There are several reasons the USPS is in terrible trouble. But the ones shouldering the brunt of the problems that have to do with delays and disruption of service are our postal workers and mail carriers. None of this is their fault. But they're simultaneously being blamed and stretched thin, and their jobs are hard enough as it is without these added issues.
So one person asked the postal workers on Reddit to share the ways in which we can help our postal workers and mail carriers during this time. Answers range from making their jobs easier to providing treats and games to brighten their days. These are some of the best ones.
Kbhaden says their husband delivers mail and that he loves anything people do for him. Sometimes kids draw pictures for him, or people leave him thank you notes or cold drinks and snacks. He's appreciative of whatever people do for him.
ProFriendZoner reminds us that mail carriers don't have air conditioning in their mail trucks. Another Reddit user confirms this and suggests gifting your mail carrier a battery-powered mini fan or something else to keep them cool.
They also point out that there is a policy about what gifts mail carriers can and cannot accept. All postal employees can accept gifts up to $20 in value, but they cannot accept cash, checks, or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash. Additionally, they can't accept more than $50 worth of gifts from a single customer in one calendar year. Keep this in mind when tipping and giving gifts to your local postal workers.
A former mail carrier, f309rod, said they had one house that always left them a bottle of ice-cold water, and it was much appreciated. Especially during the summer months, this is a really nice thing you can do for your mail carrier.
SkullGearMC reminds us to be friendly and understanding to all our postal workers. "Please be friendly and understanding if something is late or missing," they write. "As of right now a lot of this stuff is out of our control. It's coming straight down from up top and there isn't a lot we can do about it ourselves." They urge you to be informed about what is actually happening with the post office. This is a huge and complex issue that is already affecting the daily lives of people around the country.
With a different type of tip comes Mummifiedchili, who urges us to get bigger mailboxes. "Water and treats are nice, but a box they don't have to get out at to deliver things is the gift that keeps on giving," they write.
Sort of similarly, PrayforMojo88 says the most helpful thing you can do, if you live in a neighborhood with street parking, it to stop blocking the mailbox with your car when you park. Mail carriers can't drive up to mailboxes in every neighborhood, but if they can in yours, for the love of all that is holy, do not park your car in front of anyone's mailbox.
Mail carriers are people too, in case you forgot, so SetsukoSnow urges everyone to please, please wear pants when you answer the door. Apparently, it's a problem. "I've had straight-up naked dudes sign for their package without batting an eye," they wrote. Come on, people.
h00gieboss forwarded this question to their postal worker relative, and that person said that the best thing we can do to help out our mail carriers is to put numbers on your mailbox or your house, or both! Mail carriers aren't psychic. They don't just magically know your house number. Help them out a little.
Sashwake is a mail carrier who has a running tic tac toe game going with some of the kids on their route. "I'm not sure who looks more forward to it, me or them," they write. Well, that's just delightful.
Twinwood36 says the best thing we can do right now to help our postal workers it to write to our Congress members and urge them to see and treat the USPS as a public service, not a business, and to demand hazard pay for essential workers, which include all postal workers. "Fight the correct fight," they wrote.