Post office’s not-so-special delivery | SierraSun.com

Post office’s not-so-special delivery

It’s no secret that the Truckee post office has been experiencing its share of struggles lately.

That said, let us clarify. That sentence was written just about two years ago ” March 6, 2006 to be exact ” in a Sierra Sun story that touched on personnel issues and long mail routes that were causing customer frustration at the Truckee post office. So much so that the issue was reported in the newspaper.

Judging from some of the adjectives in a My Turn guest column in the Sierra Sun on Feb. 1, 2008 ” “dysfunctional, mindless, unaccommodating” and several dozen supporting comments regarding that column on http://www.sierrasun.com ” frustration with the post office continues to run high.

Undelivered mail, lost packages, important mail being returned to sender, the wrong mail, lack of customer service, lack of parking: Those are just a few of the problems users of the downtown Truckee post office have complained about for at least two years ” and undoubtedly longer.

Then just last week comes a presentation by U.S. Postal Service officials to the Truckee Town Council that the downtown post office needs to double in size to about 20,000 square feet and therefore will likely leave the immediate area.

But wherever a shiny new site ends up, it’s clear something has to give or the complaints will continue to come. In addressing the post office woes in 2006, downtown staffers said new clerks and mail carriers were brought in to replace retirees.

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The branch also began rural counts, which evaluate a carrier’s route. If that route is over-burdened it will be cut back and either a new route will be created or the route will be split with another carrier. That was in addition to adding 10 right-side-steering mail cars to move service away from P.O. boxes and toward home delivery.

The problem is that even with those changes, here we are two years later and the grumbling from the masses is only getting worse. And what happens in the time between now and when a new building is completed?

Yes, on a daily basis postal employees handle hundreds of parcels, wrestle with 200-stacked feet of letters, magazines, bills and coupons and deliver to thousands of mail boxes and P.O. boxes. But, after all, that is their job. They are the pros and patrons deserve to be treated as customers, not annoyances.

Leaving postal patrons wondering whether their much-needed check is really in the mail or just sitting in a dark corner of a cramped old post office ” or a state-of-the-art building for that matter ” is not the way to do business.