Acting Area Manager Fail


So the other day at the olde Lakewood Post Office I was casing my route and noticed I was being watched by a lady I had never met before. Stranger Danger! I started to pull my route down, from the end, because I use buckets… and when you use buckets you have to pull the route down backwards so that it will be in delivery order once everything is in the buckets (first loop will be on top). Why do I use buckets instead of trays? Well, several years ago for unknown reasons management took our hard plastic trays and told us to use buckets, or double up the flimsy plastic trays. Well, I would prefer not to use buckets and use the hard plastic trays. And I have found the flimsy plastic trays are not really sufficient to hold two feet of mail without bending and binding. Plus, fingers can get caught between the flimsy tray handles when the doubled trays bind, causing injury to the fingers. Additionally, sometimes the janitor will gather up all the flimsy plastic trays, wrap them in shrink wrap, and send them away. But there are always buckets because that is what our flats come in. These are the reasons I use buckets, but most of all because that’s what we were instructed to use.

So when I started to pull my route down backwards, Stranger Danger immediately and angrily asked why I was doing it that way. I told her I am a professional carrier with 30 years of experience and I was doing my route the best way I knew how based on those many years. Then I explained to her that when using buckets that’s the way it has to be done. And then I showed her. Stranger Danger angrily told me I was wrong and to use doubled flimsy trays. By this time I had a big question. I asked her who the hell she was, and she replied back that she was the acting area manager or station manager or something like that.

There are a couple of lessons to be had here:

Lesson 1: Have the courtesy to introduce yourself to the workplace.
Lesson 2: Be nice, at least initially. There may be a very good reason an employee is doing a task a certain way.
Lesson 3. Know that by acting this way, you have possibly made a lifelong enemy in the workplace who will work against you every step of the way instead of working with you. Many carriers hold grudges because they were treated with disrespect by uncourteous and abusive managers.
Lesson 4. Standard management practice: Go after your worst five carriers first. Deal with them appropriately and professionally and the rest of the carriers will get in line like ducks. Don’t pick a fight with the carrier who is the first one out, and first one back, every day.
Lesson 5. Buckets will still be used.

(Lessons supplied by a letter carrier with a business management degree from a private university. Education and work experience, if any, of “acting” manager not known.)

  • Marcus1956

    Sad but true. Stay Strong my Union Brother.

  • FE523

    If her job was eliminated would anyone notice? She’s being paid much more than a craft employee for doing absolutely nothing but wasting everyone’s time. I’ll bet she had no idea what you were talking about. 37 YRS. on the job and my last.

  • doowoplover534

    Nothing new!! Another incompetent management hack that got in the way of a 30 years experience letter carrier.Mrs. big shit .. Never tells you what your doing right or doing a good job. Always this contentious attitude.Stay clear of these hacks if you can . They are devoid of good character.TOXIC, to say the least.Thank God i’m out of there.Retired from these incompetent monsters .

  • Retired Customer Service Clerk

    We have a newer postmaster, a worst case scenario if ever you saw one. He did not even work at the Post Office to begin with, he was RIFed from another federal job directly into Postal management, and a postmaster level 25 job was his within a half year. Now, he does the same as the person in the story, telling clerks, carriers and even his supervisors how to do their job, even though he has never thrown a piece of mail in his life. As a clerk of over 35 years, I had a run in with him when he told me the “new” proper procedures to accept a passport, which were totally wrong, but he demanded I do them his way, anyway. I reported him to the Department of State for this, and he attempted to discipline me for that. I won, but had enough of this a-hole, and retired immediately.

  • Lanson5

    Very well written. And although your business management degree is impressive, the lessons you’ve stated should come from the University of common sense. Obviously this woman skipped that part of the curriculum. She will go far………..

  • 25yearsStrong

    Very well written and very accurate. I’m a postmaster with 40K customers and a large number of routes. It’s sad to think we have people like this making decisions for the company.

  • gildyslast1

    From a mail carrier of 20+
    years – yep, believe it. One year I was bitten by a brown recluse, ended up in the hospital ICU for allergic reaction to antibiotics. They tried to write me up for using too much sick leave in one quarter.
    Yeah, this kind of stuff is the norm.

  • Steven Dobres

    The Key Word was “Acting”! Tell her to try acting like a Carrier, and shown me how you want it Done!

  • Hannah Blector

    I like doing things “their” way. It ALWAYS takes longer. However, sometimes I get sick of doing it their way and I call in sick.

  • dumbo

    Westchester district same thing district smart people pry themselves away from their computer for a few hours to tell a carrier who works in all types of weather how to invent the wheel, without ever saying hello. Then they wonder why carriers dont trust management

  • Postmaster

    This carrier sounds like a complete BITCH to me.

  • Sam73065

    No, actually the problem is this acting manager showing no courtesy or respect to an employee. 1. Introduce yourself unless you are preventing bodily harm or damage to postal equipment or customer product. 2. Offer the employee as opportunity to explain his/her choice of work method. 3. If the work method is inefficient, dangerous or simply against the rules, instruct the employee in a courteous and respectful manner how to properly and safely perform this task. 4. Do not simply overrule prior management decisions on a whim and esp without notifying effected employees. Also prior to changing the rules it’s a good practice to confer with whoever made or approved of the prior practice. Maybe even ask for input from the employees.

    Yep, this acting whatever she was is the reason we often find managers with unengaged and bitter employees.

  • Sam73065

    Not only are such people promoted, they’re often actively encouraged to behave badly.

  • Mr.Zip

    The women more than likely got her position through nepotism or balling her boss and barely has a high school diploma.

  • Postmaster

    It’s not possible to be RIF’d from another federal agency to the Postal Service,more likely this PM had a relative in management who brought him in off the street as they can do that.

  • Donde Myaz

    We had a “know it all” just like that in my office. Did not last 2 months. Every carrier just gave up on working efficiently. 90% of managers are scum.

  • sober now

    My idea of heaving the mail in the truck – figure it out later – never worked.