2000-10-21 / Columnists

From The G-Man When Supervisors ‘Go Postal’

From The G-Man
When Supervisors ‘Go Postal’

Hey people! I have received some very disturbing reports, from employees, about some of the local post offices in the Rockaway area. Now before I continue, let me state that I am not attacking the U.S. Postal Service as a whole, and I am not trying to get anyone fired. There are many loyal and exceptional workers within this agency. However, people in high-ranking positions are abusing their power and getting away with illegal activities. They are the subject of my attack, and they must be held accountable.

A letter from a group of "concerned workers" revealed that their supervisor has engaged in the following acts:

  1. Threatened workers with termination if they spoke out or went against self-imposed policies.
  2. Shown up at employee’s homes if they called in sick.
  3. Would make the determination as to how sick a person was and would not pay them for taking a "sick day".
  4. Forced a disabled veteran to bring a doctor’s note after every hospital visit. (For months!)
  5. Would not respond to a letter from the Division of Veterans Affairs for 7 months, with regard to the previously noted.
  6. Padlocked the stalls in the employee bathrooms and made employees sign a card to use the bathroom.
  7. Attempted to force tenured employees, with 35 years or more, into retirement because they were deemed useless and incompetent.
  8. Allowed bins of mail to sit for weeks before being dispersed.
  9. Allowed non-employees to roam freely within restricted areas of the post office.

According to the employees, these abuses have been going on for quite some time, and this is not an isolated incident. While the above listed incidents are taking place at a certain branch in Rockaway, there are a number of supervisors who are involved in dictatorial practices at other locations.

In order to get to the bottom of these allegations, I went to the location where the outlined abuses were taking place. I spoke to several of the employees and a manager. Afterwards, I came away convinced that this was not a personal attack against their supervisor. They were simply afraid that their jobs, pensions and benefits were on the line, and something had to be done before the crap hit the fan.

One worker stated, "It’s just a matter of time before the inspectors come around, and we are going to be in serious trouble because of the chaos and mismanagement. There is enough stress from just doing the job. We don’t need the added pressure of some out of control supervisor, and trust me, many of them are out of control!"

I cannot substantiate the allegations being made against some of the U.S. Postal Service supervisors in Rockaway, but I can validate the charges made against the supervisor who is the focus of this article. In other words, they’re busted, and here’s why:

Allegations 1, 2, 3 and 7 – Spoke to the employees, and a manager, of the branch in question. This is no vendetta. They are afraid of what might happen to the branch and their jobs.

Allegations 4 and 5 – I have written documents from the Division of Veterans Affairs, and I have spoken to three U.S Postal Service supervisors outside of the Rockaway jurisdiction. They all stated, in the case of a disabled vet, a doctor’s note only needs to be submitted once, and it is kept on file with the federal government from that point on.

Allegation 6 - I have photos of the bathroom in question, and it is definitely illegal to padlock these stalls and make someone sign a "piss card".

Allegations 8 and 9 – I witnessed these situations when I went to the location. There was mail all over the place! I was amazed at how easy it was for me, and another man, to walk into the restricted areas of this post office. I was going to "borrow" a piece of mail just to prove how simple it was for me to steal federal property, but to do so is a federal offense, so I didn’t bother.

I could’ve walked out with personal checks, and I am willing to bet that there probably was a number of Social Security checks, that the elderly rely on each month, sitting in those bins for God knows how long! I didn’t

see any of these conditions in the Hewlett, Lawrence or Cedarhurst branches.

In spite of these conditions, this supervisor has received a promotion and pay increase. Well, I want them to know that the G-man has just pulled the emergency brake on their gravy train. No more free rides!

With actions such as these, it’s easy to see why some U.S. postal workers loose it. Moreover, in most of the cases you hear about, it’s always the manager or supervisor who is gunned down first! If they are running around acting like tyrants, and treating people less than human, it all makes sense. It doesn’t justify shooting up a post office, but it becomes clear why such things happen, when you have to work under such conditions.

In addition to my findings, I got the impression, from many employees, low level and high-ranking, that those who devise such stringent guidelines are rarely reprimanded, and they are allowed to run amok within the agency. This should be taken much more seriously! There is too much room for error and illegal activity, as I have shown, and it must be curtailed.

The letter I received was carbon copied to all of the Rockaway politicians, but so far yours truly has been the only person to reach out to these "concerned workers". This is a very serious matter, and action needs to be taken. I’m asking each of you to look into this matter and similar ones. It’s time for you to stop hating the player, and start hating the game. Work with me people!

I’m not trying to get people terminated, and I’m not trying to be a hard ass! It’s obvious that these workers need help, and unless they get it, things are going to get worse. There is no excuse for this type of behavior, and having the federal government close their eyes to it, or slapping people on the wrist, will not correct the problem.

Take care, and I’ll see you next week!

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