My Turn: Egregious incompetence is in the mail | SierraSun.com

My Turn: Egregious incompetence is in the mail

Phil and Lore' McLaren

While pretty much every resident of Truckee knows that the service at our local Post Office is less than stellar, in the last few weeks, we personally have encountered a series of incidents that raise the definition of “incompetent” to new levels.

To begin with, we have noticed a big increase in the amount of mail that has been left sitting on the counters. I’m not referring to junk mail, but to legitimate pieces of mail that have obviously been delivered to the wrong post office box. Since the Truckee branch has no designated place for PO Box holders to deposit mis-delivered mail, it mostly ends up sitting on the counters.

We have found critical items of mail: credit card statements, insurance policies, medical information ” all items that should have the highest level of confidentiality and could potentially lead to identity theft if misdirected.

In addition, in just the last two business days, we have received in our own PO Box six ” count them six ” pieces of mail addressed to other PO Boxes.

And just to add injury to insult, we have yet to receive a piece of mail we have been expecting, which was mailed over a week ago and contains confidential information. Heaven knows whose PO Box this went to! We are now going to have to take remedial steps to prevent potential misuse of our personal information.

We have also in the past had a shipment disappear after arriving at the Truckee Post Office. How do we know it arrived at all? Because a pick-up notice was placed in our PO Box, but when we went to retrieve the item, it had simply vanished. This incident cost us close to $100. We now have no choice but to spend extra money insuring anything we have to have shipped via the USPS.

Needless to say, we always turn misdirected mail back in to Post Office staff, but not everyone does. We have tried to speak with the Post Master about these incidents, but have not been able to as this person is always “out” when we try to complain.

Post Office staff have the courtesy to at least act concerned, but the fact is there simply is no accountability at the Post Office, especially the Truckee branch. No matter how egregious the incompetence, no one will be held responsible, and the customer has no recourse.

The citizens of this town need to know that their most confidential information may very well be sitting out on the Post Office counters, waiting for an unscrupulous person to pick it up. We find it highly ironic that the Post Office has posted warning signs about the potential for identity theft if you drop mail after hours, when it is obvious that ANY mail that passes through the Truckee Post Office stands a high probability of falling into the wrong hands!

We urge every citizen of Truckee who has experienced problems with the Truckee Post Office to complain vocally to Post Office staff and especially, to write letters to this paper. Maybe if we all make a big enough noise, there is some chance of improving this situation.