Vincent Safuto’s Weblog

Notes and observations

The postal management mutt who killed two people

When you read about customer service catastrophes in the Postal Service, there’s a common theme.

Customers find mail loose in the lobby or see a mail carrier tossing mail into a dumpster, and they try to find a postal manager to alert that person to the problem.

The customers act in good faith, and with the recognition that their mail could be at risk from misconduct, but then encounter something that postal workers know all too well. The average postal manager is basically a mindless dolt with utter contempt for the postal customer, and even those in that joke that is Postal Service customer service really don’t want to be bothered by whining customers griping that their mail was late, found in a trash bin or discovered scattered along a road somewhere.

Indeed, in one case recently, a group of Filipino immigrants who saw their mail being disposed of in a Dumpster found themselves threatened with arrest for reporting that their mail carrier was throwing their mail in the trash. The postal supervisor had zero interest in their complaints.

Sadly, this is often the case. When I was a mailhandler I often heard postal managers talk about how postal customers were slugs and low-lifes who were just getting in the way of them getting promotions and transfers to higher-level jobs. I recounted the infamous incident a while back with Nancy Dimas at the West Palm Beach General Mail Facility, in which she cursed at a man who came back to the employee area looking to mail a package, and told him to get the f— off the property and never come back.

Dimas, called “Dumbass” by everyone, later told me, “F— him, he doesn’t pay my salary.”

A couple of postal managers did care about customers, but they were in a distinct minority. The danger was that if you did something for a customer that went above and beyond, you could get in a lot of trouble because even responding was more than what was laid out in the voluminous manuals that detailed how interactions with customers were supposed to go.

Some customer service managers and workers were disciplined for doing a favor for a customer because it might set a precedent, and everyone would want that level of service. Better to disappoint all customers than to make one happy and then have to make everyone happy by violating the holy Domestic Mail Manual.

The scumbag postal manager who killed two innocent people
One of the great stories of the West Palm Beach GMF happened in the early 1990s, and involved probably the dumbest woman to ever become a postal supervisor.

I don’t even remember her name, but she was blank-faced LSM operator who made her 90 days and then was advanced to 204B. I guess Barbara Shaler or the dreaded Shirley Cordle saw nothing in her brain and decided that she’d be perfect for postal management because she soon was walking around with a clipboard and being a moron.

She oversaw the regular “operations” of the facility, like “adjusting” the color codes on stale third-class mail and watching the “mail test operation,” where hired office temps flipped through outgoing mail to find the test mail to cheat the Price Waterhouse testing.

The little dork made full-fledged supervisor and soon was in charge of the facility on a Sunday night.

I remember – and this was before news on the Web mind you, so you can’t find it online – that there was a story one Tuesday morning in the papers that on the previous morning, a tractor-trailer had run a red light and T-boned a car in the area north of West Palm Beach. The accident had killed a woman and her unborn child, and the driver was in custody, charged with DUI and vehicular manslaughter.

As it turned out, despite the Postal Service’s efforts, the news came out that it had been a vehicle under postal contract that had been dispatched on Sunday night from the West Palm Beach GMF.
The story was that the driver had spent the weekend thinking he’d be off until Monday and had spent Saturday and Sunday drinking beer and watching football on TV. Suddenly, on Sunday night, the contractor called him in to work. Despite his condition and fearing for his job if he didn’t go in, he drove to work and was ordered to drive the small tractor-trailer to a post office in Martin County on Florida’s East Coast.

At the time, I was off and Saturday and Sunday nights (bid job, thank you Mailhandlers’ Union!), and heard through co-workers and newspaper reports that not only did several employees working the loading dock that night notice that the driver smelled of beer and was staggering around, but the little piece of shit supervisor knew it, too. She had prohibited anyone from acting to stop him under threat of discipline and then had ordered him and allowed him to drive off. Then as now, calling 911 from a postal phone was verboten. You were supposed to call a higher-level boss, who’d call the moronic postal police, who’d decided if the call to 911 was warranted.
The idiot later testified in court that the mail had to go, even if the driver was drunk.

The driver got lost and ended up at the wrong post office, where he asked for directions. Workers there noticed that he was seriously drunk and tried to stop him from leaving, but he drove off. The next thing anyone knew, he had T-boned the car and two people were dead.

Needless to say, the family of the dead woman and her baby were furious, but the Postal Service spun the story.

It got some publicity, and there was a picture of the woman in her coffin holding the baby. Postal management pretended like it wasn’t the Postal Service’s fault and reminded everyone that they delivered lots of mail.

Eventually, the truck driver went to prison, but the moron, mutt, dolt, mental midget supervisor got off scot-free. I think she had her schedule changed so she couldn’t dispatch trucks, but she soon got a promotion and was supervising supervisors, though she had worked for the Postal Service for a year and a half.

One friend of mine who had become a supervisor after 11 years as a worker, and had busted his ass in formal training in Oklahoma City and elsewhere, had applied for the same job. Enraged at not getting it, he exercised his retreat rights back to regular work and soon was backing running the Advanced Facer-Canceller as a worker bee like me.

He was about the only postal manager I ever knew who actually had integrity. I know he would have never let that driver leave the building in a vehicle.

Today, the trailer-trash mutt, slut, moron, dolt, piglet is probably a high-level manager in the Postal Service. It’s been 25 years since she basically killed two people, and I bet she just wanders around with that blank look on her face that we all know so well, cashing paychecks for holding a clipboard and being the representative of the lowest form of life in the world today, a U.S. Postal Service supervisor.

As I learned from the incident, sometimes being stupid is the best way to move up. As for me, I was determined to be smart and since the Postal Service rejected that idea, I soon moved on.

But I’ve never forgotten what happened to those two people and their family because the Postal Service almost always picked the dumbest people to be in management.

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August 6, 2015 - Posted by | Life lessons, Living in the modern age | , , , , ,

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