But in Lance’s three decades in uniform, he never experienced what’s taking place today.
He keeps in contact with his friends still carrying the mail, one of whom has collected so much overtime, he earned his entire year’s salary back in September.
“He’s going to almost double his base salary in overtime costs through the post office,” said Lance. “I don’t see how there’s any work-life balance if you’re working 90-100 hours every paycheck.”
Many are working 12-16 hour shifts as the holidays are flooding mailrooms with packages. Days off are far and few between.
“They’re exhausted, they’re not seeing their family, they’re not getting any time to decompress.”
Lance began to notice these changes towards the end of his career, largely due to the pandemic. But the USPS has been facing an uphill battle for the better part of two decades.
They began to see noticeable losses beginning in 2006, when Congress approved the ‘Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act,’ a bill which mandated the USPS to pre-fund more than $120 billion for employees retirement and healthcare.
Since then, they’ve reported over $100 billion in losses.
They’ve also begun emphasizing package deliveries.
“Package delivery is where there is actually money,” said Lance. “The most money the Post Office makes per piece is on packages under three pounds.”
According to Lance, that’s because larger companies like UPS or FedEx pass those packages to USPS, saying it wouldn’t be financially worthwhile for drivers of those larger companies to hand-deliver it themselves.
Particularly to rural parts of the map.