long awaited envelope arrived there,after a long journey to the island of Jamaica and back. What's going on here?