STAUNTON — A Staunton resident posted a Facebook message yesterday about not receiving mail since January 11th.
“It’s not the first time,” she wrote in a post that has since been deleted. “I went to the post office on Friday and they told me I don’t have a carrier. I get emailed copies of letters I’m supposed to receive every day. I had time-sensitive mail, my water bill , and one mail with a check.’
She then asked the Facebook community if anyone else was having problems with their mail.
“If anyone has any suggestions on what to do next, I’d appreciate it,” she wrote.
Several people commented. Many had similar frustrations with not getting mail, or living in rural areas with no carriers and post office hiring problems, but not training those employees and not running timely routes. People were clearly disappointed.
When The News Leader saw this post, we wrote an email to the media representative at the post office. Without naming the person, we asked what they were doing to address the shortage of carriers serving Barterbrook Road. We mentioned that the resident has not received mail since January 11.
We’ve also seen comments from residents of Fishersville and Mount Crawford about issues, so we asked about those areas as well. We asked what they were doing to hire more people. We then asked if they could tell us what people can do (that works) to get help if they don’t get mail.
Here’s the mail’s response:
“Most post offices are adequately staffed and delivery routes in the area are covered,” Phillip Bogenberger, the Post’s media contact, wrote in an email. “We have emergency plans in place when employees are on vacation.”
“However, there may be staffing issues resulting in short periods of sporadic mail delivery on several routes,” he said. “Customers with shipping questions should contact their local post office or call 1-800-ASK-USPS. We thank customers for their understanding and continued support.”
And questions about personnel…
“The Postal Service is always hiring full-time and part-time, especially in growing communities,” Bogenberger said. “The Postal Service offers employees competitive pay, great benefits, on-the-job training and career development opportunities. Interested candidates can search for open positions and apply for www.usps.com/careers. The site is regularly updated.”
Nothing about how to help residents living on Barterbrook Road or Fishersville and Crawford Mountain.
When we checked the woman’s Facebook this morning, the post had disappeared. Her schedule is now blocked.
The Post Office is looking for postal carriers. Bagenberger is right about that.
In November, a person placed public on Facebook that the post office is looking for part-time, weekend help in a rural area in Fishersville. People have asked about work and pay, and whether part-time leads to full-time, or whether part-time really means full-time. One person commented that she applied, filled out the paperwork, and took a drug test several months ago and has not heard back.