March 5, 2009

Post Office Mansion?

Posted: 12:21 PM ET

We received a tip about the United States Postal Service buying a $1.2 million mansion from a former postmaster in Lexington, South Carolina, who voluntarily relocated to Carrolton, Texas for a job as a customer service manager. Right away we wanted to know more.


The same day we got that tip, CNN aired a story about Postmaster General John Potter getting job perks, and receiving a salary that some critics say is far too high.

In January, Potter testified to Congress that the Postal Service was experiencing a "severe financial crisis," and needed help with its finances. At the hearing, Potter said he had cut travel, and frozen executive salaries.

The Postmaster told members of Congress he feared USPS would suffer a $6 billion deficit for this fiscal year, and he was even recommending a cutback in the number of days USPS would deliver mail.

Despite all of this, it wasn’t until last week that the Postal Service said it would set a new limit on how much it would spend on houses purchased in its relocation packages.

In the past, there were no limits. In one case, the USPS paid $2.8 million for a home.

If you compare this home purchase policy with those of various government agencies, you can see just how generous it really is. For example, the Food and Drug Administration has a $330,000 cap for home purchases when an employee is relocated. The Department of Homeland Security tells CNN it would rarely pay to move an employee, but if it did, the total cost would not exceed 25 percent of his or her salary.

I wonder what we would find out if we compared the way USPS home purchasing and relocation policies compare to the relocation packages of Fortune 500 companies.

With the economy in a recession, and the housing market struggling, do you think USPS should buy million dollar mansions, while at the same time, increase the cost of stamps, and cutback on delivery days? Would your company buy your home in a market like this? I bet you wish it would.

Filed under: Abbie Boudreau • Special Investigations Unit

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kirkindallas   March 5th, 2009 8:03 pm ET

I'm surprised no one thinks it's a little odd that a customer service manager for the postal service lives in million dollar plus houses. I'm i the wrong career field.

Tom Mattix   March 5th, 2009 8:20 pm ET

It sounds like the only place these postal employees should be relocated is federal prison, something is very shady here-for example: how does a postal employee afford a 1.2 million dollar home?

I hope you investigate this further.

ARTTHUR MATZINGER   March 5th, 2009 8:48 pm ET


Lucy   March 5th, 2009 9:03 pm ET

Postmaster General John Potter should be mase to resign The postal service is losing money every day. Why should tax payers pay for a postmaster to move much less buy his house 2.8 million of our tax dollars. It is time tax payers stood up and said ENOUGH.... IS ENOUGH Hope CNN post more articles on Postmaster General John Potter he needs investigating

Lola Burns   March 5th, 2009 9:07 pm ET

What absolutely ludicious salary is the postmaster getting. Ressession or not, making enough to buy that kind of "home" is way out of line. The job of postmaster does not match pay levels like that. The president of the United States doesn't make that kind of money–and he has a much more complex job than that of Any executive type. Displays of excess like that house is totally uncalled for in any situation.
Have you noticed that the executive types in this country are fighting tooth and nail to keep there excessive pay levels while the economy is crumbling around them-their method of business management is "lay off all the workers" then there will be money for MY salary and bonus. Pretty dumb in my opinion, Do they have any idea where the money comes from to pay their salaries, Why a whole lot of working people buying things. The opinion is that we have the best and the brightest in management position, seems to me that all we have is the most hateful, greedy. sloths in those positions.

Lee Lovely   March 5th, 2009 9:09 pm ET

Surely the special investigative unit of CNN has better things to do than this. You whack the US Postal Service for a relocation policy that is sensitive to someone that has an expensive home? And that is because...? If you are patting yourself on the back for uncovering this underwhelming piece of information, don't. The people who live in homes like this pay enormous (in fact disproportionate) amount of taxes. They also can be the difference between large organizations running smoothly or not. In many instances, these policies are very helpful moving key human assets where they are most needed, which in turn decreases recruiting and development expenses at the end location.

Please stop. Please quit initiating the nonsense that feeds the frenzy of ill informed people working themselves up about things they understand very little about.

george   March 5th, 2009 9:12 pm ET

I also wonder does a Post Master make to much money? If he was the sole source of income( i also understand there may be other finanvials to consider) i think he is being overpaid if he can afford this type of home.

chuck   March 5th, 2009 9:22 pm ET

Good reporting, this is an outrage. Lets not even get into comparing the USPS's executive perks with the private sector. The Postal Service is not a fortune 500 company, they are here to serve the American public, yet every move they make strips more service away from it's customers.
The USPS is extremely top heavy, 40 executive VP's all pulling down
executive salaries and perks. And quite honestly this is what is killing the Postal Service, the overstuffed management ranks. There is one manager for every 9 workers in the USPS compared to UPS who has a one to 20 ratio. Everyone of those high ranking employees is on a postal bonus system called PFP (pay for performance). Not such a bad thing on the surface, but if you dig deeper you can find what the PFP scorecard is based on for the Postal Service supervisors. For instance, supervisors get high scores for cutting back hours of window clerks, so naturally they purposely under staff the position. As lines grew longer and people grew more frustrated the postal services answer to the problem was to remove all clocks from postal lobbies. You think I'm kidding ? try and find a clock in a postal lobby, they have gone the way of the stamp machine, and collection boxes on street corners, gone. More service gone. I would like to know how much money was paid to postal supervisors last year in just PFP payments alone.
But while the PMG was granted a 39% raise last year, he dares to suggest that we need to cut a delivery day and freeze salaries, why? So the never ending gravy train never ends.
Here's just a couple of other minor atrocities for you,
The USPS is in the process of spending 10 billion dollars on automated flat sorting machines FSS. These machines require a building the size of a football field to house and an internal audit from the OIG says they will not be cost effective due to dwindling mail volume. So they put the money there instead of a green fleet of vehicles ???
Supposedly they are scaling way back, yet one of the corporate offices in Southern California is undergoing is undergoing 20 million dollar renovations and the place looks new. Supervisor and Postmasters don't punch a time clock, they come and go as they please and most of them take full advantage of this situation on the companies dime.
The current PMG needs to go now and all his cronies too, it wont hurt him though because the Postal Board Of Governors has set up a golden parachute of over a million dollars for him. Good job wrecking the postal service.

DR   March 5th, 2009 9:29 pm ET

I hope that you continue to provide the facts about the Postal Service waste.It needs to be exposed.

Johny C.   March 5th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

How in the HELL does a mailman afford a one MILLION dollar home!

Fervor   March 5th, 2009 9:37 pm ET

How much do postmasters make?! Surely not high enough to cover a $1.2M house....of course there could be other financial resources such as a working spouse, inheritance, etc.

I agree that there should be caps placed within the relocation guidelines, especially in our current economic environment. And a review of USPS management structure and compensation would be a good move as well.

Chuck   March 5th, 2009 9:55 pm ET

I suggest we bring back the gallows in the town square. This absolutely shameful.

delayed   March 5th, 2009 10:03 pm ET

Doesn't surprise me. I recently had gifts shipped from The packages were mailed from Kansas, trucked to Dallas TX, then to St. Paul Minnesota, and finally back to the Texas coast where it arrived several days late. Nothing smart about the Post Office, their Logistics, or their contributions to a greener planet.

Nonnie   March 5th, 2009 10:04 pm ET

What kind of wages was this guy earning to afford a $1.2 million dollar house? It's no wonder our postal rates and stamps keep going up in price.

Nonnie   March 5th, 2009 10:20 pm ET

In response to Lee Lovely: Better things to do? Like maybe sweeping this abuse under the carpet so Americans can't see what's actually going on in the postal service? You my dear must be one of those elitest types that sees nothing wrong in taking and abusing taxpayers money for personal gain.

Mike   March 5th, 2009 10:24 pm ET

How about investigating how management is conducting a rural mail count and trying to cut the pay of rural carriers so they can help "save" the postal service. How about making one postmaster cover several offices instead of just we actually need postmasters?!?!? The mail is delivered without the help of a postmaster . The supervisor can push the paperwork. Can I drink coffee and chat on the phone all day for 80,000 plus PFP bonuses?!?! Here's where to cut cost!!!! Leave the ones that do the work alone or give them a bonus based on performance.....we will bend over backward to serve the public!!!

Deba   March 5th, 2009 10:28 pm ET

The only intelligent comment above is the one by Lee Lovely. The USPS is NOT supported by taxpayers. If someone has an issue with the practices of the USPS, then they should speak with their money, by using other services for mailing. Nothing speaks louder to a company than a dramatic drop in the use of their products and services. It is also amazing that most people here commented that they were astonished that a USPS employee could afford such an expensive home. Instead of spending so much time blogging, maybe all the astonished individuals need to work harder at bettering themselves (i.e. go back to college and get a degree, take a certification training course, etc.) and therefore bettering their positions in life, and then possibly they, too, would be able to afford such a house.

dfg   March 5th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

No joke kirkindallas,
I am in the wrong field if a postmaster can live in a million dollar house and have a pension like that and then dare to have us pay for his house and his move. Oh come on. They should all be fired and we can start over. There are a lot of people right now who would do a wonderful job for much less and would not insult us by living in that house and having us pay for it. No wonder this country is in hot water. Does this not seem ludicrous to everyone. Physicians don't make this much money and they have to have years of education and degrees and training. This makes me so mad. I don't care if it was his wife's money or if he inherited it. We paid for this house in a time when it was obvious it would not sell and we would lose money. I feel absolutely certain (and would bet money on it), that there is someone in Carrollton where this man moved, that could have done as good of job and it would not have cost us a fortune. I am sure he was just too happy to unload the house on us. And the postmaster general makes $800,000 a year. Oh I hope someone in office right now does a real job of seeing what has been going on in the postal service all these years and hope that they sack the administration of the postal service for this. Fire them and see if they are even remotely able to find another job like this.

Donny   March 5th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Chuck was spot on with his first post.

KC   March 5th, 2009 10:33 pm ET

Just to add to your outrage, and to rebut the arrogant and condescending Lee Lovely, this guy was the postmaster in Lexington, SC, a booming metropolis of 14, 000 people. Please explain to me how he could afford a house like this, and why we have to buy it from him.
As to paying more than their fair share of taxes, does that include the 20,000 people who Illegally concealed 20 billion dollars from the IRS with UBS? Spare me your" little people don't know what we do for them" speech, Lee.

dan russell   March 5th, 2009 10:36 pm ET

postmasters are paid by how big their customer base is, i doubt he was above a level-17 which pays about 70,000 dollars depending on longevity. my question is a customer service mgr is no more than a level-17, that sounds like a lateral move and should not have been eligible for a relocation. sounds fishy

dan russell   March 5th, 2009 10:55 pm ET

this sounds to me like he had connections in high places, i will bet you his house is only worth half what its appraised at and had it appraised for 1.2, some big hanky panky is going on, and i think the postal inspectors should look into it. fraud comes to mine.

Coach   March 5th, 2009 11:06 pm ET

Enough. Lee is right on target....the ease with which this kind of misinformation is publicized and the "do what it takes to make the reader click" have led to people complaining about something they haven't had time to fully explore. We don't know anything about this man's financial situation or that of his family.....since when is one's income from his job the only determinant of how they live? We're losing our privacy, our freedoms, and our civility, all to thunderous applause because too many people feel disenfranchised, or cheated, or entitled.
Our economy is mired in a deep recession, and the pain and hurt are sure to come out. But relocation and other programs or benefits are part of corporate culture. Many aspects of executive compensation take forms other than money, and relocation assistance is one of them. When did we all become experts in executive compensation, corporate governance, negotiations, and reward/recognition programs? Why support caps in relocation programs? Because it sounds unfair to have someone else's house bought so he can be promoted or serve his employer in some other way? The USPS (which is NOT a government agency nor dependent in anyway on taxpayer dollars) didn't really "spend" a dime on this house unless they actually have to sell it for a loss, and such purchases are often done at an objective appraised value. One realtor, again who we know nothing about, says it will be difficult. So what?? If it takes a while, it takes a while. Why do we care?? If they sell it for a loss, then what they truly spent on the whole transaction is the amount of that loss and some closing costs (including a realtor's commission and some other items that keep folks employed). The realtor on the other end, the law firm handling the closings, the moving company and the workers, the cable installer, the home inspector, and everyone else employed during a home purchase benefits here. Is it possible that this man's relocation was due to a promotion or some other circumstance that in turn creates a job opening and promotion opportunity for another? Where is your acrimony over $3 trillion dollars for bank bailouts, mortgage modifications, dubious programs and wish list spending that won't create any actual economic benefit for 2 to 3 years? Billions to GM, and they're likely to go bankrupt anyway. $45bb to Bank of America and they trade at $3 a share. $85bb invested in AIG and they're back for a THIRD round of support. Billions to underwater homeowners, far too many of whom believe that because they owe more than the house is worth they don't have to make payments anymore. Don't be mad at a postal employee, the USPS, or anyone else trying to continue their operations. Be angry at the consumer that knowingly went in over his head and borrowed money he had no means with which to pay it back.
If you disapprove of the postal service, do what Mr. Matzinger did and stop using it. If you disapprove of GM, don't buy their cars. Don't bank wherever. But realize that by doing so you become part of a self-fulfiling prophesy and you put more and more people out of work. But whatever we do, I ask that we leave this (presumably valuable and successful) postal employee alone and accept that like most other things in life there is much more to the story than space and our ever-shortening attention spans will allow.

g-money   March 5th, 2009 11:57 pm ET

USPS Supervisors make about $58 to $63K/yr – Postmasters only make slightly more. My questions is how did Ron Hopson buy the $1.2mil house on that salary only to move to Carrollton TX to take a lower paying job and better yet, how did he talk the USPS into buying/selling this house so he would not have to?

Brian Lenover   March 6th, 2009 12:02 am ET

The Postal Service is just like any other big corporation. They are only as good as the people running them! That's why the Postal Service will be the next organization to fail! Here comes another "Bail Out"!


Dave Brannigan   March 6th, 2009 12:19 am ET


Dave Brannigan   March 6th, 2009 12:28 am ET


RhondaM   March 6th, 2009 12:41 am ET

I am appalled at the Postal Service purchasing million dollar homes when they are downsizing personnel and sending employees home without pay. I am an injured employee who has been working for the U.S. Postal Service for 21 years with a job related injury and was kicked off the job.The customers need to know that they treat their employees like unwanted dogs ready for the slaughter!

NT   March 6th, 2009 12:57 am ET

Have any of you idiots thought about maybe this postal employees spouse could have a job and make good money? I don't have a problem at all with this story. Of course in today's market they (postal service) might lose money on a real estate deal, how much did they make on deals prior to 2007? I also find the $1M cap on home purchases ridiculous, I am sure there are postal employees in high market areas that own homes over $1M. If one of these employees is moved for another job I don't think they should be penalized arbitrarily because they made good decisions in life.....just because they work for the gov't does not mean they can't live in a nice house.

Johnny Badger   March 6th, 2009 1:01 am ET

Only in Anerica can we have postal employees living in million dollar mansions, $1 trillion "stimulus" bills passed by Congress and signed into law by a President before it is ever memorialized on paper, and no one objecting when the president of vice Biden holding a "behind closed door" meeting with the labor socialistic party, and no one says a word. Am I stuck in "Through the Looking Glass with Alice?

kurt   March 6th, 2009 1:05 am ET

You know what the postal service should do? They should elect a board that would endorse end of year bonuses and award their buddies and bankrupt the company (because they KNOW the party is over). Then, they should become a bank or holding company or whatever they call it. They can then qualify for TARP funds. This way these folks can continue to lead cushy lives. While they are at it, they can open up a swiss bank account to skirt their taxes. Lee and Deba sound like they might be VPs or post master majors themselves as they seem overly defensive of the situation. I know doctors who bust their behinds and they only make a quarter of the salary of the postmaster general. So, don't give me this "go back to school and get an education crap." There are A LOT of people out there that would be happy to bust their butts doing the job of three of the VPs and would be overjoyed to make a $200k a year. This is the time that people should look at these boards of these companies and put some new blood in there. Six billion dollar deficit? Sounds like current VP's know what they are doing! Unfortunately, if you ask them what they are doing, they will plead the fith or turf if off to somebody else that can't answer the question. People are pissed off after seeing the excesses while screwing the "little guy" who makes 1/20th of what their "superiors" make. I can tell you this, Obama is definitely earning his keep. Pay me $300k as postmaster general and I'll tear the place up, change some processes, and make people accountable.

Rain2   March 6th, 2009 1:20 am ET

Here's a link to the USPS pay scale:

Rain2   March 6th, 2009 1:28 am ET

I shipped via overnight express mail with the older version of their express mail envelope. You get a small discount for going through their web site. By the time I was at the USPS counter, the clerk told me that I should have used my own envelope because now he had to charge me more for using theirs. Since I really wanted to get this sent out, I paid for the 'difference'. I avoid the USPS at all costs.

kenneth   March 6th, 2009 1:47 am ET

this is one of the more elegant homes in south carolina. architectually speaking, the formal composition is exquisite and must reflect the high taste and intelligence of the home's former resident. i especially appreciate the adaptation of the serlian window into the entryway. the usps should consider itself luck to own such a beautiful home.

Jim Preston   March 6th, 2009 4:41 am ET

Do Lee and Debra work for the post office? Seriously, a good debate among the posters, and while I think the matter should be investigated further, I'd like to put in a plug for the guys behind the counter at my post office whom I enjoy talking sports with.

j   March 6th, 2009 6:27 am ET

usps management corruption ?

Arlene   March 6th, 2009 7:21 am ET

I can't believe you raised all of this hoopla of the USPS "buying" this mansion, by burying deep within your article the true purchaser of the property, i.e. Cartus Relocation Services. As a Realtor in FL, and a certified Cartus relocation specialist, I can fairly guarantee that the deed for this home is NOT in the name of the USPS, but Cartus. When an amployee opts to accept a relocation package from his company, the process for the transferee is then serviced by the designated relocation contractor. The transferee generally has the option to sell his home on his own, prior to accepting a "buy-out" from the relocator. This could re-coup him more money than the buy-out, if sold within the average of 90-180 days of the relocation period. If Cartus makes an offer to purchase the home, it is only after a state-certified appraiser has completed and submitted an appraisal. The transfer of the deed is handled by the attornies of the relocation company. What the USPS did, was to offer to its employee a relocation package, probably many months ago, prior to the stricter guidelines it put in place recently.
Bottom line: Cartus Relocation Services now owns a home worth $1.2M, and is in the process of selling it. Should it sell for less, Cartus is the company that will feel the loss.
Had you explained the typical corporate relocation process more thoroughly, you may not have stirred such a tempest with your readers. So what is your goal: investigative reporting or sensationalism?

Bill Jay   March 6th, 2009 7:36 am ET

Mr. Potter is not worth his current salary. He runs a company, that
would operate on it's own. As for the purchase for the 1.2 million
property, it happens all the time. If a Postmaster does not like where they are, they simply move knowing full well, that the Postal Service
covers them. Then they move again and again. It really is fraud.

Bill Jay   March 6th, 2009 7:54 am ET

Mr. Potter does not operate the Postal Service. The Postal Service
is operating by the hard work that the Carriers and Clerks perform.

Management at the Postal Service is scary. They break the backs
of their employess. At level 21 and above office's the installation
head really does not perform any work (waste of money having them)

The Real Estate department at the Postal Service operates like business, like the ecomony is great.

The real fraud at the Postal Service is in the policy's they hide under.

Most of the talent in management is that there is no talent, the policy
on promotions is( How well do I like you-not merit based)

I am sure that the Postmaster that moved to become a customer service manager just moved because he ran out of gas and wanted
a less burden of a job. Really who would blame that person.
Less work more pay, quite a remarkable thing.

PT   March 6th, 2009 8:04 am ET

Personally, it's none of my business that this person had a home worth $1.2 million. What is my business is why a quasi-government agency is buying properties from employees who do not have mission critical skills. I've been to TX and there are loads of scientists and doctors and all sorts of smart people with lots of specialized skills, so I'm pretty sure there was at least one person, maybe even in the same post office, who has the skills to run it. Therefore, long distance searches and relocation should not be necessary. If this gent wants to move from SC to TX after applying and winning the job, Great! However, the move and risk associated with selling his home in ANY market should be his responsibility. With such special skills, I'm sure the he could have sold his home for much more than the post office paid him. Right?

inthewrongjob   March 6th, 2009 8:27 am ET

The Town of Lexington SC has 9,700 residents. Here are the red flags in this case. How much are we paying this "former" postmaster? How can a civil servent own a $1.2mil house? This was a voluntary move to Carrolton – why are we buying his house on a voluntary move? He has a lesser job now as customer service manager. Did he take a pay cut as well?

I want to be a civil servant too.

In the Wrong Job

skip besch   March 6th, 2009 9:11 am ET

I have to wonder how many people are going to live in the 8,400 sauare foot house. ^ bedrooms 4 full baths and 2 half baths. Is The person going to adopt octuplets plus 6.
How much energy does a house like that consume?
On our two incomes we live in a 20 foot travel trailer, and average about $120.00 on ellecttric and propane. We are extremely happy in our little trailer, and the only thing we miss is room for a pool table. We would love to have a home less than one tenth the size of that one.
Now a question how many of you are treated with any respect from postal employees?

cf   March 6th, 2009 9:14 am ET

So many people do not understand the issues and are influenced by a liberal media to the point they are blinded by stupidity.
Fact – There are very very few execs in the postal service who enjoy any of the perks that private industry enjoys. The PMG earns his salary. He is accountable to the american people and has done an excellent job managing the USPS.
FACT -He runs an organization that delivers to every single delivery in this country – over 300,000,000 of them.
FACT – He runs an organization of over 700,000 employees.
FACT – He runs an organization that processes and delivers billions YES BILLIONS pieces of mail every year.
FACT – The USPS processes more mail than all combined postal services of the world combined.
FACT – The postal service has one of the lowest stamp rates in the world.
FACT – The USPS is consistently rated one of the best goverment entities in the US on an annual basis.
FACT – Most management employees in the USPS (90% of them) earn less than 100K per year including this PM in SC. Everyone is wanting to string up the postmaster in SC but has anyone thought he might have married money or made wise investments to be able to afford this?
FACT – TAXPAYERS do not fund postal salaries – it is STAMP SALES! When stamp sales go down then so do most of the benefits of postal employees including the execs!
Now everyone get back to life, leave the hard working people of the postal service alone, and start thinking about what you can do to get our economy going again instead of complaining about something you do not have all the information on!

HAD IT in Orlando   March 6th, 2009 9:14 am ET

I'm sure the Post office could do much more in the way of cost-cutting activities if they tried instead of whining about expenses and stopping Saturday delivery (besides lowering relo max house price) . Maybe STOP designing, marketing, and selling UN-necessary things like designer stamps – plain old American Flag stamps work great. They, like others just don't get it YET, it is not business as usual !!!

Jo Anne   March 6th, 2009 9:23 am ET

As someone who works for the postal service and I work very hard for my pay check . This is just crazy. Transfer a person you don't really need to a job that should be deleted. Those of us at the bottom of the pile are paying the price. Working more for less. By the way that's are new saying "Do more with less". Hell I work at the post office and can't afford to buy a new car much less a house.

Carlton Phelps   March 6th, 2009 9:24 am ET

To cut cost the postal service is closing processing plants throughout the US and now they are relocating the PMG on our backs. The employees that are losing their jobs receive NO relocation help. Take the job we offer or find a new job. Doesn't seem fair to the working class at the Post Office.

All they have to offer is service and if they aren't given help like AIG a private company we can't expect them not to raise their rates to off set thier losses.

Bev   March 6th, 2009 9:37 am ET

Let me preface this by saying that I work for the postal service. Not as a high paid exective, but as a carrier (and proud to be). What bothers me most about this is that this was a VOLUNTARY

pj   March 6th, 2009 9:54 am ET

That's it. No more Christmas bonus for my mail carrier.(funny...I think).

Indoor swimming pool? Must have been practicing for the upcoming USPS junket in Hawaii. Someone should look into all of the junkets that the USPS Management team takes; it would make AIG pale in comparison.

Actually, I used to cover all of South Carolina in a previous job, and have been through–yes, through by the P.O. I do not think more than 20,000 live in the township. By the look of most of the homes, probably a quarter of the folks live at or below the poverty line.

My wife and I are struggling to make ends meet and we read this.

Wonder   March 6th, 2009 10:01 am ET

This is shameful reporting. The individual involved accepted a job as a customer service manager (median salary of $68,000) has done nothing wrong and is now subjected to the wrath of millions because he is fortunate enough to be able to afford a very nice home. Maybe he and his spouse are retired physicians or owned a successful business or discovered buried treasure and this is a second career. None of our business quite frankly. I personally hope that we can continue to live in a country where it is NOT shameful to hope that we or are children can aspire to be successful.

Even the original title (I think it's now been edited and modified) of this article is misleading and indicative of the trash reporting this really is...something like "Postal Service purchases $1.2M home for employee". It's a relo purchase, like thousand of relo purchases companies conduct every year for relocating employees. Probably in microcosm a stupid relo purchase, but the USPS is not taxpayer funded and like all private organizations should have the right to make their business decisions. Whether efficient or inefficient, my guess is the difference on a well run relocation program and a poorly run one is a round off when it comes to a price of a stamp and far from low hanging fruit when it comes to areas for efficiency improvement. My guess is a story on logistics or warehousing or fleet management isn't going to get a lot of readers though.

With all the alternatives to USPS these days...Internet bill pay, Email, UPS, Fedex, the best way to comment on a price of postage is to take your business elsewhere rather than assualt the American Dream

Dave Brannigan   March 6th, 2009 10:04 am ET


doc   March 6th, 2009 10:09 am ET

If you look at the real problem ,it is the Unions that file frivolous grivances that cost the postal service billions of dollors. Management is not top heavy, it is the craft this is costing the big bucks.

Bobby   March 6th, 2009 10:31 am ET

What bothers me about this whole issue is that this was a VOLUNTARY move. This person wasn't necessarily moved because his talent was needed elsewhere, this person was moved because he/she WANTED to move. Therefore, why should this even qualify for transfer benefits? I have heard several stories over the years of executive moves costing 150-200 thousand dollars just in moving expenses alone! The Postal Service is no different than all of these other companies that are struggling right now. They are losing money hand over fist, yet continue to pay bonuses and incentives at the expense of the customers and the people who actually perform the work.

It is not the schedule of the working people (ie. carriers, clerks, mail handlers) that needs to be restructured. We are the Postal "Service"-service is all we do. Therefore, cutting "service" (our bread and butter!) to five day delivery is not the answer! Like other companies, we need to trim the fat! The Postal Service has too many paper pushers watching people who are actually working! We need to work smarter! We are spending billions on Flat Sorting Machines in a time of declining flat volume. (Though I am sure someone got a bonus for that!)

How about working to make us more effecient. I would love to see our Post Offices with solar panels on the roof tops, powering the building and the electric zero emission Postal vehicles, then putting energy back into the grid earning an energy credit. I would love to see scanners that did actually did away with the unnecessary paper we continue to generate on a daily basis nationwide (note that UPS has had this for years and years). I would love to see improved technology for tracking parcels so that we can improve the service we provide.

We continue to reward individuals who are managing our company into the ground. The Postal Service has been part of our great nation since 1725. We need to listen to our customers, listen to the employees in the trenches, we need to strive to be viable in tough economic times by improving the "service" we provide-not tearing it down. The people who are defending the incentives these executive gladly receive are obviously people who benefit from such. It is time to trim the fat! It is time to tighten the belts. It is time to stop the mismanagement that has plagued not only the Postal Service, but the auto industry, Wall Street, etc. It is time for accountability! It is time for transparancy! It is time for effeciency!

Thank you CNN for continuing to fearlessly expose the wasteful practices of those companies with their hands out expecting us to throw more good money after bad.

Jan (Des Moines Iowa)   March 6th, 2009 10:37 am ET


Brian   March 6th, 2009 10:49 am ET

I would like to understand who is paying the shortfall between the the original listed price of $2,995,000 ( ) and the now listed price of $1,200, just who is paying the $1,795,000're right, the taxpayer.

Roy S   March 6th, 2009 11:42 am ET

I knew this was coming. I retired from USPS in 2000. Back in the 80's when Pres Reagan fired all those traffic comptrollers for wanting a raise and better health plan all the other workforce agencies took it to heart. They started eliminating jobs doubling their salaies, and o yes those bonuses came into play. The Postal Service is very top heavy in managment. Does anybody remember they gave Fed Ex 10 billion so they would carry their(usps) packages. Fed Ex took that money and bought out Kinkos. And how about that 10 million given to Lance to sponsor him. I just hope I live through my remaing years without losing my postal pension.

Mike C   March 6th, 2009 11:50 am ET

Arlene thanks for putting the truth out there!

Brian your wrong the tax payer is not footing the bill. The owner of the home accepted a buy out from the relocation service, not part of the USPS, the relocation service now owns the home, a private company.

CNN should be ashamed that they are telling half truths. But it did just what they wanted, got all you readers to drink the kool-aid! Sorry your all sheep.

Bobby   March 6th, 2009 12:07 pm ET

In response to Doc-you must be in management. The union does not cause the grievances-management does. The union is simply reacting to a mis-managed situation. Management and the Union work TOGETHER to come up with a Collective Bargaining Agreement-there is nothing unilateral about it. This Agreement protects the working people from self-serving managers who want to take advantage of their "power". The same people who think they deserve to have their house purchased because they want to move to another state. The same people who believe they deserve a bonus even though the company lost billions. The same people who produce nothing yet continue to receive a paycheck while the front line workers are losing their jobs. Wake up and smell the recession!

Arlene   March 6th, 2009 12:38 pm ET

Thanks, Mike C, you got it. Brian is just plain wrong on the taxpaper absorbing the $1,795,000 difference in purchase price. The employee took the loss on the sale of the house to Cartus Relocation (again, NOT the Postal Service) since he was unable to sell it in a slow real estate market.
CNN, publish the facts correctly and stop leading your readers on to misguided conclusions! Maybe the USPS needed to review thier relocation policy, but not at the expense of this one employee being trashed by every one.

Observer   March 6th, 2009 2:47 pm ET

I have to agree with doc. The unions and all their frivolous grievances tie up alot of time and money for the USPS. Additionally, the limited duty employees (so called "injured") are also sucking the life right out of the USPS. They are the dead weight that is bringing a once powerful institution to its knees. My favorites are the mail carriers that are so "injured" that they can drive their personal vehicle but are unable to drive a postal vehicle. The list of "injuries" goes on and on...

Postal Employee   March 6th, 2009 4:41 pm ET

This is not SUPRISING. The USPS Administration has for a very long time in the practice of shady, and covert programs such as this, it's been happening for years- BUT the only employee's who benefit from relocation programs, forced-labor practice's, punishment of employee's who utilize their sick leave, bonuses, travel accommodations at 5 star hotels, and live in million dollar homes, the list is endless.. BUT again the only employee's who benefit are the USPS ADMINSTRATION STAFF AND MANAGEMENT. Your regular postal employee- the person who deliver's your mail, or sell's you stamps at the window, THEY GET NOTHING other than have their hours cut, lose their job, or required to work twice as hard for the same pay. Keep in mind that at one time the USPS did generate a profit in the millions. Now due to downsize of labor jobs, to increase wasteful spending and inflated administrative salaries, neo-creation of a useless and dysfunctional management- the USPS is in the RED – yet these programs still are in effect and use.

KAY   March 6th, 2009 4:47 pm ET


amazed   March 6th, 2009 7:11 pm ET

doc & Observer obviously hate unions. But honestly, if you look for trends the unions are in retreat in the grievance world. They would rather talk and reach agreements. The people who should be the MOST ticked off about this is the thousands of clerks that have lost thier bid jobs. The thousands of clerks who have had thier jobs eliminated with no support. The thousands of clerks have been excised with not golden parachute.The rural route carriers who have lost thousands of dollars due to loss of volume and renaming types of mail. And the city carriers run by a software program that doesn't know the job. All the little indians in the USPS are being beat down, encouraged to retire. While a elite little club is living the good life. The public sees this in the lessened clerks at the windows, or not seeing the same carrier everyday at the same time.

Postal Patty   March 6th, 2009 7:59 pm ET

The true point of this story is the voluntary re-location. If lower level employees wish to transfer, they do so at their own expense. This is another example of the "good old boys club" taking care of their friends. Unions are not the reason the postal service is losing money. Unions can do nothing if management doesn't VIOLATE the contracts they agreed to abide by. The postal service has many managers in offices, doing insane and useless paperwork. How many supervisors do you need when the carriers spend 75% of their day on the street. Postmasters are only required to spend 4 hours per day in their offices, but carriers are being pushed to do 12 hours work in 8, and disciplined when they can't. The current rural mail count is a sham. Managers manipulate mail and expect carriers to just be happy they still have a job. Management will even tell stewards that they have, "we have the right to mismanage." Trim the useless figureheads at the top and pass the savings on to the customer. Do not decrease service, and continue to reward the thieves!

Patti   March 6th, 2009 8:01 pm ET

I am a City Letter carrier for the United States Postal Service and I would like to let everyone know that it is not the bottom of this food chain that is the cause of the budget problems! After walking 11 miles a day delivering the mail I wish I could walk into a kitchen like the one in this mansion, then jump into the indoor pool which is most likely was warm as a bath, then roll the dice to decide what bedroom I am going to sleep in tonight. Instead......I come home feed my family, sit down and study my budget to make sure that I can pay my mortgage and keep my family fed. Maybe I could get a transfer to a route that I can drive, get an appraiser to say my house is $1.2 million and let the USPS by it. People need to start blaming the management that are living high on the hog and not breaking a sweat earning their pay check. This is a blatent waste and you should see the ones that CNN hasn't found yet!

kenb   March 6th, 2009 9:32 pm ET

I am a Postal manager who has also transfered with relocation benefits. In my situation, I did NOT accept the offer on my home from the Postal Service. Their offer was considerably less than the amount I sold my home for (which sold on the first day it was listed). I believe in this situation it was the "exception" rather than the rule. The Postal Service does not throw around it's money. It has reduced it's expenses and payroll. It does NOT get taxpayer subsidies. In fact, it's the only Federal agency of any kind that has to pre-fund it's retiree health benefits, to the tune of 5.8 billion dollars. It's retirement fund is solvent. The rest of the federal agencies (funded by TAXPAYERS and part of the federal budget) are in the hole over a trillion dollars. So for those of you who are quick to point a finger, check the facts.

Do I agree with this relocation? Probably not. It was not a good decision to allow someone in management to "lateral" to a desireable job and commit to relocation fees of that magnitude.

Haha   March 6th, 2009 10:18 pm ET


You are a complete idiot to think that management isn't top heavy. By the way, whose fault is it that management is paying for grievances filed by the union? I will tell you, management. They wouldn't have to pay out anything if they would follow the contract. They don't follow the contract and then blame everything on the bottom people.

Haha   March 6th, 2009 10:23 pm ET


If the relocation company owns it, then why is their spokesman talk like they are the ones paying for the home? Just asking. I don't know. Someone is paying the relocation company. Why would they pay for something then take a chance that they would lose money on the deal?

tee   March 7th, 2009 11:19 am ET

I am a window clerk .My husband is a rural carrier. It is the incompatence of managers and whoever sends down there orders that is ruining our jobs.they should not be able to be in charge of any office untill they have delivered mail and worked the window.our postmaster does not have a clue what she is doing but she spends the hell out of money.she does not care about customers or employees.I wish cnn or someone could just investigate a little deeper the post office is a interesting job. But in the past years its the who you know to move on up way to get a job is killing us.It needs to be what you know and how hard you work is the way to move on up.I hope it gets better for everyone but the wasted money I see is scary and it needs to stop.

Bob Miller   March 7th, 2009 1:09 pm ET

As a retired letter carrier (20 years), I resent the fact that this type of chicanery is going on. My retirement is peanuts compared to what this Potter PMG is getting. If my guess is right, he was either a politician or a cretin they found in some other failing venture, who knew absolutely nothing about the inner workings of the Postal Service. When I first started working, the postmaster was a politician. After he retired, the next postmaster owned a car dealership prior to his hiring–and so the story goes----–.

Coach   March 7th, 2009 6:09 pm ET

re-reading much of this blog, I do want to thank the many postal service employees that are taken for granted and consistently deliver the mail, truly through all kinds of muck, dogs barking, rain, snow, sleet, and the often blocked mail box. You ladies and gentlemen are wonderful, and all this stuff aside, you don't get enough recognition. I don't know anything about the management – labor relations at the USPS, but for what it's worth: THANK YOU.

MB   March 7th, 2009 7:48 pm ET

Let's make sure that we are reporting this right. This has nothing to do with Postal Employees as far as city mail carriers. This is about management because we do not have any move around rights as city carriers. This is once again management making the USPS look bad for all employee's. If I want to move somewhere else you better believe they won't be buying my home in fact, they'll make me wait for years before I can even go anywhere. Management can leave as they please.

tee   March 7th, 2009 7:49 pm ET

thank you Coach as i feel apreciation from most of my customers they too see how bad our office is being ran since our last postmaster has been in charge say last 8 years we just keep hoping we get one with some common sense.but whats scary now it looks like thats not going to happen postmasters like her are in too many offices and look whats happening its going broke..........

Vanessa Brown   March 7th, 2009 8:04 pm ET

I agree with Kay. He wasn't very popular in Dillon, or Hartsville, or Florence, or Marion. I wonder how many times he did relocate.......hmm.

guest   March 7th, 2009 9:41 pm ET

I live about 20 minutes from this lake so when I read this story I went to see this house myself and what I don't understand is why in the hell doesn't this 1.2 million dollar home have a concert drive way, I will tell you that this home is beautiful.

tee   March 8th, 2009 12:15 am ET

wow sounds like carrollton post office is in for another fluke manager huh. they will sure fire the carriers and clerks for just cause but they just move the stupids all around to different managment positions.

Mary   March 8th, 2009 12:37 pm ET

This is shameful reporting. I agree tht 1 million is a lot to pay for a house, but where is reporting on the on how the USPS will also sell the house and that they just did not make a one million dollar "operating expense"? This is a capital purchase, so it is mostly only a cash consideration on it's balance sheet and minimal impact to its income statement . Keep in mind that the USPS does not take ANY tax dollars and that it is the largest employer in the US. So how is the post master general's salary is too high? Compared to who? CNN executives? Stamp prices going up? boo-hoo. Where is the CNN news story complimenting the USPS's stamp prices compared to other countries? Then no one would watch, right? Where is the story on how CNN does not report news but markets sensasionalism and distorts the facts only for ratings so tht it can make money? How much does CNN's executives get? ...more thatn 800k/yr, I'm betting.

Kim   March 8th, 2009 12:50 pm ET

The whole postal service needs to have an in depth investigation. The general public does not understand how it works and evidently niether does President Obama when the first thing he suggests doing is to raise rates on benefits for retirees. The federal government and ALWAYS the postal service want to solve their mismanagement by attacking, taxing and abusing the workers first. I for one believe they should start at the top with cuts in benefits and pay. Leave the hard working carrier alone or even give them some of the extra money and perks!

Haha   March 8th, 2009 10:10 pm ET


It is the idea that the Post Office is purchasing a home from an employee who is transferring. Also, the article says the Post Office loses on the average of about 57,000 dollars in the end. That is the average on all of the houses it purchased from relocating employees. Now there may be a company doing the purchasing like someone said above but, in the end, the Post Office is losing money on each transaction. The company stated above that purchases the houses and then sells them for the Post Office isn't going to take a loss. So, in the end, the Post Office takes it in the shorts. The relocation company will get a commission after selling the house. Plus, I would be willing to bet the longer the house is on the market, the more money the relocation company will get from the Post Office. That is, cost associated with the house being on the market longer than normal. Bottom line, the Post Office has been losing money and they go out and buy houses of the good old boy network and take a loss when each one is sold on the average.

Postal Worker   March 9th, 2009 7:33 am ET

Please don't confuse Postal Workers for Upper Postal Managers. Postal workers do not get perks such as this. Upper Managment Only get these REWARDS.

Postal workers are 97% Veterans, make good pay but not beyond prevailing wage ($12.00 hr for unskilled PT to 27.00 hr. for highest skilled 15 Yr Electronic Tech.). Postal Workers are constantly loosing their jobs to "Contract Services" which cost far more than if the work was completed by in house skilled craftsmen. Noting: these craft employees are highly "double" trained, by Military and US Postal Training Facility.

As war Veterans return home daily, the Goverment is doing away with the few jobs availble to Disabled War Veterans in the Postal Service. In 2010 the Postal Service intends to further reduce Skilled Craft positions, giving the work to select contract entities. Probably to keep funding perks such as this for upper management. The cost... Veterans on Unemployment and Social Security.

The US Postal Service does NOT get tax dollars. However the Postal Service has a spending problem on the upper end. It appears corruption may have tainted our upper ranks. As this gets more and more exposed, it will get unglier before it gets stopped.

WOW   March 9th, 2009 11:04 am ET

Can you say discruntled employees? And maybe a little ingnorance. As said before, the relocation took place much earlier than during this hard economic downfall. And believe it or not, the American People have a right (well for now) to invest in their own businesses and at they can even be successful. You would be suprised how many Postal Employee's craft and management that actually hold more than one position. And how many have successful spouses that are actually better off financially than the Postal Worker has been.

And just for your information, the Postal Service had stopped offering relocation benefits for lateral transfers long before this story broke. CNN – you are quite behind in your reporting. And where did this story come from? Another green eyed monster – most likely working for the same organization that is being attacked.

Yes, sometimes companies, especially those under watchful eyes and specifically those that are a part of the Federal Government do make some choices that appear to be less than logical. But when PMG said he was cutting costs, he is cutting costs. They determined many months ago that they would not pay for relocation costs for downgrades and laterals. Yes, maybe they never should have but nonetheless – the recognized it was an expense that should not be made and stopped it.

Much like many families have stopped traveling so much due to higher gas prices. And why we eat out less due to higher food costs. We tighten our belts when we must. I would bet even if the Company ever begins making a profit again, these perks will never be re-instated.

And as far as those employee's who have been removed from the Postal Service. Quit crying the blues. Does the American People know how hard it is to remove a veteran from a government position- especially in the Postal Service. You have to get caught red handed stealing whether it is money or time before they will let you go. And usually you have to be caught a minimum of 5 times. So stop trying to get folks to feel bad for you. You know you are a slug! And I am sure the hard working Postal Workers that were pulling your dead weight are quite happy you have stopped sucking up their saleries.

I also find it amazing that everyone will jump on the band wagon about the Postal Service – stamp prices (do you realize everytime gas goes up 1 cent – it costs the company 8 million dollars?) taxes (not part of the USPS make up) and the PMG, Jack Potter – who by the way is one of the only recent Postmaster Generals who I believe actually did work his way up through the ranks and not hired directly off the street with no applicable knowledge. Yet, folks will happily buy a 16 oz bottle of water for $1.29 which is $5.64 for a gallon. Hmmm

Another interesting fact about the Postal Service is Every...yes I said EVERY employee pays Federal and State Taxes in addition to MEDICARE every single week. That's right, the Post Office employee funds other government agencies.

But as they organization tightens their belts, rural carriers – you are paid for WHAT you do, not how many hours you work. If you have less work to do, should the company pay you the same? City Carriers and Clerks are full time employees who still have their jobs – no lay offs. They should be working full time, not getting paid full time and working part time. And Postmasters, Managers, Supervisors are working without any compensation up to 12 hours per day trying to finish all the More for Less stuff. They have cell phones – usaully their personal phones not compensated by the company attached to them 24/7 and expected to respond immediately. If you work for the Postal Service, your boss is the Consumer. You'd better learn to do a good job for them or you could be like one of the Auto Maker employee's. Good benefits, but no job.

But lastly, the majority of the Postal Employee's are excellent people and hard workers. The carrier – Rural or City will take every extra measure to get you your mail and protect it at all costs. Schools close, Medical Offices close, etc. for weather conditions but the Postal Service never stops it's service. The Postal Service did not even stop through threats of ANTRAX. Employees showed up everyday. Union Employee's, Non-Union Employee's, Top Executives, Postmasters, Supervisors and all other personal show up and they deliver. They provide service. Yes, there are a few bad apples – just like everywhere. But when you read this remember the Postal Employee that you know. I bet every single one of you know a Postal Employee or have a relative that works for the Postal Service.

The Postmaster of Lexingtion was a level 22 Postmaster. He applied for a job, he was awarded the position. One of the perks was relocation – at the time. When he personally could not sell his house, the Post Office supplied a means for this to happen. It was for the Market Value, at the time. The company full expected to reap a reward for their investment. It wasn't some sort of bonus. It was an investment that did not work out as planned. Much like many of our own investments for those who had their retirement invested and didn't get out before it went South. Things happen. It was not a shady crooked deal. It was an unfortunate turn in the economy. Just as many Americans invested in their own homes and presently may be showing a loss.

Stop making this something it is not. CNN shame on you for only telling a portion of the truth. Shame on all the media for consistantly only telling part truths. You should take responsibility for the way of the world. Afterall, you only tell what gets reaction – not the rest of the story! Bless Paul Harvey.

tee   March 9th, 2009 8:12 pm ET

i just hope before it gets to the point there is no postal service oig or maybe postal police will step in and get rid of the ones that is hurting the operation i know it will take alot but i can be done.

kristen   March 10th, 2009 12:19 am ET

As a carrier for 14 years and a very hard worker, It is a good job. However the Customer Service we learned about in the beginning is now a thing of the past. All they think about is how to save work hours and keeping their budget down. We get no recognition or awards
for doing a great job day in and day out. It is a very physical job and
hard on your body. WE ARE THE ONES DOING ALL THE HARD WORK. I treat my customers with the best service I can even though
I feel that Management cares mostly about how much money they
save at whatever cost.

cat   March 10th, 2009 9:07 am ET

TO: CF and others like him,her
FACT – Maybe the PM did make wise investments to buy the house but I doubt it cause the postoffice probably gave him some fat bonus to move there and now paying for him to move again. I can tell you, FACT the postoffice wastes alot of money moving these sorry behind employees around and covering for the ones that can't get the job done. Just like in other big business the post office has to many people at the top doing nothing and getting big bonus checks for it. If this postmaster could really afford this house thats fine but why in the h ll did the postoffice have to buy it.?

Lawton Apartments   March 11th, 2009 9:21 am ET

wasn't a stamp once 32 cents?

DAVID   March 11th, 2009 10:00 pm ET

I'm a postal worker and a veteran i have been with the postal service going on 19 years. The way management treat us craft employees it down right disrepectful. They took away our overtime claimly that the mail volume had drop.But they turn around and spent between 68million up to 100 million or more for a new building which is located in opa locka,Fl. But they already have three large P&DC plants with 25 miles of each other and two of are near large Airports and the other one is located in pembroke pines,Fl, which is located between the two other larger P&DC. Now you ask yourself why do we need a fourth P&DC. IF postmaster potter tell us that mail volume is low and the economy is bad.The only cuts he did made was to ensure that the craft employees get no overtime period.Since he have to make sure his executives don't have their pay cut.And pay for a building we don't here.To SUM It UP MR.Potter what the Postal Service to go privatize so he can get rid of all the old military veteran and ran it they way he wants.

gc   March 15th, 2009 8:14 pm ET

The US Postal Service spends a lot of money unnecessary relocation cost due the VP wants to be lived in a nicer area. There is a lot of waste in the postal service.

razzledaff   March 17th, 2009 3:40 pm ET

I am right up there with Chuck, this is an outrage and someone should be investigating the Post Office. There is so much waste and they are definitely top heavy, no doubt. The mail is down and they are cutting rural workers pay but the city carriers have the same amount of mail and they are guaranteed 8 hours of work and no cut in pay. how is that logical?

The rural union needs to stand up and save it's workers and the USPS needs to cut management's pay TOO!

Congress needs to investigate this ABSOLUTELY!

mike   March 20th, 2009 5:32 pm ET

Now, as a postal employee myself, I would like to say a few things about this. There is a HUGE problem with the upper management in the postal service. In fact, it should not be considered a "service" at all. I have over seven years in, and about 30 to go. With a base salary of about $45,000 and a mortgage of $2,200, I struggle just like everyone one else that works for a living. I am so sick of people saying what a nice job and such great pay we have at the P.O. Talk you your mailman! He or she will tell you that we deal with cut-throat managers and psychotic postmasters (six days a week) that are only there because their position is just that – a position! We have had managers assault employees and not have anything done about it. Would that fly in the private sector? NOT A CHANCE!!!! So, when you decide to come to a forum such as this, and you aren't properly informed about the situation, please, next time ask someone who knows.

MAILHANDLER at SCP&DC SO.CAL   March 22nd, 2009 11:13 pm ET

Taxpayers do not fund postal salaries, and get ready for the stamp price to go up in may 09" to 44 cents .
People always say WOW that's a great job! When they find out you work for the service, but it aint easy to get in and definitely
Not easy to put up with these management jerks, 9 out of 10 are expecting for you to kiss their behind like slot of employees do.
Specially around this hard economic times their quick to fire anyone who has a accident wether your fault or not, and the hot topic
Right now is attendance, please believe their out to terminate everyone with attendance issues, (excessive call ins sick) . This to help
Avoid lay offs. And one last thing, stay strong to my fellow Mail handlers across the nation over 300,000 strong
National Mail Handler Postal Union

shocked   March 25th, 2009 12:52 am ET

not to hard to believe the number of postal employees on here complaining, about management, after all overtime has been cut, and management expects them to come to work, or for the rural carriers, complaining they are going through rural mail counts to ensure they are only payed for the mail they are actually delivering, sure sounds like mismangement to me. Off with all postal managers, and supervisors heads!! how dare they expect you to actually work!!

anybody ever stop to consider how quickly the land of the free is changing, I mean think about it we used to be the land of opportunity, now a govement employee must be ont he take, or so sort of scam is going on.

so whats next I know how about we all have one body set up to ensure everyone, (even those who dont work but gripe all day about what some one else has made of themselves) so got of subject lets have this one body set up to ensure we all get the same as our neighbor has that way no one will make more than the next guy, and just to be sure while we are at it lets all line up for our national ID papers..... get the picture yet folks..........

but please keep on complaining about how unfair you are treated by management at the post office, those same mangers, and supervisor who are at work before you arrive and in most cases are still there after you leave. and just so you dont misunderstand they get the same pay if they work 8 hrs or 12 hrs and most work 12 hrs or more. but its alright go ahead and lets here some more about how management is mismanageing by cutting your overtime,

Patrick   March 25th, 2009 12:17 pm ET

Since when did the USPS get interested in realestate? Perhaps, they can lay off another 3000 employees so they can buy more mansions. What fools! No wonder why the employees go postal!

Outrageous!   March 25th, 2009 9:43 pm ET

Did the postal employee make a profit from the purchase by USPS?

Who appointed this Postmaster General – BUSH?

What kind of home does the Postal Manger live in now down there in Texas?

Did bonus money allow this postal worker (executive) to buy a 1.4 Million dollar home?

I think I am due back dollars for the price I paid for stamps since 2001 for this scam!

Who is in charge of regululating this outfit? How will they be held responsible for this oversight?

michelle   March 26th, 2009 6:39 am ET

I am a postal worker and I don't agree with some of the things that happen, but I am tired of the public always ripping up the postal service. Every business raises rates and the postal service is no different. I have worked for the postal service for over ten years and I earn my wage. I work just as hard now as when I did in the private sector and I hate seeing the postal service get a bad rap...We are hard working people just like everyone else. Also, our mail service is the best in the world and all Americans should be proud of that. If you think the rates are to high in the US then go to other countries and buy your stamps, which you will pay much more. The postal service does alot of good and I am proud to work for them. For all you people who criticize the USPS you sure don't mind getting your mail 6-days a week.........

Jeff Turner   March 26th, 2009 2:06 pm ET

Seeing Postmaster General John Potter dodging Abbie, really makes me mad. Seeing how President Obama is working to make spending transparent, I expect he would not be happy with the Postmasters. The postal service has been raising rates beyond the rate of inflation but are showing amazing losses. Something is VERY wrong there. Much bigger then the house buying problem. There can't be any justification for this "perk". It shocks me even more when it's a voluntary transfer.

Jim Swatosh   March 26th, 2009 3:09 pm ET

Love your looking into USPS......could you include in this piece the bonus's given througout the postal system at a time when it is losing millions of taxpayer dollars.....thank you

Julie Fischer   March 26th, 2009 3:46 pm ET

First of all, no taxpayer money goes to fund the USPS. They are governed by the Postal Board and directives from Congress, but they generate their own revenues from sales of stamps, mailings, packages. That said, no way should they be spending millions buying houses from relocated employees at any time, no matter what the economy. I have relatives who work for the post office and I guarantee you they do not live in million dollar mansions. USPS management has been bloated for years and needs to be trimmed. In addition, cutting delivery service to 5 days per week would save money because it would eliminate the need for the T-6 position carriers who run routes on the regular carrier's day off; with mail volume dropping, the 6th day of mail could easily be assimilated into the 5 day work week; money for gas to run the vehicles would also be saved by cutting 1 day of the week's deliveries. Since the USPS is obligated to deliver first class mail to any address in the United States for the price of 1 stamp, the cost of the stamp is a bargain. When people say the USPS is a dinosaur because they pay bills and communicate on-line, I can't understand why they would be upset with eliminating 1 delivery day since they evidently don't use the service anyway.

MIke   March 26th, 2009 4:13 pm ET

I read almost every comment on this page, and most of what has been said about the usps is true. Supervisors do get more money when they cut workers time, it can become a real conflict of interest, but at the same time you do have workers who r done by say 2:00 but dont clock out of work til four. The problem is there are two many rules and stipulations. If a regular carrier has an easy day where the mail was light he could finish his route early but he is guranteed 8hrs every day if he opted to go home early he would have to use his vacation time he has saved up to make the difference. Now i ask u why would any person want to do that? the worker will just sit at the end of a street read a book and get paid for nothing until its time to go home. No one wants to use vacation time so that they can leave work two hours early they want to save that time for HELLO! VACATION, so we pay for the guy to do nothing who would rather go home early instead of thanking him for not squeezing the PO for unwarrented time.

MIke   March 26th, 2009 4:31 pm ET

I work for the post office as a T.E. (transitional employee) it sucks, we are treated like crap. I have been employed by the PO for over three years and have been waiting patiently for a chance to be full time. You see as a te i work anywhere from 38 to 45 hrs a week no days off no sick time and i have to earn my vacation time. The pay is good though but i watch them (management) make dumb decisions day in and day out. Small example since i am considered a part-time worker they can do a lot of things to these types of employees that they can't do to full time, like if i wanted to call out sick one day, instead of not paying me for the day i have to use my vacation time so really they just paid two people for 1 job. There's me sitting at home getting paid and the guy in the office covering for me who is not only getting paid for his day but now probaly gettin overtime for carrying my share. WHY? what's the logic and how bout the fact that you have people who sit at desks all day doing crossword puzzles and every once in a while may answer a phone or two they call that position VOMA i call it BS. unfortunately i run off the almighty $ so im going nowhere until they say differ but its a real shame to see what the PO could be compared to where it will be if they don't start to clean house.

Ruby   March 27th, 2009 8:55 am ET


Ruby   March 27th, 2009 9:03 am ET


Carol   March 27th, 2009 3:13 pm ET

Most companies pay for moving expenses, up to and including purchasing the home for market value, only if the company requires the move. Not just because the employee wants to move.

Joseph   March 28th, 2009 2:44 pm ET

Granted, there is much financial waste involved with USPS operations, just as there is with many other government agencies I'm sure.

But concerning this specific case, has anyone considered that maybe this postmaster's wife is wealthy and afforded them this home? Or maybe they were able to afford it due to family wealth/inheritance.

It is really none of our business, but as a postal supervisor I can definitely say this postmaster's salary alone did not pay for this home.

Maria   April 1st, 2009 10:52 pm ET

Here is link for this home listed with Caldwell for $1.2M. Automatically USPS losses money since realtor fee of $72,000 is subtracted from sales price.

Here is the deed to the new Texas address of USPS customer service manager Ronald F Hopson.

Scotty   April 2nd, 2009 10:33 am ET

Just another example of corruption at the top. As a long time postal employee I can say that most of the craft employees are hard workers that care about the mail and their customers. As an employee I can also tell of the waste and foolishness of management, or as the union states "Management has a right to mismanage". How about if the home, excuse me, Mansion in question loses money when sold have the owner lose the difference, why give a mansion owner a guaranteed profit ? The USPS is way overstaffed in the management levels, yet most of the blame is directed at craft employees. Craft employees get no bonuses, they will not pay me to relocate or buy my home, yet they do provide continual harassment at the workplace. People complain about long lines at the Post Office window but the supervisors do it on purpose ! Better to have long lines than an idle employee. And Clerks must take their breaks and lunch at a specified time or not at all, regardless of the customer line. Please do not take out your frustration at the Letter Carriers and Clerks, the USPS needs to be fixed from the top.

Joyce Shahan   April 7th, 2009 8:46 pm ET

I retired as a postmaster with the postal service recently and am very angry to read of the 1.2 million dollars spent on the home of the relocated postal employee. The past several years that I worked as a postmaster, I was accountable for every cent that was spent – this meant getting permission to buy each roll of toilet paper or paper towels, and never being allowed to buy a reasonable quantity because that was considered stockpiling. So, valuable time was spent every few months ordered 1 or 2 rolls of toilet paper OR if I didn't have the time to following the timeconsuming ordering procedure, I just brought my own from HOME. I had all extra clerk help cut out this past Christmas which was impossible for one person to handle properly. I am also the janitor, so I have no time to clean and must do it "after hours" without pay. I once claimed 15 min. OT for a computer foulup and was told to never let it happen again. I can remember years ago when I enjoyed going to work, and I really loved my job, but the cuts my post office suffered the past few years were unbearable. I am so blessed and happy to be retired! My husband says I am a "new" woman. From what I have seen in my years with the USPS, there is always money for what the ones in charge want to spend it on. A total overhaul and housecleaning is seriously needed. Accountability should be required and some sort of auditing put in place. I could write a book about the waste and about the needs that are never met.

Steve   April 10th, 2009 6:51 pm ET

Post Office Management team starts a stupid contest to save Post Office. Prize must be great due to all the stupid ideas being implemented. Carriers and clerks are not being allowed to play due to fact management says they could never compete on management's level. Carriers and clerks all over nation trying to get permission to play. It's time to start a nationwide plea to allow we carriers and clerks permission to participate in the National Postal Stupid contest.

Maria   May 17th, 2009 9:40 pm ET

Ronald F Hopson's wife works so she helped pay for home. Calling all news reporters, find out what she does for a living.
The Hopson deed for their new home in Texas ($400K)

Wayne Schlegel   May 22nd, 2009 6:54 pm ET

They have now implemented an $800,000 cap, are you kidding?
Why is this not all over the MEDIA and on the NATIONAL NEWS!!!
People need to know about this outrage. No one I spoke to knows anything about this policy at the USPS and that this money is so wasted. People should be OUTRAGED. I guess people don't know how to get MAD enough. Do you know that now there are no more stamp machines in any of the local post offices around here because no one can maintain them. So your forced to wait on-line during business hours while there are two people behind the counter that holds 6 clerk positions and there is a line of customers out the door. The system sucks. It's not the postal workers.

shellynn   May 22nd, 2009 8:25 pm ET

I have been a postal service employee for 28 years. It is a good job, if you can handle being threatened and degraded and treated like a two year old every working day. Management can do and will do whatever they want to make the working employee miserable. They never follow the contract, and have a huge backlog of grievances that they probably end up losing. I had a grievance procedure in the system for 5 years and ended up winning in a pre-arbitration hearing. What a waste of time and money. Postal management wastes more time and money than the Pentagon. It's about time they get called on for their actions. They are offering a early retirement right now for some employees. There is no cash incentive, only penalties for the amount of time you have left to work for a true retirement. My letter says I should retire for the better of the postal service. Maybe I could keep my job and management can buy less houses and less vacations for ther authoritarian postmasters and supervisors.

Frank   May 23rd, 2009 11:51 am ET

What sort of relocation benefits does Turner/CNN offer it's employees? As a globally diverse company, I would presume they are good.

Howard   May 23rd, 2009 3:05 pm ET

How many houses can you buy without money? If you don't have the money, you shouldn't be able to purchase a home. This practice needs to stop. I'm glad others on the blog pointed out that these homes are for upper management only. I'm a carrier and if I want a million dollar home, I better get another job or win the lottery. People don't know how much the PO wastes money. If a person that is not on the overtime lists works overtime, a grievance is filed and all of the people on the overtime list get paid for the hours that the non overtime carrier worked. For some reason this has become policy because it comes from a different account. Money is money and this adds up quickly. I heard once that 1 in 1 hundred people are psychopaths. Think about that.

johnnyboy   May 23rd, 2009 8:31 pm ET

Great story..........I wanna hear more postal problem. But bottom line how can we fix it? Who gonna monitor postal system, stop the waste and corruption? Did management treat their crafts worker like human? Discrimination? Harassment?..........etc. Miss Abbie Boudreau. You're the first reporter to put my Boss on national news. Thanks you so much.

BB   May 24th, 2009 6:24 am ET

This is just the tip of the iceberg. USPS also provides mortgages for its "special" executives at very "special" rates. The top brass are nothing but a bunch of crooks.

Jimmy   May 24th, 2009 6:27 am ET

If money is so tight at the PO, why are they spending $50 million to advertise their sorry priority mail service? Where is Obama when we need him?

Mike   May 24th, 2009 12:55 pm ET

There are 16 levels of postal supervison. What do these people contribute to move the mail? I,m sure that job in Texas could have been filled by a qualified person from that area. Let us stop all the relocating and use the employees in those areas for the jobs. We only move the mail. It's not rocket science. My new manager is related to a big shot. She is maybe mid 30's. Has she ever worked a day on the floor. Most people do not know, but most of our mail is sorted from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am. These people are the real workers. Try standing on your feet for 7 hours.

Jennifer   June 1st, 2009 11:54 am ET

the problem with the media is they only tell half truths. The 2.8 million dollar home was built by that employees own hands. He is not a bad man and works very hard. He is an excellent employee and worked hard to build that house. Not many people would work hard all day and then go home and work hard to build their new house!

Johanna Ellis   June 16th, 2009 8:55 am ET

I am a USPS employee and it should be noted that I have never heard of the workers who actually handle the mail i.e., clerks, mailhandlers, and letter carriers receive compensation for transferring. We do not get perks. That priviledge is for management only!!! If one was to interview one of us who actually move the mail, our reaction to this would be the same as the general populous. Our jobs are being threatened everday and finally the truth comes out, thank you Heavenly Father!!!! Ditto to the comments about how much money mangagement costs the PO because they refuse to adhere to the Union Contract. A report should be done on how much money the PO spends on these automated machines that never work like they are supposed to, especially the flat machines that tear up magazines and newspapers. At the particular installation where I work, management is trying to excessing hundreds of employees to other locations (employees that our installation cannot afford to lose because I work in one of the nation's largest cities). These employees will not have a choice of where they are going and trust me will not be paid any compsensation for excessing them. If they refuse the job, which could be in another state, they will be terminated. I have been praying for this moment. It is so unfair to these employees who have lived in this city virtually all their lives and will have to relocate and leave their families just to save their jobs.

IReido   July 13th, 2009 8:08 pm ET

If you can read this article and not flip completely out....then you don't understand .. In debt...loosing money...raising rates, and buying million dollar houses...what the heck is going on ? How can these people sleep at night ? I'll use the even a carrier pigeon....anything to keep from buying a stamp.

minou   August 1st, 2009 1:56 am ET

It was interesting reading these posts clear back to March. I have no comment concerning the multi-million dollar home, as some of the posts appear to have clarified the process.

However, with over 25 yrs USPS time behind me, I do concur with many of the views presented by postal employees. My postal career ranged from LSM & manual clerk on swings at a P&DC to window clerk in suburbia to a manager in human resources.

I've experienced several re-orgs, and early outs aimed at clearing out the dead wood (as we called it) at the top but unfortunately it backfired and we lost many good craft employees (hundreds of years of experience out the door). I've seen HQ roll out new programs without pilot programs and expected the field to utilize these new apps as soon as yesterday.... Frustrating to say the least!

In my HR position at a Division, I've seen more than my share of management incompetence, good 'ol boys mentality, managing by intimidation and harassment of employees on many levels.

I've seen union stewards file frivolous grievances and i've seen managment blatantly violate contractual agreements.

As a former window clerk, my postmaster insinuated that I was lying when I filed for OWCP for tendonitis. I was crushed when I read his letter to Division's Injury Comp office. He stated that I developed this condition from "off-the-clock activities". Excuse me?!?! He had me throwing flats 8 hrs a day for days on end. This could have been avoided had he done the smart thing and rotated his clerks to different duties throughout the day. But nooooooo....

So, as I climb down off this soapbox, I applaud postal workers everywhere... clerks, carriers, mailhanders... you rock...

Of course, you're always going to have the employees that do nothing but warm the stools and BS all day and watch the clock....

Likewise, there's always going to be supervisors and managers who just don't get it.... There's a thing called mutual respect...and trusting your crew... and people do not like being micro-managed.

But hey, you know what?!? What's happening now with the postal service is no different than what's been going on over and over again for decades...

Who is John Galt?

marguerite   August 1st, 2009 11:43 am ET

Just retired on the early out – no penalty as for once things went my way instead of the usually abysmal south way most boomers get it, and I was lucky to already be 55, so no penalty in my retirement pay. Amazing! It is one of the happiest times of my life, and my health has already improved in one month, and I feel more rested, calm, and have an overall sense of well-being that I can't recall in years. Do I intend to volunteer, work part/full time anywhere else? Not on your life if I can avoid it! Volunteer organizations, like government, let the truly deserving fall through the cracks, hence my disinterest. I'll do what I enjoy and if I can personally help someone along the way and it fits my ideology, I'll throw myself into it. If you can't afford to retire – consider moving in with relatives like previous generations – I was asked to due to a sudden death. Then you can retire and live better than ever! It's the only way to get ahead in the faltering economy full of nothing but uncertainty.

Forever TE Drew   August 1st, 2009 7:48 pm ET

Why is there Not investigation on the Work Conditions of the Post office. With Current trends I believe the PO will never hire but fill
Work with TE's. (At least tey can say they are hirring)

In the Post office it's Not "What you know, but Who you Know" I am a "Transional Employee." 3 years Casual & Now on 2nd contract. I work 6 days week as tool for Supervisors. "Be lucky you have a job." They Say.... Yet I Twist ankle or Don't answer PHONE We'll Fire you.

I have 2 weeks Vacation time that SUP. will never give Spot leave...
I get the Look from Mngt. When I bring form for off or Doc. appt.
I can't make Grevinces for everything they force me to do, because it will effect my chances down the Road. They Take ADVANTAGE OF US. "Because it is there Management Right... We won't say anything..
Now USPS will not give anyone chance to take postal exam. (no hiring PTF"S) I get ignored on saftey issues, & intimdated to do things fast. Is this paying my Dues or a postal Brotherhood Test.

Now I know why the 204 B has force the Unsafe.... Higer-up bonus.
We are Nothing to Them, just like the Saftey team pretends to listen.
"So, your Tired, 54 hour week , one hour PIVOT Per day, we did that."
Investigation 60 minutes that Post office TE Carrier
Needs to Be # One Worst Temp Job in the World.
Just Fire them get new person....... OBama When Will it end????
I Guess in the End I will get Cut like the other Postal Temps.
I Guess I will stick it out to get my 8 months of unemployment...

peg fagan   August 6th, 2009 11:27 am ET

disgraceful. please ;someone stop this waste of money
and no we don t need delivery 6 days a week

post office employee   August 6th, 2009 3:42 pm ET

I am an employee for this place .... and it SUCKS and now this mess knowing the mansion is being purchased by post office... UGH.. now I am looking for a job to leave post office in disgust!

Just stating the obvious   September 13th, 2009 5:44 pm ET

The operative statement in this article is that the relocation was "voluntary". This was not an issue of excessing or any other form of "lay off". This was not a mandate or in any way forced upon the employee in question.

Jen   September 22nd, 2009 2:48 pm ET

That million dollar home was build with his own two hands. He has worked hard to get what he has, including serving in the miltary. I don't see very many people running out to join the miltary and then working their butts off to get ahead.

This man is someones son, father, brother...leave him alone and worry about your own problems!

Clayton   December 7th, 2009 6:22 pm ET

BE CAREFUL USING PRIORITY MAIL. I sent a letter priority mail and the post office tried to deliver it on a Saturday and the place was closed. THEY REFUSE TO TRY AND DELIVER IT AGAIN. My mail is now being held hostage by the postal service. Do not trust them to deliver your boxes or letters.
BE CAREFUL USING EXPRESS MAIL. I paid for express mail to go to Michigan and it was supposed to be delivered the next day. The letter arrived five days after sent. the recipient told me they will never deliver to him at the "express" rate. If the mail is going to a slightly rural location don't trust USPS – they need your money to be a $1MM house.

Robert Moore   December 22nd, 2009 12:42 am ET

The post office I worked at for 9 years, was like being in hospital or something as such! Asking for time off, such vacation or a Dr. visit was always a issue. There were supervisors, that were no more than floor workers in training, and making the managers jobs un-needed, ( NO TRAINING NEEDED ) A real suck up group as well! They, the Bosses, would cover for the higher-up's, to gain points.
Now I know that sounds like a good way to run a buisness, but the WORKERS, felt the fallout from this type of day to day actions.
I am gald I worked there, and am twice as glad I don't have to play the game these days!
The postal service needed a good cleaning 12 years ago, and from the commits I have read, tonight it still does.
Relocation buyout??? Who ever heard of such a thing?
Ask a craft worker about transfering to another location.
NOTHING!!! Start at the bottom, if there is even a spot to start.
I would be happy to help straighten this U.S. owned property back , to what it used to be.
Also, I think the remark, about being 97% veterens, is way to high!
If that was the case it must have been years ago, or they (the 97%) were the worst the military had in its ranks!
Robert Moore
U.S. Navy

Dor   December 25th, 2009 9:39 am ET

Postal management is the main problem with the postal service. They have instituted an insane dois progaram that does nothing but harrass the eployees and force them to work more for the same pay. They are stressed to the point of breaking and harrassed to no end on a daily basis. One supervisor came to me and said we expect you back in eight. The streets are covered in ice and mail boxes are burried under snow. I mentioned this to her. She said I understand that but we expect you back in eight because you have no mail. INSANE! I had 5 trays of DPS on a city route where you could not walk 6 inches in front of you without stepping on ice. I just gave up and went back to doing what I already know I have to do which is do everything normally and get back when I get back. This supervisor only walks from her car in the parking lot and complains about the frigid cold. She didn't take that into account when she harrassed me with her DOIS crap. Insanity!. She has never carried a piece of mail. Postal management needs to go.

spanky   January 18th, 2010 3:23 pm ET

Anyone have any info on the Post Office buying a new fleet of vehicles for all postmasters across the country.........using stimulus money?

postal widow   February 1st, 2010 3:36 pm ET

This is the 2nd article today I have run across on Postal mismangement, the first is with san francisco fed judge thru san francisco who has harsh words for san francisco usps mangement in light of an injured postal employee that was mistreated.

I have lived through the looking glass and down the rabbit hole as a Postal wife, and I see arguements ranging on the blog, about cnn, I am grateful any attention to Postal Mismangement. I am an American
living in a democratic society in freedom and with that freedom comes
the right of to work .

I know that most people do not know all the laws of our land, and justice some times does not prevail..common sense went out the window and in the light of no acknowledge to a higher power we
must put on our thinking caps to understand what is truly happening
to the Postal Service.

My spouse became a Letter Carrier/Clerk in 1992,
hiring on at a small post office in a small town. At that time there was a hiring freeze of 2 years, but a full staff so he was told he would not get many hours as a PTF. He was going to get unemployement through the military pay he had recieved and was told the Postal Service frowns on that, but applied . The wheel of chance intervened
and one employee clerk was fired for stealing and another had surgery that backfired. So he got more hours. Eventullay as a PTF he worked for around 12 years working all routes in town which consisted of 2 regular routes as one auxilary. It just depended on who was on leave, rotating schecules , etc. One retirement took place, of a
Senior Carrier. At that time he had to fight for the "right " to be a full time carrier, going through union avenues and a greivance proceedure. I became more knowlagble about the jcam manual and helped out by finding a contract verse that applied to his right to have the position and that took about 4 months to do so, then he was awarded more benifits and regular working hours. We appreciated having a regular job and hours, and being able to have health benifits,
and other options to save for retirement.
Up until then we had been self employed, built our own house
with his capenter skills and actually lived in the basement for 7 years before we could afford more due to housing recession and economics.

With 2 children and expenses the salary was appreciated.
However the stress verses salary soon began to wear on my spouse due to political moves and Postal reform act. And then my spouse
began to have a unique situation. For at about 16 years in,
with maybe 4 years to go to the golden land of retirement,
he got caught in a political mailstorm, and policy. As a Marine war time wife, I had married him knowing he could risk his life for his country and be fired on with bullets, and I know of the term
"friendly fire". I also had the background of being used to goverment
as a child with a Marine Father and a Stepfather that had worked in Washington DC for goverement offices. So maybe that should of prepared me for the onslaught but somehow I have yet to fathom it all, on the basis that their is a difference between going to battle
being expected to be the last man standing and taking a hill from the enemy while being fired upon, to being a Letter Carrier delevering mail for your own country and the hazzards of the job are inside the office or up above or basic things like dog bites.
In 2006 there were 2 retirements in his small office , one in march and one in may, and also an injured worker ...leaving my spouse
as last man standing. Orders came from not his postsmaster
but from the Upper management that there would be no filling of the retirements due to district numbers. My assumption is that there had been too many letter carriers hired to deliver the mail on a daily basis and there fore could be no hires due to the overabundance of letter carriers, and no rotation from other offices that were overstaffed.
Within his office duties of a regular route was putting up, sorting mail , which probably meant for his route at least 3 hours a day of sorting mail, so with another route added and another, you can imagine the time it takes just to sort for 2 routes and one auxilary, the total hours for delivery on the routes according to chart I found was about 22 hours a day for our size of town. My spouse had signed on as a letter carrier and had been a Ptf, part time flexible which means being flexible enough to work all routes, at any given time, but then had fought through his union to become a Full Time Regular which means he had bid on and gotten his own route, which roughly consisted of 6 hours a day of walking time. Times that by 6 days a week he was walking around 36 miles a week for his own route.
Now he was given orders and was not in the military, not fighting in war, at least not one against an enemy , and not having bullets to dodge . But it became a battle just the same. His Post Master helped
my husband deal with this insanity by being told to improve production and speed him up on his work days that now included all routes in town , not just his own in order to gain a hire .
Originally she has also wanted to carry the mail when his dad died,
even though there were 2 other carriers in the office at that time
and one ptf ( the later injured one, gone) so he worked within a half hour of his WW2 dad dying who had taken enemy fire in his Navy ship as a sonar man off the coast of Alaska defending our country,
gone to clean up Pearl harbor and also Japan and come quietly back to live out his life. At the same time I had a cancer check up,
and in doing so found out that my husbands stress level put his life in danger, so for a half hour of postal time I got him in for an apt to put him on high blood pressure pills, otherwise I think I would of been a widow that day not later because he probably would of had a heart attack on the job if I had not gotten him in for medical help.
He worked within 20 minutes because the ptf was still gone.
How did this all evolve around , well he fought for a hire,
but that took time , and a 200 mile trip to do so after he had been accused of slowing down to talk to union. He obtained a hire after they went to labour to fight it out for him. But was told no new listing.
So in about a 10 mth period he got a half day off for a dental apt, due to the fact he could faint or pass out with lowered blood pressure
and do damage to himself on the job if he fell after the removal
( his history prove this out) because he got a whole half day off
for a dental he was eventually told he could not go to a funeral for a relative ( his aunt) due to the duel casual ( who was hired to give him his regular days off from the job but could not because they coincided with the other office needed her on his regular days off, there fore
this was the post masters choice of hire for casual) having a dental apt. The next day off he got was Christmas holiday, and so that is a total of one and half days off for about a 10 mth period when noramlly with a full staff he would of had rotating friday and mondays off
due to the physcial demands of the job. Unfortnately there were just too many letter carriers hired and therefore costing the post office too much money to deliver the mail. So cut backs had to ensue.
Now within the post office there is a well known policy that no union member can strike but you can have a postal justice system that is supposed to help carrier in difficult dealings with mangement
fight for their rights. This is called grievance proceeduer that usually starts at the lower level but goes higher so can effect every carrier in the nation in one way or the other, depending on the outcome , positive or negative.

In decemeber his Post Master had by that time had 2 more hires for this small time office, and therefore decided to approach my spouse and inform him that because of the staffing situation, ie, lack of a casual ( who had fallen at home and could no longer work because 2 more carriers had been hired- thus leaving the office short handed if someone needed a reason to be gone) he could not attend our planned for daughters wedding in feburary as Father of the bride
but she did want to know where the wedding was so she could attend.
I think you can understand my spouse reaction to this after being told he was only carrier and now told staffing prevented him from attending his daughters wedding especailly since he was stationed not in war time but in a small town "Friendly LOCAL" post office.
unfortnately at this point he stopped taking his blood pressure pills and when informed of this matter the Post mIstress said to me she also had high blood pressure.
He was able to fight for 3 days off and attend his daughters wedding but mysteriously the plumbing stopped working at the small country church and he had to work around the clock to fix that and go back to delivery of the mail.
In March he was informed he did deserve a casual and so another hire took place, training, and then he decided to grieve the fact that the injured carrier who had been allowed to bid on a route and had not worked for a year, could be removed and the position open for rebid
according to the manual that were the rules that had allowed her to be awareded the route in the first place, thus the office could be more fully staffed, by her not being there anyway, and another hire could take place with a bid given over to one of the ptfs, establishing them
as not a ptf but a ftr. This apparently was too much for the post master and upper mangement, even though they both knew they had allowed the bid for the injured carrier according to a supreme court memoradu, and they could not follow the rest of the memoradum, that would be too "legal" and open the door to costing the post office more money, by getting rid of a casual hire and actually hiring a "real" letter carrier if the injured carrier was allowed to be removed legally as was sated in the memoradum, for after a 2 6th month period if she still was not able to phsycially handle the job she was to be removed and the bid reopened. My spouse as steward started a legal grievance proceedure but then because of his audacity in doing his job
and also in his roll as a union member and correctly applying the manual as often mangement does not want to do even though they legally sign it and its witnessed too, there main goal is to save money, and my spouse was having courage to do his job and also see that an office was efficeintly run in order to deliver the mail to customers in the area in a timely manner, which is the job description of every postal manger , including forecasting vacancies in a timely manner so the mail is run efficeintly and without interruption.
unfortnately just like a general in command you hit a snafu
( which is meant to mean situation normal all f- up.)
So for his audacity for doing his job and being a normal letter carrier who had not had a sick day in 17 years he was told this wouldnt be allowed by the labor union, it might open up a pandoras box that the
post office would have to handle for if this carrier was removed for beign inured for over a year and the manual was actually applied that meant all officews would actually have to follow the rules that were agreed on by labor and union. And that just wouldnt do.
For its only a piece of paper and has no meaning in light of labor dept standard which is to protect all Americans right to job health and safety on the job to ensure Americans are treated correctly , but then there is no law stating that an adult can't be forced to work more than
24 hours a day, only for teens or children. So in a way labour could no
be responsible for my husbands job situation of only one letter carrier for 22 hours a day of routes and maybe 4-5 hours of sorting mail a day depending on mail volumn or weather situtations. So then who was responsbile? Under Postal Union rules my spouse could not be worked more than 12 hours a day legally. But where is the job description did it state that over 40 hours a week was the normal load and that a carrier was responsible for not only his own route when he hired on but also all routes in his post office? I must of been
blinded by the light of a good salary and benifits , or maybe it is
that I thought that the Post Office is the Post Office and not military .
Its main goal is to deliver mail, and not usually under enemy fire although be it during war time over seas or possibly here like during the civil war it must of been more difficult to deliver mail under those circumstances, but since the only war time attack I know of was 911
and I saw on tv, most people ran for their lives rather than be under attack, I assume then I am not mistaken for the roll of the Post office not neccessarily being one like a military member in war time but that we are a peaceful post office delivering letters to senior citizens or business not darting in and out of buildings for fear of our lives.
So when my husbands casual was removed and he again ended up short handed I assume this was freindly fire by his own employer
for him doing such a terrible job as a mail carrier and he deserved to be told for doing a grievcane about following our manual that is signed by labor and mangement ( which by the way had also been under disagreement by labor and union for over a half a year at this point for labor did not read the manual and only wanted to cut back on employees to save post office money which was forced to prefund retirmeents for its employees , due to the fact it was orderd to
and then ran out of money to operate so could not hire carriers
to delviver the mail due to the fact they may retire and cost the post office money after working for them under an insane system
-so we have no hires, and punishment for actually doing your job and reminding mangement ( or a post mistress) that you signed off for this legally and therefore my spouse was just reminding them that this office needed proper staffing to deliver the mail but due to his grievace behavior was told no, were not going to do that even though we used it to allow her a bid and she has not worked a year, and you have , not only have you worked but you have gone beyoung the call of duty , because it was not a military operation which as a Marine you are trained for but a postal job , not under enemy fire but freindly fire by mangement for actually being a loyal employee showing up for work every day, taking no time off for sick leave and having the audactiy to be a union member and someone who fights for others rights as well without being paid for doing so.. therfore we are telling you no , and then punishing you for doing your job)
so a removal of the newly trained 2 week working casual took place
putting my spouse in danger of a heart attack, due to his post master stating no casual due to district numbers, again we are told that the number of casuals now exceeds district wide, and there are too many of them to deliever the mail and cut backs need to take place because first there are too many letter carriers to deliver the mail and now too many casauls due to the fact they are there to deliver on a casual basis when no carriers are being hired and postions filled as stated in every postmaster job description manual to make sure the mail is run efficeintly)
so which is it , were there too many casual or too many letter carriers in the first place... I dolnt think either was living in a million dollar mansion at that time and certainly not one over 12 million.
so we must save money at all costs, and therefore a hard working man who has deliverd mail for over 10 months gotten no leave ( vacation time for one summer) now is placed in a postition of being told no more time off due to the casual being removed for your grievous behavior. Punishment must ensue for being an employee of the Post Office. No medal of honor here...
for being last man standing delviring to senior citizens, banks, colleges, newspapers, hosptial, pharmacies, and business in town, sherrif, judges courthouse library single handle delivery style,
shades of pony express , one man going across country risking his life exposuer to the elements and enemy fire...
but no this is modern america , not a hurricane disaster or an attack by an enemy but in small town rural america at a local "friendly" post office, where stress wouldnt even seem possible especially with a
"friend of a post mistress" who allows an crusie to mexico in dec , or an injured carrier who actually comes in to work to attend a bridal shower while my spouse is told to curtail the mail on a sat and deliver the mail alone so she can attend, meanwhile staffing shortages and addition employees mean he can not attend his daughters wedding without a fight, but worse still he is trying to improve service,
bad behavior measn apt punishement so removal of casual takes place, and then he is working food drive short handed, and our grandson is being born, our first grandchild, meanwhile because of his stress he is told by fellow employees on a board for venting to call in sick, now unknown to me his phsical condition is actulaly happening because due to a lack of rest from the job he gets angina in dec, so he actually has a legal reason for calling in sick, other than a cold or a flue...and its all because of no rest, and why is that, becaue there were too many carrier hired in the first place district wide, and now casuals, as well.
so the mail is just to costly to deliver , and as well you have a "bad" employee , a former veteren , a marine , one of the few the proud the brave that believe in their country, honor and are willing to even put up with militarty psychological testing to see if they can withstand stress of toture from the enemy, and then also believe in giving their lives if under enemy fire. plus you have a family man, who values a good job and had decided to be a dedicated employee,
despite the inane insanities of the job.
so he is told to call in sick and instead dies.

I become a postal widow due to the fact there were too many letter carriers hired, and also casuals, except I look it up after about 6mths to find out , oh yes, here is is in the postal manual signed off in the
contract, that casaul numbers are not kept district wide but they are kept at the national level and you can exceed the number of casuals.

imaginine that..
so in other words my spouse died as a result of stress on the job due to removal of a casual illegally.

Now I get to get on and read of postal mismangement
and I may have to sell the house he built with his own hands, the business we have, and try to get a job at 55 without benifits and
by the way I dont get the retirement they took out of his check for 17 years , they get to keep that because he did not die retrired.
Instead I get to hear of a relocation of a postal upper mangement who was suffering not selling his house and gets to get money for the house, in order so he can have a better life,
meanwhile my grand children will never know their grandfather
I have one daughter who gave birth before her father died
one week before who will never recover from the death of her father .

He was the only carrier to die while working in the history of this office,
the other was a Post Master that had retired.
His wife is perhaps more fortunate that she gets his retirement.
mine did not make it due to too many hires of Postal employees to deliver the mail.

I am sorry but I can not quite fathom the idea that anyone has a house for that price no matter what their position with the post office, I suppose it is a free society and if the money is handed over on a platter then its off the backs of hard workers that need to be told
there are too many of you and as upper mangement we deserve more than you do.
Plus the baisc attitude is one of harrasement, itimidation
my spouse also was told he was a liar and not doing his job
when he stepped in as steward for saying the casual could not be trained on the ptfs hours.

The postmaster here did not want to lower the flag at the post office when he died, offered to see if she could help me with the death proceedure of filling out docurments in order to see if she could save the post office more money, and in a report by the postal inspeciton office was listed as his friend instead of his boss, and then I was told I was half responsible for his death as she was , becasue I dared to post on line that postal mis mangement may have been responsible for his demise, as well as the officail report stating he did not have excessive overtime, was never understaffed and never contacted his union at any time in 17 years of being an employee.

money paid for the report to print lies about my spouse
I did address it through my congress man who said these things
are never easy to change.

It been almost 3 years since my spouse died,
and I do not live in a million dollar mansion
nor do I get his retirement to make myself not a burden on society
or my children in fact I face an uncertain future and feel so much better that a postal employee had so much difficulty selling his house and could actually afford one at that price
curantly I have an uncle in hatti,
and have donated my widows mite to help
but its beyound me why the postal service says they can not budget
but then I find out , that they actually have and maybe it is with my dead spouses retirement fund in order so another employee can have a mansion.

Shawn   February 13th, 2010 4:49 am ET

Umm...most of my family work for the post office. Just want to let you guys know that the average pay is 57K for just a clerk after overtime and benefits. You guys make it sound like the Post Office doesn't pay well. It is a Federal Agency which has been around since 1775. It's like the military, yes I'm a Veteran, you have to look past the Base pay cause as a Sergeant, I made 50K when total benefits are included. A Major with about 10yrs makes six figures . Heck when I was a private I made over 35K back to the Post Office. I have Postmasters in my family and they make great pay and can afford a million dollar home.

Tammy McRae   March 7th, 2010 10:16 am ET

Keep in mind that the Postal Service recieves NO TAX DOLLARS and relies on the sale of postage products and services to generate all of its revenue. It is the only federal agency that generates income like any private sector organization. So for those of you who think that the your taxes are helping pay for a mansion – sorry your wrong.

Escort Hamburg   March 7th, 2010 12:33 pm ET

Very nice blog! Bookmarked :)

jjtds frdeew   March 9th, 2010 9:06 pm ET

the postal service has begun its threats on all its workers write ups, no sick calls, yet mail comes in messed up for us to fix with no extra time. letters of warnings etc. work relations are very BAD!

pmart   April 15th, 2010 7:50 pm ET

Lets eliminate one supervisor from each of the 34,000 offices in the U.S. A savings of TWO Billion a year.

LeslieJ   April 20th, 2010 12:13 am ET

Well,the Lexington PM left an office that my hubby now holds so I hope that by the time he retires from that office that he is able to afford a million dollar home even though he does not purchase it, becaus he has worked his "ASS" off for the USPS for about 35 years and has never come close to owning a million dollar home. Yes, he is a PM, but he earns that title with grace and dignity. He works from around 5ish most mornings and work on one of those GOD awful mail processing machines just like his employees. I bet you would have never caught the Lexington PM when he was there processing any mail on those machines. So how did he get away with it and my husbands works his ASS off about 12-15-17 hours a day and I was told that the Lexington PM when he held this position left at 2:00pm every day so what changed at the Hartsville PM from the time he left and went to Lexington and then on to Carrollton, TX or wherever he went. He built the house to sell to the USPS, don't you jerks get it. He make a fortune and left SC. Would you do it if you could also?
I just want my husband to be able to live to retire in 15 months and be able to enjoy life outside of the USPS, because that office is killing him. Try supervising 50 employees and a supervisor for a measely 85,000 for 5 years under staffed 12 to15 hours a day or more and only is off on Saturday, but lately 7 days. So where is the perks of working at the USPS as a PM? I am waiting for my husband's "PERKS" as you folks state in your previous blogs. Yes, the USPS needs revamping, because I really think that they suck up and give the delicated PM's heart attacks and those sorry PM's they purchase their million dollar homes!

Leslie W. Jerman

gil jesus   April 21st, 2010 3:17 pm ET

how stupid of people to say that the post office is getting their money from the tax payers. for your info, the post office is the only government agency that doesn't utilize tax money. why?, because it has it's own income. nevertheless, what is so wrong about this agency are the following;
1. most people from the management are not qualified to become managers because they most usually do not have the education moreover the experience to manage. hello!!!!!!!, not every one can become a supervisor much more a manager. you do not make a person manager because they're with the PO forever.
2. i don't understand why people keep on making things difficult for the mail carriers. they only deliver...come rain come snow!!!

Huck   June 13th, 2010 6:49 pm ET

I have worked for the USPS for over 28 years,and hate to see the shape it is in now. I realize that managment is not responsible for all of the problems (economy,electronic messaging,poor delivery performances,etc. are big probems too) ,but at some point they "deserve" a lot of the "credit". I work in a small office,where at one point we had 13 full-time clerks,9 full-time city carriers,and 6 full-time rural carriers (and each carrier had his/her own replacemetn)...AND we had around 10 part-time clerks and "loaners" from other offices near us.
We now have 4 full-time clerks,7 fulltime city carriers,and 4 full-tiome rural carriers...and just a handfull of part time employees....

WILL STILL HAVE THE SAME NUMBER OF MAGANAGEMENT PERSONNEL! Actually we have ONE MORE now than we did before since the POOM (district manager per se) is in our office now too!
Add to that the "pay-for-performance" that they receive (They tell us that these are NOT bonuses...LOL)

Management has NOT taken pay cuts....nor had their days off changed (like a lot of the other full-time employess have.
Any ideas on why moral is at an all-time low in the USPS?
The bad thing is that I do NOT see any chance of improvement coming anytime soon...and they will keep cutting hours and services as time goes on.

Someone Uknow   June 15th, 2010 10:48 am ET

It's not the Postal Service, no never. Management will never, no matter, ever relate to the working class. They are brainwashed much like people in congress and only do wha is a benifit to them...unfortunatly for us.

My God forgive them, for they know not what they do.

Susan   March 27th, 2011 11:00 am ET

I can't imagine the postoffice being so broke since I am constantly paying for services that I don't get.

daniel garcia   July 26th, 2011 11:40 pm ET

The Post Office has spend millions of dollars every year on EEO"s greivances and mangement get away everything and nothing happen to them. they only punishment the carrier I think management should be held accountables for their actions.They need to fire alot of management positions we are the back bone of the company. The government should take over the Post Office .

Nancy   September 17th, 2011 9:42 am ET

I'm a retired Federal employee with 33 and 1/2 years of service, 27 of those years were working at the post office. I wasn't a supervisor, let alone an executive. I was just a clerk doing her job, providing service on a 24 hour daily basis. Our salaries were determined by union negoations, paid through any sales the post office made. No tax dollars ever pad my wages. I transferred 2 times in my career and got bumped down each time on the senority list and had to start back up from the bottom (time in service was not removed). I worked during the times when "going postal" was a well used term, even to this day. I also worked when the anthrax came in that letter and killed a couple of people, which the perpatrator was never found. I always knew that supervision and the top positions were always over staffed, but when it came to cuts, the clerks, mailhandlers, and carriers were the ones to go. It saddens me to think of how many people who are still working in the USPS having to relocate due to post offices closing down(which now is a 500 mile radius, in order to keep your seniority and that doesn't kick in for 120 days!) or will be forced into retirement. I am very proud of the service I provided for the average citizen, thinking hat the letter I handled was very impotant to the person it was going to. The USPS needs to revamp things with their budget and closing down Post Offices isn't the answer. The answer is to treat it like a business, not a non-profit organization and get rid of the top people who ARE NOT NEEDED!!! A co-worker once told me that management has the right to mismanage! So true!! I could go on and on about the injustices of working for the USPS, the harassments, threats, special treatments to "certain employees", added work placed on you due to cutbacks, and injuries one gets from working there but I just don't have the time to write about the 27 and 1/2 years I was working there. I knew in my heart that when I turned 55 that I was going to retire. I was originally hired under civil service so I would not receive social security. Now postal employees have to work until retirement age according to social security, doing the same job that they did when they were much younger and stronger to do it but with additional work to do. It's just crazy to think thaat the average person could keep doing that. Many times I was told by management that I should be GLAD TO HAVE A JOB BECAUSE THERE WERE SOOOO MANY PEOPLE OUT THERE WHO WOULD GLADLY WANT MY JOB. I worked hard for my retirement and feel that I deserve what I get but along with the money I get, I will forever have back problems because of the 70 pounds I was required to lift, which some bags weighed over 100 pounds! So imagine a 5' woman doing this plus working on machines that I had to get on my tip toes to reach and now has back problems plus constant ringing in my ears. The average person thinks postal workers get too much pay, but it's at a cost to us that do work for the post office. Next time it's snowing like crazy or there are tornados and other harsh weather, let alone some of the "combat" areas that carriers have to deliver to, ask yourself if it's worth it.

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