Work & Career
12 Unusual Things Postal Carriers See Every Day
There’s nothing ever routine about a postal carrier’s route from day-to-day. Here are some of the unusual things postal carriers see routinely.
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Postal carriers are well acquainted with the neighborhoods they cover in their route and often they’ll be the ones to notice something unusual happening. Mail carriers have stopped package thieves around the country from time to time. Here are 10 of the craziest things people have shipped in the mail.
Postal carriers know who is getting audited because those letters from the IRS arrive via certified mail. In addition to IRS letters, any other kind of legal trouble passes through their hands as well. So really, a postal worker is like Santa Claus because they know who’s been naughty or nice. Here are more things your mail carrier secretly knows about you.
Often times, a rural route deliverer will be the first on the scene of a traffic collision in the country.
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One postal worker we spoke with recalled a time when they came upon a garage fire. They grabbed the neighbors’ garden hose to extinguish the fire before the fire department came to the scene. Once they were there, the postal carrier completed their route. These are the strangest things home inspectors and real estate agents have found during a house inspection.
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Your postal carrier will know whether someone on their route is expecting, getting married, or had a death in the family because of what comes through the mail. They have also a knack of keeping track of who hasn’t retrieved their mail recently; that’s helped save older people who have taken illness while living alone.
In addition to keeping an eye on the neighborhood, your mail carrier might be your best bet for finding a lost pet. Who else is going to be as familiar with your furry friend, besides your family? Mail carriers get handed photos of animals from owners to help search all the time. (These are the 15 craziest things flight attendants have seen on the job!)
Ants, wasps, and other mailbox-dwelling pests
Ants flock to mailboxes after heavy rains for higher ground, and wasps find their way into them all the time. But that’s not the only living thing postal carriers used to see in mailboxes. In the early 20th century, it was legal to ship babies through the U.S. Postal Service.
One postal carrier recalled an incident where they encountered a skunk at a home with many outdoor cats. Postal carriers routinely have to dodge squirrels in their trucks as well. (Here’s the trick to getting rid of piles of junk mail for good!)
Mail carriers can track the ebb of flow of the economy through their route by the volume of mail and the appearance of the neighborhoods. A postal carrier knows each business that has closed.
Getting asked for help
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Postal workers are often in the right place at the right time for people trying to get things done around the house like holding a ladder or handing someone a tool. Don’t miss these other surprising facts about the U.S. Post Office.
It’s been an open secret for some time, but the USPS has seen drug dealers use it to ship drugs across the country. Former Attorney General Eric Holder addressed it in 2014 calling the number of people using the USPS to send illegal drugs “shocking.” The USPS Inspection Service made 1,760 arrests in 2012, which increased 33 percent from the previous year. The USPIS has ramped up efforts to curb drug dealers by bringing on more investigative analysts and intelligence specialists.
Letters from prison
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Those letters from prison have to get delivered by someone. You probably haven’t come across one, but it’s a piece of mail postal workers come across frequently. For more insider secrets, check out the 23 things your mail carrier won’t tell you.