For mail carriers, 12-14 hour shifts are common; days off are not

SPOKANE, Wash. — With the holiday season rapidly approaching, mail carriers are trudging through icy sidewalks, delivering an endless line of packages.

“We are all working crazy hours,” said Scott Stalter, a mail carrier of five years. “Definitely lots of overtime. We’re just doing our best.”

Stalter has a relatively short route compared to most; though finishing early doesn’t mean his day is over. He’ll often link up with another carrier and assist them on their route.

“We are trying to help everybody out, we’re a team.” said Stalter. “And there are days where we’re carrying almost two routes.”

Stalter says long shifts are the norm; weekends are far and few between. During the month of December, most carriers can expect a grand total of two days off.

This problem isn’t exclusive to Spokane.

“Pretty much 6 a.m. to 8 at night, seven days a week,” said Edward Fizer, a former mail carrier in Virgina. Fizer lasted 18 months with the post office before leaving that career behind.

The challenges are endless; though many of them stemmed from the ongoing staffing shortages the industry is suffering from.


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