Postal Service manager apologizes, promises fix

Carrier shortage, cold weather causing delivery delays


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By Timothy Inklebarger

Staff Reporter

Weeks of sub-freezing temperatures and record snowfall in the Chicago area have exacerbated poor mail service in Oak Park, Forest Park and surrounding communities, U.S. Postal Service authorities conceded Monday.

At a public meeting called by U.S. Rep. Danny Davis (D-7th), USPS District Manager Peter Allen apologized to residents for slow delivery, lost mail and the lack of response to customers.

Allen got an earful from some 60 frustrated residents who gathered at the Oak Park Public Library's main branch on Lake Street – in view of the handsome Art Deco main post office just across Lake Street.

"There have been a number of service complaints, and I believe I owe you all an apology because I don't think we have been providing the service that you expected," he said.

Several residents at the meeting complained that the south Oak Park branch on Garfield Street, which serves the southern half of Oak Park and parts of Forest Park and River Forest, has had consistently late service and rude responses from workers questioned about delays. Angry postal customers complained that they often have a different carrier every day, that mail arrives days late and that they don't seem to be receiving all their mail when it does arrive. One woman said she waited days to receive her diabetes medication.

"I was not troubled by the delays caused by the polar vortex because I expected that," Oak Park resident Janice Mitchell-Bolling said, recalling the intense cold in early January. "My problem is the stuff going on two years prior to this."

Mitchell-Bolling said she gets late deliveries and frequently receives other people's mail.

"I questioned the mail carrier because I don't even know if we have a permanent carrier," she said. "There are a lot of different people (delivering the mail)."

Allen acknowledged that there has been "consistent non-delivery" in Oak Park and Forest Park because of a shortage of carriers.

He said the Oak Park post office has hired 18 non-career carriers, known as city carrier assistants—roughly 20 percent of the workforce—to fill in the gaps. When carriers and other postal workers are injured on the job and take leave or simply call in sick for the day, the remaining workers have to pick up the slack, causing delivery delays, Allen said. Non-career carriers, however, make a fraction of their full-time counterparts, earning $15.61 an hour versus around $25 an hour, Allen said.

"The number of employees that are not available for work … becomes an issue because those deliveries and those routes have to be absorbed by others," he said.

Complaints about non-delivery and slow delivery also have not been handled appropriately, Allen acknowledged.

Oak Park resident Rick Nosek said after going days without receiving mail he attempted to contact local postmaster Theresa Thurmond but was told by an unnamed postal employee that he could not speak with her or leave a voicemail. Nosek argued that at the very least the post office could communicate the problems to the public.

"Why couldn't they put out word to the media and through social media that we're having these problems?" he questioned, adding, "This is horrible customer service."

Allen said the staff shortage stems in part from a change by Congress in 2006, requiring the USPS to prefund retiree health benefits.

"We made payments in 2007, 2008 and, I think, 2009," Allen said. "The last three years we've had to default on those payments because the money is just not there."

He said a decline in use of the postal service because of a switch by many to the Internet has also hurt the post office's bottom line. The post office also pays more than $1 billion into worker's compensation annually, stretching the USPS budget even tighter, Allen said. 

He said the post office has assigned three staff members to respond directly to local complaints. Residents with service problems can contact the post office with complaints at 1-800-ASK-USPS or via the web at Complaints that are not resolved within 72 hours can contact Terry Mallory, the post office's manager of consumer and industry contact, directly at 630-260-5783 or by email at

Allen also encouraged customers to volunteer to place barcode stickers on their mailboxes that carriers must scan to show that they are making their routes.

"I recommend that if you feel that you have not been getting mail that you volunteer (for the program), so that we will be able to say, 'Well, at least they opened the box and scanned it.'" Allen said.

Allen said the post office will begin tracking complaints and asked when he expected to see improvements, said: "I think, realistically, as soon as possible. I can't give a definite date, but I'm certainly not going to let time pass us by."

Timothy Inklebarger:

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Garden Grove Post Office from Garden Grove, CA  

Posted: June 4th, 2014 3:16 PM

I totally agree with jay from chula vista. The post office has become a disgrace to the US government. The lack of internal investigations at all post offices would show the terrible working environments, hostle Supervisors that the City Carriers Assistants have to report to would make a person go POSTAL!


Posted: May 1st, 2014 5:15 PM

In Soviet Union, mail service delivers YOU!

jay from chula vista  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 9:40 PM

A lot of you folks talk and talk and don't even have a clue of what is really going on for the city carrier assistants....these guys are busting their backs most of them usually carry up to two routes or up to four parts of different routes without any help, any breaks or lunch, the managers or supervisors don't even care, they just want them to finish the job and now with the multi billion amazon contract they are also required to work on sundays and holidays sometimes with no time off....

Paula from Paso Robles,Ca.  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 12:45 AM

The crux of the problem is t Former comment had link mixed in with message that the real problem is attempts to privatize the usps.

Paula martin from Paso Robles,Ca.  

Posted: April 16th, 2014 12:34 AM

I had priority mail delivered in 7 days and a government check missing for 10 days and counting. T crux of the matter is this.

Jill from Fort Lauderdale  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 2:37 PM

p.s. one time my mail carrier actually said to me that you should NEVER use the USPS for something important. "If it's important, use Fedex" -- those were his exact words.

Jill from Fort Lauderdale  

Posted: March 13th, 2014 2:34 PM

So what is the U.S. Post Office's excuse for the horrible service in Fort Lauderdale, Florida? Nothing but sunny, blue skies here, and still mail gets lost at least 20% of the time.

Liz R. from Oak Park  

Posted: March 6th, 2014 6:45 PM

YAY! We are getting our mail in mid-afternoon these days! BOO! Our regular carrier has been on leave for 2 weeks. When he returns, we'll be getting our mail between 7 and 9 p.m. SIGH..................

Dean Scarpinato from Oak Park  

Posted: March 4th, 2014 3:05 PM

I have an excellent carrier named Gary who is off on sick leave. In that time the mail has been worse than sporadic. I had no idea it was a systemic cluster f.. Important things still come by way of USPS these unprofessional folks who cannot handle the job are frankly a disgrace to the country. There was once a pride in workmanship. Gary has that. PLEASE GET WELL SOON.

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 17th, 2014 9:27 AM

Amber - I agree with you, but, in the bigger picture, any business that say essentially, "If you're smart, you won't hire us for a while" has existential problems. I can't picture any situation where I would say that to my clients, short of my office being on fire.

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 17th, 2014 9:13 AM

A real "need to know" fact has not been emphasized here-On 02/10/'14 Peter Allen, head of the USPS Central Illinois District, cautioned postal patrons to expect delivery delays over the next few weeks. Smart USPS customers will put off non-essential orders until the weather improves.

Lynn Ryan from River Forest  

Posted: February 15th, 2014 8:25 AM

Weather I can understand but when it was 40 degrees out I didn't get my mail for 2 days. When it did come it was 8:15 PM. Now our block is better but my daughter in RF didn't get her mail for 4 days this week (2-10) because her mail carrier is on vacation!

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 14th, 2014 11:10 AM

"Do we really need mail delivered every day at our homes?" Maybe not, but the USPS employs around 600,000 people for whom that is their sole job. Whether we "need" it or not, over a half a million people are being paid to do it. Their customers, perhaps foolishly, depend on that service. I don't "need" pizza delivered to my home, either, but if I pay for it I expect it to come.

WOW in Chicago  

Posted: February 14th, 2014 7:19 AM

People are in humane in their thinking of the carrier. Start at the top, not with the mail carrier!! They are the ones jeopardizing their safety and well being. The PO needs robots according to some if these posts, unbelieveable ....

WOW in Chicago from Chicago  

Posted: February 14th, 2014 7:09 AM

Well said Ada..

Ada from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 10:12 PM

Let's be humane about it. No one should have to be out in the kind of weather we were experiencing. Extreme weather conditions and staff shortages are not the norm, nor is the mail delivery problem experienced during this weather. Do we really need mail delivered every day at our homes? Perhaps during extreme weather, consideration should be given to a M-T-W delivery for the north side and T-Th-Sat delivery for the south side. It's a matter of safety!


Posted: February 13th, 2014 8:03 PM

My point was that the public often views the letter carriers as the sole responsible person deciding the timeliness of mail delivery. It's a team effort and we all need to do a better job. I don't blame the plant workers. They start when they are told too, also. How did we get mail so early back before the pre-tech, micro-managed days?

Robert from Rootstown  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 7:54 PM

The real problem is that USPS is a punching bag for politicians who want to see it fail. The plant cant get the mail to the stations on time, the regular carriers call off on advo day, CCA's aren't familiar with the routes they get stuck on day by day, and residents have to complain about something, and USPS is dumb enough to listen (well at least pretend to). USPS should make all CCA's regulars ASAP, fill every full route with regulars and every aux route with T6's and yes. 5 day delivery

Liz R. from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 6:34 PM

A miracle has happened! Our mail has been delivered around 3:30 or 4 p.m. for the past 3 days!! Prior to the aforesaid meeting, we never got it before 6:30 p.m.! Maybe the meeting DID accomplish something! Hurray!

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 5:30 PM

Jerry - I don't mean to sound disrespectful, but, to an outsider, the carriers blaming the sorting facilities is just the USPS blaming the USPS.

Jerry from Lex, KY  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 4:56 PM

Back in the day we started work at 6:00 (when it was dark) and an 8 hour day ended at 2:30 (when there is still plenty of daylight. Management seems to forget about the Fall time change. The excuse is inability to get mail to the carriers on time from the sorting facilities. The carrier, as the last link in the mail chain, gets the shaft and the complaints about late delivery time. I always tell those that complain that I can always bring it back.....tomorrow!!

Real List  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 1:53 PM

@OPT-I can think of 3: politics, Metra, and the Chicago Teachers Union. Of course, these aren't businesses in the truest sense. But perhaps if they though of themselves are such, the results would be better.

Liz R. from Oak Park  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 12:49 PM

@OP Transplant - Well said! Right on! And, LOL!

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 10:16 AM

I don't understand the low expectations and excuse making. Name one other business where you can charge your customers up front, not provide the service that was paid for, and then be rude when they call to inquire. As for employee compensation, they agree to a rate when they take the job. If the work situation becomes untenable, they can seek a better employment situation elsewhere. But they can't keep the job, and then not do it. They're not congressmen, for God's sake!

OP Res 253 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 8:07 AM

And a Christmas card, postmarked 12/20/14, was just delivered 2/12/14. Quit making excuses for this level of service. The problems with the OP USPS are legend. Cold weather should not add 30-60 delivery days to first class mail.

WOW from Chicago  

Posted: February 13th, 2014 6:30 AM

USPS has been hiring only carrier assistants for a few bucks over minimum wage with 0 benefits = NO HEALTH INSURANCE, UNPAID SICK DAYS, NO PENSION, NO SAVINGS PLAN, NO VACATION, 6 DAY WORK WEEK, 10-14 HOUR DAYS + UNSAFE Delivery IN THE DARK!!!! Give me a break people and get a life already!!! Get out of your front windows and shovel your snow and don't forget ICE REMOVAL!!!!! If you want your mail so bad, go to your PO AND PICK IT YP YOURSELF!!!

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 12:26 PM

Violet-I carried a gun because I was a soldier, and heat was a bigger problem than cold. My point was that my hands aren't quite as "soft" as you suggest. And the problems with the mail are not limited to four days last month. If they delivered every day except those four, I doubt people would still be talking about it.

Chuck Swangren from Schaumburg  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 11:27 AM

All of your comments could be carbon copies of mail service in the Schaumburg IL area. The same poor service and unmotivated workers. Many hard working carriers. They should just deliver mail every other day during terrible weather.

Violet Aura  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 10:20 AM

@OP Transplant: In what capacity did you "carry a gun?" Let me guess: Blackwater contractor? I mean, Xe? :/ In any case, it wasn't just "cold outside" like it is today. Don't tell me about being in the cold. I don't drive and have to walk and carry groceries on foot in single-digit temps. It was DANGEROUSLY cold and that doesn't mean they didn't want to do their job. You lived not getting your stupid mail for a day or two, bro.

Liz from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 9:54 AM

It was a sad day, indeed, when our super wonderful mail carrier, Aldon Perry, was made to change routes and left us. We haven't had decent mail delivery since. It comes late and on cold days, not at all. I bet you anything that Aldon hasn't missed a day and delivers the mail before dark.

June from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 9:40 AM

I couldn't attend this meeting but I would have mentioned these problems have been going on long before the cold weather. I was mowing my lawn last summer when I noticed several pieces of mail on the sidewalk; I saw the mail carrier about 1/2 block away & brought it to him

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 9:39 AM

Violet - My "soft hands" grew up doing farm work, and have carried a gun overseas. If I had chosen to deliver mail for a living, it wouldn't be close to the hardest thing I've ever done. But I chose to do something else, an option available to any USPS employee who doesn't want to go outside when it's cold. I know too many folks out of work to feel sorry for people who have a job but don't want to do it. You have a nice day.

Speedway from Oak Park  

Posted: February 12th, 2014 8:55 AM

To Wondering - I am glad you enlightened us on what you need or don't need. Others have come to depend on the daily mail delivery which is still granted by the USPS but is not happening to a large area in this locale. If the postal service is going to change it's mail delivery a little notice and information would help the rest of us get by.


Posted: February 12th, 2014 7:55 AM

I have to wonder at all these people complaining about mail delivery. I'm 56 years old and I don't get anything in the mail that I need. If they want to deliver one day a week that would be fine with me. Just because they have always delivered six days does not mean they need to continue to. Focus on important issues, people. As for the USPS motto, well, they can throw that in the trash.

Violet Aura  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 8:22 PM

People like you wouldn't last one day doing what a postal worker does. I bet your hands are nice and soft and warm but you're a big shot on the Internets.

Violet Aura  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 8:21 PM

@OP Transfer: We're done, bro. It's not just "inclement weather." We may break records for most below zero days. There is a typical winter and there's this winter. Where the hell are you from--Kentucky? I think you need to go back to that hardscrabble place if your brilliant retort is tough titties if it's -14 zero.

OP Res 253 from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 8:03 PM

2/11/14: Received Costco mailer for sale weeks 1/2/14-1/26/14. I don't much care, but the money that Costco is paying for delivery may be best spent on marketing through more reliable vehicles.

Mac from Neb  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 5:35 PM

(Cont) due to route adjustments that are done in the lightest season of the year(summer),then when the heavy volume kicks in and the weather gets bad there is no way you can finish a route before dark. Also when you go to a meeting with a district manager,this guy will only reveal to you what HIS boss has told him to say. He hasn't a clue why your delivery is late. We as carriers are told all the time how to do our jobs from some sup/manager that has never carried a stick of mail...ugh!!

Mac from Neb  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 5:28 PM

Let me add a couple of points if I may......a letter carrier knows the weather is part of the job,be it -10 and 30 mph winds or 100 and 80% humidity when the temp in the trucks reach 120-125. The prob in Neb,and it sounds like Illinois also is,we are so poorly staffed.After you do your route in say nine hrs you come back in and are forced on mandatory O.T. Back out again to finish routes either a.) vacant due to any number of reasons( most likely not enough help) b.) routes overly long

Margaret Norton from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 4:50 PM

In the past we have experienced some poor mail delivery but recently during these cold days, I have been amazed that our mail always comes, it always comes at the same early time. We don't our excellent carrier to tarred with same brush as these problem carriers. In the 700 block of North Ridgeland we have excellent delivery. I am amazed at the work load for letter carriers and at the hard working men and women in the post office.

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 3:07 PM

Violet - Are you really pretending that you think the problem with the USPS is limited to four days in January? Really? If you live in Illinois and don't want to deliver mail when it's cold, I'm not sure letter carrier is the job for you. And if you find that the work is too hard, and that your office is perennially understaffed, you get to change jobs. When I worked for the Uncle, he sent me to some really crappy places. I wasn't allowed to quit. USPS employees are lucky by comparison!


Posted: February 11th, 2014 2:48 PM

I've never seen so much of the work go on after dark. And what bothered me the most was that the OP postmaster didn't really seem to understand what the problem was and why we couldn't understand why so many of her workers weren't showing up.

Violet Aura from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 2:47 PM

I will say that at the very least they should have let us know about delays rather than just do things at their own pace whenever. Even before the polar vortex, I have noticed that Sat. mail seems haphazard in my neck of RF.

Violet Aura  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 2:45 PM

@OP Transplant: YES it is. If the OPRF schools closed down for 4 out of 20 days in January, I surely don't expect workers who must stay outside for hours on end to do so. I don't give a fig about their "job" if their "job" requires them to be in below-zero weather. We will all live without our mail being delivered constantly.

OP Transplant  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 1:51 PM

Violet - I'm sitting inside because that's my job. If I were letter carrier, I'd be outside, because that would be my job. To the best of my knowledge, the USPS has no power to draft people. People choose the job. Is it unreasonable to expect an organization that exists for the sole purpose of delivering the mail to...deliver the mail? "It's cold, I'm too busy, we're understaffed..." If I told my boss that, I'd be looking for work the next day.

Violet Aura from Chicago, Illinois  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 1:28 PM

@Mac from Neb: I have total compassion and appreciation for mail carriers! I feel like a lot of these people are either 'baggers who hate gobermint in general or keyboard warriors sitting on their pasty buttocks in a nice, warm room dissing those who have to brave the elements. I actually saw a mailman with a miner's hat delivering in the dark in RF.

Violet Aura  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 1:24 PM

@RF Resident: Do you live in N. RF? It's amusing (not really) to go past a $1.5 million houses that isn't shoveled but has elaborate Christmas decorations.


Posted: February 11th, 2014 12:40 PM

I GUARANTEE you that the USPS workload assessment systems do NOT show that the district is understaffed but precisely the opposite. While this man is in the press stating the obvious, his postmasters, managers, and supervisors are being hammered to "improve efficiency." This is why postal unit management, like carriers and clerks, cannot trust the executives that constantly harangue us. This crock needs to END.

RF from OP  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 11:52 AM

white people problems

rf resident  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 10:25 AM

Our block in River Forest received mail only 10 days in January. Have missed deliver four days so far in February.

Amber Ladeira from Forest Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 10:23 AM

Apologies by USPS Central Illinois District head Peter Allen may be adequate for delayed or not-delivered book and other non-essential packaged purchases, but FAR more serious are late or missing medications trusted to the USPS. Are such failings grounds for lawsuits? I think so. I will NEVER order any meds sent via the USPS.

Helen Woodruff from Forest Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 9:36 AM

I've many seen difficult winters. the huge difference about this one is so many really unpleasant 'comments' by people who seem to have less understanding & tolerance about other peoples lack of perfection. Does anyone remember the Post Office can not run itself like a 'business' because the Government- who does Not Fund the Post Office- still has ridged control over how it operates? hw

Jeff from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 9:04 AM

It would help if everyone shoveled. For our part, we have had much more trouble with our Tribune delivery this year.


Posted: February 11th, 2014 8:40 AM

Lets not forget it only cost .49 cents to mail a letter anywhere in the USA! What a country!

east sider  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 8:18 AM

How about a meeting about garbage pick-up problems. We constantly struggle with garbage/recycling not being picked up because the driver decides there's some kind of insurmountable problem. I thought this was just the way it is until I got a new neighbor who used to live in NW Oak Park. She said she never never never had these kind of problems in that part of town.

Jeana Salomone-Reisig from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 7:48 AM

Not a bad idea to leave a comment on the USPS Facebook page:

Wendy from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 7:48 AM

My only comment is that during the sub zero days, when it was truly not wise for anyone to be out - especially mail carriers who must be out for those 8+ hours - is that there should have been an announcement on the news/social media/through the village/however - that mail service was going to be cancelled due to weather.. and that announcement should have come from those at the top. Poor management and organization at the top.

Random View from Oak Park  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 7:28 AM

We did not get mail delivered yesterday 2/10/14. Were there "sick" call-ins in protest of the forum Danny Davis held? I called the post office around 9pm and a guy answered who sounded half asleep. He didn't know if mail would be delivered. He was surly & didn't seem to know much about anything. I asked him if this had anything to do with the recent customer service issues. He didn't know what I was talking about. I told him to refer to this WJ story. He said he doesn't use a computer.

Mac from Neb  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 7:25 AM

I have delivered mail for 29 years.......if you only knew what goes on behind those counters and doors to the office......and it's gotten a whole lot worse the last five years.....I would like to see one person that's complaining,a) walk for ten hrs and then the last two of those hrs in the complete darkness. Or b) drive in same darkness with hanging over your head if you have an accident your out the door,because every accident to the P.O. Is PREVENTABLE....then it goes downhill from there.....

jim from jane lew, wv  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 6:51 AM

We've had some consistently inclement weather here but our carrier, Mike, never misses a beat. Can't say the same for the Fedex guy who left my wife's and two other neighbors parcels at an area garage about 1/4 mile away because he said he would have to pay for towing himself if he got stuck. Isn't he supposed to attempt redelivery?


Posted: February 11th, 2014 6:41 AM

I'd just stand and applaud my mail carrier, Nell, for bravely delivering my mail no matter the weather conditions!!! Nell is the best!!

happy customer  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 5:58 AM

While I realize there are a lot of complaints about the recent postal service, I just want pass on a heartfelt thanks our mail carrier (James) in Southwest OP. Although mail may come late on a lot of days, he has been working 12+ hours/day getting our mail delivered. When you do see a mail carrier braving the elements of the Polar Vortex (as well as the many unshovled sidewalks!), make sure to give them a "thanks".

A. resident  

Posted: February 11th, 2014 12:32 AM

I stopped going to the south O.P. Branch because counter workers were so unpleasant, except for the one white haired lady. Staffing over lunch hours is poor and leads to long lines. Use to be at public service jobs, lunch breaks were staggered during peak volume times to accommodate customers. USPS has always had management philosophy which fosters culture of employee abuse. I could live with every other day home mail delivery, if there was improvement system wide.

River Forest from River Forest  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 11:34 PM

River Forest is no better. No mail delivery today...again. Sporadic at best.

Heretoserveyou from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 10:50 PM

Nothing will change.this meeting was a joke..why..because as long as you have Postmaster Phil Crawford and his inept managerial staff in charge it will all go back to the same ....If Peter Allen had any ----s he would transfer all of them out and get managers here who care about this community .......ever since Phil Crawford came to Oak Park from Chicago PO service in all these areas have gone from bad to worse and is not entirely the carrier crafts's more partial his inability to lead

jim jackson from champagne  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 10:01 PM

Dreamer from Oak Park, there is usually no action taken against people who abuse their sick leave. There are some who call in sick all the time but they can get away with it and they know it. This is what makes it hard on those that show up as they have to absorb the extra territory. and management is harder on those that do show up as they want them to speed up so they don't use too much overtime. The bosses get bonuses based on how much overtime is used.

Lori M.  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:33 PM

Ironic to read this on a day when it's 9:30PM and we haven't gotten any mail today.

Karen from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 9:24 PM

The phone number for the main post office on Lake Street is 708-848-2440. I've been lucky whenever I called to talk to a real person.

Liz from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 8:28 PM

We live at the end of the route. Rarely does our mail arrive before 6:00pm if it arrives at all. Even though this is a multi-apartment building many days there is no mail for anyone. The South Office is a problem. Clerks are not customer friendly and take their breaks and take their time even if the line is out the door.

More Than Frustrated from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 8:11 PM

I was almost understanding of the spotty delivery during extreme weather, although this would be unheard of 40 years ago. The truth is that the central post office has been in bad shape for years. During my last 3 hold mail requests, some mail was still delivered, and I was just lucky I didn't have someone swipe the stuff that was delivered anyways. Some of the clerks seem angry in response to even the simplest request; others appear to be in slow motion, particularly when the line is long.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:57 PM

The south OP post office is becoming quite a problem too. The lines are always long and the two ladies who always seem to be there are pleasant (enough) but move at a snail's pace. They never pick up the pace even with a line out the door. It is really no wonder that mail is becoming a thing of the past. This poor service makes me, a long time user of the post office, want to switch to UPS for mailing packages. And I didn't touch on the lack of home delivery this winter.

question from oak park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:39 PM

What is this "mail" everyone speaks of? Is it like an 8 track tape?

Frustrated from Oak park   

Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:24 PM

Does anyone know of a number that you can call where a real live person will answer? Or an email address where someone will respond?

Frustrated from Oak park   

Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:23 PM

I had a package get "lost" in the mail. It just stopped being tracked in jersey city. Never to arrive to its destination. I filled out a track lost mail form twice on the us post office website. Never heard anything. I called the OP post office. Never got a call back. I went there and talked to a woman. She couldn't get thru to anyone but assured me she would call back the next day and keep me updated. Never heard anything from her. Cannot seem to talk to anyone who knows anything. Frustrated!

Retired Mailman  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 7:07 PM

Hey Dreamer, when you work for bosses who don't appreciate your dedication, you tend to not go the extra mile. The USPS is the only place where from the day you are hired, they try their worst to get you fired. Morale sucks at the Post Office. I drove 50 miles through a blizzard to get to work only to find that the administration workers were given the day off with pay.

Retired Mailman  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:58 PM

The USPS has been on a mission to push older carriers out the door to implement their part-time workforce. The USPS audits carriers' routes during the summer (when the mail volume is lightest) and declare that the routes are too short. The USPS then cuts 20% of the routes in a station. These routes must be absorbed into the remaining routes. Then in the Fall, when mail volumes are high again, all the routes are longer than 8 hours. Add in time for Bulk Mailings and you get very late delivery.


Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:58 PM

I worked for the Post Office for 30 yrs. The whole organization is run by incompetent and inept management. The service manager at this meeting is only doing what he has been told to do by his superiors. The higher-ups don't have a clue as to what they are doing! The Postal stations and processing plants are hopelessly understaffed and there are absolutely no plans to staff them correctly. Vice Presidents and managers at Postal Headquarters in DC. GIVE themselves big BONUSES for all this!

Liz from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:54 PM

Many thanks to Danny Davis, our U. S. Rep., for calling this meeting! Looks like we can hope for some changes! We got our mail today at 5, which was quite an improvement in two ways: 1) Sometimes our mail comes at 8 or 9 p.m. and 2) We have not received mail on 6 separate days during this cold spell. Having lived here for over 40 years, it's been a shock to see our mail delivery become so shoddy. Hoping they hire enough extra workers to cover the routes when some don't show up or are sick.

Deborah from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:43 PM

So ironic that today, once again, we got no mail. I live in central, not South Oak Park. We didn't get any last Thurs. 2/6, either, nor last Tues. 2/4, 1/6 nor 1/7, 2 other days in Jan., and one snowy day in late Dec. We did get two deliveries last Fri. 2/7. I have not lived in this area all my life, but I have for over 25 yrs., & I agree with other commenters that this is not the first cold nor snowy winter! It seems that the work culture & expectations for USPS staff have changed drastically.

Jan Patterson from Oak park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 6:37 PM

I understand that they are very short of employees so when they take their scheduled day off, there is nobody to cover- we did get our mail at 6:02

joan haman from oak park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 5:57 PM

South Branch clerks are very polite and helpful. Main Branch clerks are not. Upon calling for missing mail, the person who answered the phone was abrupt and rude and hung up! The clerks are. warm! THE CARRIERS ARE FIGHTING THE ELEMENTS.

Jan Patterson from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 5:56 PM

I posted the first comment in November-when my mail person arrived at 6:30, wearing a miner's cap with a light to read the mail.Here we are in February-it's Monday- last mail we received was on Friday.I've lived in Chicago my whole life-there have been other cold days-this is a system failure

Dreamer from Oak Park  

Posted: February 10th, 2014 5:44 PM

So,basically,whenever it's too cold,many carriers are calling in sick or taking leave days.Just how many sick days and leave days are these carriers allowed,and is there any disciplinary action for these abuses?

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