Fishtown post office

Shovelled_Up_Dead_Corpses_Rotting_You's picture

I know that this problem is not unique to the Fishtown post office because I encountered the same thing in my old neighborhood. but why is there only ever one person working the window when there always seems to be a line of about 20 people deep, all the way to the door. meanwhile I notice that about half the people in line are merely waiting to buy a stamp. meanwhile, the stamp dispensing machine located by the front door NEVER is working, as a matter of fact, it's never even turned on! but merely getting that machine working it would make the post office that much more efficient, not to mention cut back on labor costs.

lauraska's picture

That post office is the

That post office is the WORST POST OFFICE EVER. Right now, we are waiting for our wedding pictures to come, and they were mailed from Reading last Thursday. I'm sure they'll never show up. The people in that PO are incompetent.

Ftown66's picture

I wouldn't call the workers

I wouldn't call the workers there incompetent. These 3 worker that are regualarlly seen working there been there for the past twenty years. With the influx off all the new people this post office went from a few customers to hundreds a day. The postal service hasn't increased the work staff there by one person. They actually cut some people. The main problem with recieving packages has nothing to do with that office. The hold up is at the main distribution center in southwest philly which is in turmoil since their move there. I recently had a package take 30 days to get from newtown sq. Pa.

lauraska's picture

You are right, Ftown. I

You are right, Ftown. I shouldn't have assumed that the only delays along the way are at the local branch.

dan's picture

I have to say that I've

I have to say that I've never had anything but competent and courteous service from the folks working the counter in the post office.

That said, I think the complaints are generally spot-on...
There are not enough people working the windows, the line is almost always close to half an hour long, and the stamp machine is never working.
I would guess this is related to issues that go up the chain further than the average person working the counter.

Additionally, the amount of mis-delivered, never delivered, or took-way-too-long-to-deliver mail is huge. (Much of this may be out of the hands of the employees of the local post office.)

BenPhila's picture

My advice:Have all parcels

My advice:Have all parcels (mail too big for your mail-slot) sent to an alternate/workplace address and bypass that post office alltogether.
When I get that dreaded pink pick-up slip, I know I'm going to be in line for at least a half hour. There is never not a line there, and I don't think I've ever seen more than one window open.

plaidpony's picture

I've been a daily post

I've been a daily post office goer the past few years and I have to say that a lot of the problems are from higher up. The post office hasn't been immune to budget cuts any more than anyone else. They have definitely cut back on the number of windows open - there used to be at least 2, sometimes 3 when I first started going. I happened to see some postal suits in there a few weeks ago standing around looking at the spot where the copy machine used to be, and the non-functioning stamp machine is. I asked if they were planning to get a stamp machine that actually works, and they said they in fact were. Hurray - I'll believe it when I see it.

Anyway, I see all the time people who come in with loads of parcels to mail which I can only imagine means people are selling stuff online - which makes me wonder why they don't pay for postage online??? Not only is it quicker, but you get a discount AND you don't have to make everyone wait 1/2 hour. I pay for everything I can online and thus I almost never wait in line anymore :) I just drop it off at the window. I highly recommend it.

Generally the post office does a really good job, but my other pet peeve is when they drop the notice for a package through the mail slot without knocking, or actually even bringing the package to the house. This has happened many times over the past few years, and I hear other people grumbling about it. I've even been on the other side of the door a few times only to open the door, and be told they don't have the package. Argghhhhhh.... which means I have to go stand in line.

Some of the staff there are great, some are not. It's pretty much the same thing you find in any workplace.

Ftown66's picture

I remember the days when i

I remember the days when i could go there and be in and out in five minutes. Now I'm in line for at least twenty or more.

george's picture

Never seen the stamp machine

Never seen the stamp machine actually working, either, and it would be nice if they could sweep up all the trash inside once a year or so. It's gross.

Sympathetic to the employees, though, since they're obviously understaffed.

Ftown66's picture

plaidpony wrote:I've been a

plaidpony wrote:

I've been a daily post office goer the past few years and I have to say that a lot of the problems are from higher up. The post office hasn't been immune to budget cuts any more than anyone else. They have definitely cut back on the number of windows open - there used to be at least 2, sometimes 3 when I first started going. I happened to see some postal suits in there a few weeks ago standing around looking at the spot where the copy machine used to be, and the non-functioning stamp machine is. I asked if they were planning to get a stamp machine that actually works, and they said they in fact were. Hurray - I'll believe it when I see it.

Anyway, I see all the time people who come in with loads of parcels to mail which I can only imagine means people are selling stuff online - which makes me wonder why they don't pay for postage online??? Not only is it quicker, but you get a discount AND you don't have to make everyone wait 1/2 hour. I pay for everything I can online and thus I almost never wait in line anymore :) I just drop it off at the window. I highly recommend it.

Generally the post office does a really good job, but my other pet peeve is when they drop the notice for a package through the mail slot without knocking, or actually even bringing the package to the house. This has happened many times over the past few years, and I hear other people grumbling about it. I've even been on the other side of the door a few times only to open the door, and be told they don't have the package. Argghhhhhh.... which means I have to go stand in line.

Some of the staff there are great, some are not. It's pretty much the same thing you find in any workplace.

Have you also noticed that they must be cutting back on maintenance? When ever its raing the roof leaks in a few space. It's been that way for a year or two now.

Shovelled_Up_Dead_Corpses_Rotting_You's picture

thing is, I've been in a

thing is, I've been in a good many post offices across the city, and those stamp dispensing machines are often times out of order. I can understand the financially motivated cut-backs, but like I said in my original post, these machines will only help to cut back on labor!

MR. T's picture

i just got the dreaded pink

i just got the dreaded pink slip. and their hours are 9-5. coincidentaly the same house i work?!?!? so know i gotta go there on sat and im sure ill be there an hour or more.

dan's picture

Hey, if all of you didn't

Hey, if all of you didn't insist on texting, tweeting, IM'ing, emailing, and phoning instead of paying almost half a dollar for a message to spend several days going somewhere, this wouldn't be a problem.

plaidpony's picture

Actually, Mr T they open at

Actually, Mr T they open at 8:30 M-F. Don't know if you can be a little late to work. I never get there that early so I really don't know if it's any better, but I'm pretty sure Sat is the worst. The crowds vs. time of day doesn't seem to follow a regular pattern though.

Ftown66's picture

During the week it seems

During the week it seems everyone has the same idea and shows up about eleven thinking it will be empty then it mobs up like crazy. Saturdays are probably the worst day to go. But for many thats the only day they can make it with work.

Jabara Fractus's picture

The USPS has been bordering

The USPS has been bordering on insolvency for years and the current economy doesn't help things.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99027132

Nothing's recession-proof.

jbette01's picture

BenPhila wrote:My

BenPhila wrote:

My advice:Have all parcels (mail too big for your mail-slot) sent to an alternate/workplace address and bypass that post office alltogether.
When I get that dreaded pink pick-up slip, I know I'm going to be in line for at least a half hour. There is never not a line there, and I don't think I've ever seen more than one window open.

I am in there regularly to mail things to my corporate office... and yes, I have seen two windows open simultaneously!

I used to think that post office was bad until I HAD to mail something on a Saturday afternoon, so I went to the Spring Garden office on N 7th Street. Wow, really scary. I didn't feel safe parking my car right in front in broad daylight, and the window is so obscured by metal bars you can barely see the workers.

I know the lines can be long @ Frankford, but I find the workers courteous and helpful. I think it could be a lot worse.

Ben has a good point though -- I have had a GREAT experience with Northern Liberties Mailbox Store. The guy there is uber-helpful, polite, and will walk heavy boxes to your car for you (I have a small mailbox there that I use to receive packages). Of course he sells stamps as well... it has been worth every penny !!! :thumbright:

brooke's picture

I find it a decent post

I find it a decent post office, especially for a small neighborhood...if you feel bad about ours, try 19123's and you'll be thankful you are in ours (although theirs is prettier).

Two issues I do have are 1) the postage machine is always broken. Standing in line for a book of stamps is assinine.
2) There should be someplace to tie a dog outside if they're going to be sticklers about no dogs inside.

michaellouis's picture

I'm actually amazed how

I'm actually amazed how amazingly nice they are at our post office considering it is always a horrific wait.

If you plan ahead you can buy stamps online and have them delivered to you, I'm not sure how much it costs though, and if it's a package of course you might end up with the pink slip anyway, which would be funny in a way.

workerbee's picture

Yes, there are / were great

Yes, there are / were great people at the post office.

All things considered some of the prices are okay.

There is one who I don't trust, at all. Long story.
Another who has shown similar tendencies.

Best time to go is 40/45 minutes after the hour, don't know why, just seems that way.

Sadly, we also pay for a box in a private for profit mail business.

I say, sadly, as it is beyond my understanding as to why we need to pay for delivery service to handle delivery service we have already paid for.

There are so many crazy problems with our post office. I find the stickers on my door even when I am waiting at home for the delivery. My door bell works and no one rings it. I run to the door when I hear the storm door to watch the truck drive away. Items that should be signed for ... left on the step. Items that don't need a signature, not left ... even with an office manager(another location).

Recently, Philadelphia is under investigation for mail/items that have been trashed or stashed. This supposedly, under orders of management, to make the "numbers" work in their favor.

Getting and sending real cards and letters can be a real joy.
Business mail is, at times, essential.

I counter your original question, with this question ...

Is it time to end the postal service, as we know it, to go to all private enterprise!

plaidpony's picture

I highly recommend the

I highly recommend the mailbox store in Northern Liberties as well (across from the Abbaye on 3rd & Fairmount). I take my FedEx deliveries there to drop off, and he's super nice. It's a full service pack and ship place, but you can drop off mail, FedEx and DHL there too. He has a ton of services like keys, passport photos, notary, lamination etc...
http://www.nlmailboxstore.com
It saved me after the FedEx place on Spring Garden closed.

And I'd like to give props to my mailman who pounded extra loud on the door until I heard him the other day, thus avoiding the dreaded pink slip.

2014 susquehanna's picture

I don't know the guy's name

I don't know the guy's name who usually helps me out but dealing with him is worth the wait. I just wish there were more parking.

dan's picture

count this as another thread

count this as another thread where somebody cut down a group of people just for being different, and therefore had their post unpublished

michaellouis's picture

workerbee wrote:Is it time

workerbee wrote:

Is it time to end the postal service, as we know it, to go to all private enterprise!

I've had serious and similar problems with fedex in the area and have heard many similar stories in the neighborhood and on the board here.

I worry about the privatization of essential services like the mail. What if I private company can't turn a profit by delivering mail for a reasonable price to a specific location. (Note it would be darn expensive to mail a letter via UPS or Fedex and have the letter reach is destination in 3-5 days.) In this case a private company would not service the area and nobody there would get the mail. In this case the only other option is the government would have to then subsidize the company in order to deliver the mail. Which basically defeats the purpose of privatization, tax payers would just be paying money for a private organizations profits (this of course happens in general). I'm not covering all my bases here, but that is my sort of response to these types of things.

plaidpony's picture

I really think the post

I really think the post office is a great value for what you get.
It's generally a little or a lot cheaper than FedEx to mail anything under 2 lbs.
Their overnight service is a lot cheaper as well.
Although shipping overall has gotten a lot more expensive which is hard when you run a business based on mailing stuff.
(They all have rate increases every year now).
I wouldn't be so hasty to recommend privatization.

Now if we're talking about the gas company...

workerbee's picture

If you read my post ... You

If you read my post ... You will see ... I Never said it is all bad ...

Under the current system, there is no visible recourse.
Look up the phone number. Try that is.
I have complained about the instances, I have mentioned, to no avail.
I have mentioned only a very few of the problems I have encountered.
I don't mind waiting OR paying for service.
I do mind waiting and paying for the abuses I have suffered.
I am infuriated when I witness the abuse others have suffered.

If the clerks don't like the job ... Quit.
Let some one who wants to do the work have the job.

With privatization comes competition.

The best clerk has transferred out to the main office near the airport.

Ftown66's picture

I don't think privatization

I don't think privatization will solve the problems. I have had the worst experiences while shipping through ups, fedex and dhl. I have lost or had damaged quite a few packages where after their investigations the claims where denied. The few that i have had at the post office were solved to my satisfaction. I have never had a postal worker throw my packages over a fence or leave them on my front step. Even at their worse they are better then most private shippers.

MichelleLynn's picture

I don't know, the staff

I don't know, the staff there is NOT the same guys that had been there for years, it has changed and the people that are there now are definitly not as efficient! I am never in line there for less than 30 minutes and there are others in the back that do come out every now and them to accept packages or call those out of line if they are just picking up packages.
And they wait a good 10-15 minutes before they come out to help!

I disagree that the cut backs are the cause here, I just do not think the staff there really are motivated to get the people in and out. I have seen them take breaks when the lines were full, leave to get phone calls, and one Saturday I walked in to drop off a package and the doors were open but the place was dark,, After calling and knocking for about 5 minutes a woman came out and said that they were closed.? I said why? There was no notice on the door or anything!!!
She then said they left the door open for the PO box customers, but I have never been to a closed post office before that did not have the hours posted.

It is a disgrace in there anymore, the people here are to kind in my opinion and I never go there anymore if I do not have to! I buy my stamps at CVS!

Ftown66's picture

Two of the main tellers have

Two of the main tellers have been there for at least twenty years. The one woman teller has also been there for at least over 5 years now.

netable's picture

MichelleLynn wrote:I don't

MichelleLynn wrote:

I don't know, the staff there is NOT the same guys that had been there for years, it has changed and the people that are there now are definitly not as efficient! I am never in line there for less than 30 minutes and there are others in the back that do come out every now and them to accept packages or call those out of line if they are just picking up packages.
And they wait a good 10-15 minutes before they come out to help!

I disagree that the cut backs are the cause here, I just do not think the staff there really are motivated to get the people in and out. I have seen them take breaks when the lines were full, leave to get phone calls, and one Saturday I walked in to drop off a package and the doors were open but the place was dark,, After calling and knocking for about 5 minutes a woman came out and said that they were closed.? I said why? There was no notice on the door or anything!!!
She then said they left the door open for the PO box customers, but I have never been to a closed post office before that did not have the hours posted.

It is a disgrace in there anymore, the people here are to kind in my opinion and I never go there anymore if I do not have to! I buy my stamps at CVS!

They must have just transfered right after Xmas then, because the only people who ever wait on me there is The 2 Erik Estrada looking Guys (ya chest hair hanging out and all), who have been there forever and ever and ever and they have always been wonderful to me, never had a problem with them, but the Lady' that has been there for about 6 years' well me and her had it out a few times,. She doesnt see like she wants to work, and gives off major attitude, but besides her' I never had a problem

th's picture

Ftown66 wrote:I don't think

Ftown66 wrote:

I don't think privatization will solve the problems. I have had the worst experiences while shipping through ups, fedex and dhl. I have lost or had damaged quite a few packages where after their investigations the claims where denied. The few that i have had at the post office were solved to my satisfaction. I have never had a postal worker throw my packages over a fence or leave them on my front step. Even at their worse they are better then most private shippers.

I agree. Some people assume because a company is non-governmental that service will automatically improve.

But have you ever had to go to the South Philly UPS to pick up a package? The line and wait is just as bad as the Post Office.