Who’s The Most Important Employee…Your Postal Carrier!
…and they’re not even on your payroll.
This is the time of year that sellers start posting questions about what everyone does for their postal carrier for the holidays. Tip them? Give them baked goods? Gift cards? There are many different responses and ideas.
I’ve always been an advocate for taking care of our postal carriers. When I was working a full time job I couldn’t have continued to sell online and keep my Top Rates Seller (TRS) status because that would require me to make a trip to the post office several times each week. My job and work schedule at that time just wouldn’t allow that. Fortunately, I had an AWESOME carrier I appreciated each and every day. I took care of My Carrier and My Carrier took care of me. My Carrier would sign for my packages so I didn’t have to make a trip to the main post office on Saturday, My Carrier paid for packages with postage due and My Carrier would leave the package for me the day it was delivered and I’d leave the money for My Carrier the next day, My Carrier picked up packages left on my porch even if I forget to schedule a pick up. I treated My Carrier like my most valuable employee because My Carrier was….and My Carrier wasn’t even on my payroll.
In the heat of the Arizona summer I’d leave frozen bottles of water in the bottom of my mail bin so by the time My Carrier stopped by around noon the water had melted enough for my carrier to enjoy a nice cold drink. I’d leave gift cards for Subway or other local fast food places so my carrier could enjoy lunch on me every now and then. During the 2015 holiday rush the two weeks before Christmas My Carrier would swing by my house on the way back to the post office and pick up any packages I may have sold later in the day. This allowed me to take care of my customers without them having to pay for expedited shipping.
The two weeks prior to Christmas are the busiest for our postal carriers. Many days during those two weeks my carrier would show up after 6pm and a few times it was closer to 8pm. I started leaving chocolate bars for a bit of sugar energy to get My Carrier back to the post office and tide my carrier over until dinner. These were $1 large Christmas chocolate bars I picked up at Target. It turns out these chocolate bars were so appreciated by My Carrier that when I chatted with My Carrier a few days ago My Carrier was still talking about them. While these were much appreciated tokens during a busy holiday season, I would also send My Carrier a nice Christmas bonus of a crisp $50 or $100 bill in a card to her house. My Carrier worked hard for me and I wanted to show my appreciation for all the hours and extra work and care I received. I know without this extra attention my business couldn’t have been as successful as it was.
Of course when I moved I got a new postal carrier. My regular carrier is getting used to the schedule and amount pf packages she has to pick up. We’ve hit a few bumps in the road along the way, but we’ve worked them out. After Halloween I bought two large bags of candy and would leave her a baggie of candy each day. I learned that I was one of her last stops each day and even though she is here by 3pm each day, I still remember My Carrier and how much that sugar pick-me-up was appreciated at the end of the day.
USPS has an official Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy in place. The policy reads “All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.” Through conversations with other sellers and Facebook discussions, I’ve learned that some areas are very strict about this policy and carriers will return gifts in excess of $20 while others gladly accept gifts in any amount. Wherever you live and whatever you do, take a few minutes to really thank and appreciate your postal carrier. You’re online business could not function the way it does without them.
What do you do to show your appreciation for your postal carrier?