Is the United States Post Office kidding us

Photo: Brian Cassella / Chicago Tribune

In the realm of you can't make this stuff up:

"Mark Reynolds, spokesman for the Postal Service's Chicago district, said mail carriers have the right to determine if an environment is unsafe and, if so, they are not forced to deliver mail to that area.

"In this case, the woman is terrified of snakes. When she saw them she freaked out," he said. "It is irrelevant if the snakes are dangerous or not. Our employees' safety is the utmost priority." (Chicago Tribune)

Is the Post Office kidding us?

Several people on Chase Avenue, in the Rogers Park neighborhood, complained about poor or no mail service. The reason for the poor service? The street is a haven for garter snakes. Harmless, perfectly safe to humans, garter snakes.

Their regular mail carrier suffers from an abnormal fear of snakes, known as ophidiophobia.

According to postal officials, the harmless garter snakes are not a safety issue. The fear of snakes is. People should fix the infestation of perfectly harmless snakes so the mail carrier will not freak out. She will feel safe. Her feelings are more important than delivering the mail.

Is the United States Postal Service kidding us? Do they really believe the general public is gullible?

"It is irrelevant if the snakes are dangerous or not. Our employees' safety is the utmost priority." This has to be one of the most completely, utterly, inane comments ever made by a glorified clerk.

People should be outraged.

It is the responsibility of the United States Postal Service to deliver the mail. It is not their responsibility to enable and coddle mail carriers "freaked out" over harmless snakes.

If the postal carrier suffers from an abnormal fear of snakes, the carrier should get counseling or therapy. A temporary replacement should be found. The mail must be delivered. No excuses.

The Postal Service response to the neighbor's complaints is beyond ludicrous and ridiculous. A perfectly safe creature is considered a safety issue because the carrier fears it. Freaking out over a harmless snake is a work place hazard.

This is not a safety issue. It is a mental health issue. If the postal spokesperson was intelligent and honest, he would have stated, "The mental health of our employees is the utmost priority. No mail for you."

Instead, he dealt the safety card from the bottom of the deck. Blew the dog whistle. People understand safety, right? They will empathize, sympathize, and have merciful pity on the postal worker. Chicago cannot have its postal workers terrorized by the wiley Snakiban.

Mark Reynolds, the USPS spokesperson, should be reassigned to a job suited to his abilities. Spokesperson is not. Maybe mail sorter, delivery, or janitorial work is more suited to his capabilities than public relations.

The United States Postal Service does not need simpletons giving public relations statements. It undermines their credibility. It makes the Postal Service leadership look lame brained.

It appears the United States Postal service lacks the ability to come up with simple solutions to simple problems. It is far easier to blame the public and harmless creatures for the abnormal fear of its own employee.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Leave a comment