4.3 min readBy Published On: February 24th, 2015Categories: Features16 Comments on The Case of the Missing Mailman

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

Well….maybe not during the winter of 2015.  There is a buzz around town wondering, “Has anyone seen the mailman?”  On twitter, people are in search of their mail with reports of mail not getting delivered for days, missing packages and no response from the post office. 


We know personally, we haven’t received mail in a week….yes, a week!

We realize that being a letter carrier in these winter conditions is the pits.  With unshoveled sidewalks, giant daggers of ice looming overhead, delivering the mail in some Southie neighborhoods is not an easy task.  We went to the post office on East Third Street – luckily there was a spot – to inquire if we had any mail there.  The friendly postal worker went into the back to check.  We suspect that he may in fact just said hello to a coworker and then returned.  He did inform us that lots of mail hasn’t been sorted yet and that the Southie post office is “just really backed up.” He went onto add that extra postal workers were coming in this week and we should be getting mail by the end of the week.

So the post office is constipated with mail and therefore some areas of South Boston are not getting daily deliveries.  We understand that we have had a few days where the mail couldn’t have been delivered.  The conditions were downright dangerous and no letter carriers should have been out in blizzard conditions.  But we are unsure of why the weather has caused bags of mail to sit unsorted inside the facility.  

As much as we are disappointed that we aren’t getting mail.  We are somewhat relieved that our mailman isn’t just storing our mail in his hallway closet a la Newman from Seinfeld

Maybe we need Jerry on the job in Southie.  


See below from a CIS reader:


An audit is scheduled for next week at the South Boston Post Office. Staffing levels seem to be one of the major problems.

ACTION REQUESTED: Having our Federal-level politicians speak on our behalf was suggested. 

I have called Congressman Lynch, Senator Markey, and Senator Warren respective offices. They have staffers who deal specifically with USPS issues. Please call–ask that the situation at the South Boston post office be given an in-depth review and jobs be added.

 Now seems to be the time–the snowstorms have brought things to a head, but the problems are ongoing.

Thank you!

I think they need to hear from a few people. Congressman Steve Lynch:617-428-2000 Senator Ed Markey:617-565-8519 Senator Elizabeth Warren:617-565-3170

We reached out to the press/meda office of the USPS and asked them about the mail situation and we got a very nice letter from Melissa Lohnes.  You can read it here:

Thanks for reaching out to us.  Wintery weather conditions can create challenges for everyone, especially those who brave the snow, ice, sleet, and freezing rain to provide service to the community.  Letter carriers are on the front line of the severe weather conditions and have been hitting the streets delivering mail.  Every day they have been making every reasonable attempt to deliver mail to each and every address on their routes where safe conditions permit.  What is making it increasingly difficult in Southie is that many streets are impassable, necessitating the city to change two-way streets to one-way; there are no parking places to park our vehicles; and many sidewalks are nonexistent at the moment.  All of this has increased the time we need to complete each and every route.  For example, routes that took 8 hours were impacted to the extent that these routes took 12 hours.
The Postal Service treats safety and service with equal priority and we are seeking help from our customers to help ensure that they get the kind of service they expect and that our letter carriers are safe from the perils they face during the winter.  Preventing a slip or a bad fall can be as easy as putting down salt or sand on slippery surfaces.  Letter carriers cannot make door or curb deliveries when the approach to the mailbox is hazardous because of snow and/or ice building up on sidewalks, steps or porches.  This is why it is vital that our customers keep sidewalks and pathways clear for their letter carriers to perform their services each day.
Residents are encouraged to contact our toll free Customer Care Center at 1-800-ASK-USPS (1-800-275-8777) with any concerns, service issues, comments or compliments they may have.




  1. Ann February 24, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    Called this morning looking for a package due weeks ago…friendly carrier told me that there were over 2,000 packages that needed to be sorted. Yikes. 


  2. Anonymous February 24, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Ask The Post Office why they cut multiple jobs at the 3rd street station when the population in Southie has exploded.  It's simple math. Not enough workers and too much work.  A good idea would be  to reach out to people such as Nick Collins, Bill Lenihan and Stephen Lynch and ask them to support the workers at the 3rd Street South Boston Office. Encourage them to pressure USPS management to add enough workers to handle the workload. Please write an article asking others to do the same. We all want what is best for our community. Simply complaining about it does nothing. Take action and support our local workers.

  3. Anonymous February 24, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Have a heart CIS! It's the coldest day of the year. They are outside working in these frigid temps for 8-14 hrs. Most of them are being forced to work in the dark with flashlights. There is obviously a bigger issue here. Why don't you get down to the bottom of it . I have faith in you.

  4. Anonymous February 24, 2015 at 11:07 pm

    This has been an on going problem for a few years. Let's get to the bottom of this. I am a life long Southie resident and I used to know most of the letter carriers that worked in my area. Now… not so much. A different face every day. They seem confused and lost. I also have noticed them working in the dark. I feel bad for them. It doesn't seem safe to me. When we had a regular guy the service was great! I chatted with him before he left to go to another post office. He said it was too crazy working in Southie and he wasn't being treated well at all.He said no one wants to work here anymore.  A lot has changed around here and it seems like the PO might not be staffing to keep up with the influx of new residents.  Is there someone that we can contact to ask if they have adjusted to these new changes? Also, let's not forget it's been one heck of a winter so far. 

  5. Anonymous February 24, 2015 at 11:40 pm
    I know you are basically a one woman operation but it takes a long time for you to post comments. It would be nice to be able to have comments posted in a timely manner in order to have an active discussion about the article you are writing about. Otherwise I would suggest disabling this comment section.
  6. JB February 25, 2015 at 1:24 am
    The problem is management sets up each route in the summer with the minimum amount of mail. Routes get cut and remaining routes are longer. If there is any disruption is almost impossible to get it done.
  7. Anonymous February 25, 2015 at 6:35 pm

     Support your letter carriers and help them give you the service that you deserve! Residents of 02127 need to contact our local officials, starting with Congressman Lynch. Please also contact your neighborhood associations. The more noise we make and the sooner we do it, the better. Do it TODAY! !!! And please ask your neighbors to do the same. This is not the fault of carriers. This is all due to a number of decisions made by managers.
    Routes are constantly adjusted by management. It ends up with routes being eliminated. The routes that remain are longer. There are also fewer carriers to do 
    the work because of this.
    A newer category of carriers now are on the street. They are often moved around and given assignments that cannot be completed in the time allowed.
    The fault lies at the feet of postal management. I encourage CIS to support our community and Postal Employees of Southie and publish an article asking people to help by contacting Congressman Stephen Lynch 
    https://lynch.house.gov/contact-me. The 3rd Street office needs more routes!

  8. Anonymous February 25, 2015 at 6:43 pm

    Does that Mailman know you took his picture? I think It's kind of creepy that you did that…just sayin'

  9. Anonymous February 25, 2015 at 6:48 pm

    As a retired letter carrier looking at this picture I would ask that you shovel your walkway better. It looks pretty icy. They don't have to deliver if it isn't shoveled wide enough for a wheelchair to get through and down to clean pavement. If they slip on ice and injure themselves in most cases they will not be paid and in some cases can lose thier jobs. 

  10. mary cooney February 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm

    Hi the USPS consumer affairs telephone no is 617-654-5740 or email concerns and suggestions to [email protected].  Just found out that you can place a temporary hold on mail delivery and set up pick up at the post office until the snow emergency clears-not sure if the mail will be available for pick up but it's something…

  11. Anonymous February 25, 2015 at 11:41 pm

    It is censorship.

  12. KC February 26, 2015 at 3:58 am

    We were told that our mail in our part of South Boston wasn't being delivered because the Mail Box the post office drops off our streets mail into in the morning for our mail carrier to pick up and deliver would freeze and our mail carrier could not get into it. Somehow the mail carrier delievering the mail in the morning-when it's COLDER-could get it open to drop the mail off, but the mail carrier in the afternoon-when it's WARMER-could not open it. So that's one of the reasons we were told we weren't getting mail. 


    We also talked to our mail carrier and our mail carrier told us that if certain mail carriers feel the streets aren't cleared enough of the snow, they'll just walk right by them. This mail carrier also told us that if someone is covering for someone else on vacation right now, forget it, you aren't getting mail for a week. They are supposed to be covering for the mail carrier that's on vacation, but won't do it. I don't know if they get paid extra for covering for someone, but if they are, they are getting paid for a job they did not perform because I know people that this did happen to since all this snow feel. Their mail carrier went on vacation, and they didn't receieve mail ONCE for that entire week. 

    Wel also called the South Boston Post Office and asked if we could put a stop on our mail being delivered to our house for a while and that we would just come up and pick up our on mail. We were told no they can't do that. 

    I understand that we have an extrodinary amount of snow out there, but it's frustrating for us because we are waiting for a paychecks to be delivered and we've gone a month without an income in our house. Our patience with this is running out big time. Especially when we offered to come up to the Post Office ourselves and pick up our own mail and we were flat out told NO. 

  13. Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 2:54 pm
    Call Stephen Lynch’ s office. The winter conditions have made a bad situation worse. There are not enough people to do the work. They need more workers. You will have this problem in the summer too when vacatins start
  14. Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    No you don't get paid extra to cover another route while they are on vacation. They try to force you to do it. There is not enough people to cover the routes. I think you misunderstood what the carrier told you. It's much more complicated than that. The bottom line is many jobs were cut and there isn't enough people to do the work. The weather is making the situation worse. You will see these problems in the summer as well when the carriers start gong on vacation. It won't be getting any better until the big wigs admit that they made a mistake in Southie and add more staff. Until then your service is going to suck. Sorry. :(

  15. Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 7:19 pm

     USPS consumer affairs is a joke. Good luck with that. I'm sure your complaint will be put at the bottom of the pile right under mine

  16. Anonymous February 26, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    "We reached out to the press/media office of the USPS and asked them about the mail situation and we got a very nice letter from Melissa Lohnes.  You can read it here":  Blah Blah Blah  

    Ask an actual worker what the real problem is. Not some lady that sits behind a desk that never did the actual job a day in her life. I hope the heater at her desk is warm enough while the rest of us are out here working freezing our butts off . 1 person trying  to do the job of 10 people. Give me a break! BTW I wouldn't have delivered to the house in that picture. Not safe.


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