By now, you've probably heard that the United States Postal Service is in crisis. The service is in desperate need of funding — which President Trump has opposed in an open attempt to suppress mail-in voting. And the new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy, recently came under fire for announcing big cuts to the USPS, which many believe he did at the request of the Trump administration.
As you can imagine, all of this makes it a tough time to be an employee for the USPS. So last week, a viral Reddit thread asked postal workers: "What do you need right now? How can we brighten your day when we see you on our routes?"
The conversation garnered thousands of responses from USPS workers all across the nation, both former and present. Here are some of the top-voted suggestions:
1."Former carrier here. Had one house that always left me a bottle of ice cold water. Highlight of that route!"
2."I am a carrier. I have a running tic-tac-toe game going with some kids on my route. They have a paper hanging off the mailbox and we just do one X or O a day. I'm not sure who looks forward to it more, me or them."
4."Keep in mind the mail carriers don't have air conditioning in their vehicles. There was one [who died from extreme heat] in California in 2018. The collection drivers don't have AC as well, but they don't hit the residential areas for the most part."
5."Can confirm [that the vehicles don't have AC]. You could buy them a battery-powered mini fan that clips to something in their truck. Some wear water vests to keep cool."
6."My father has been a postal worker for decades. What makes him smile the most is when people just reach out and are nice and friendly. He would always tell us stories about the people who would put a smile on his face. Notes/cards go a long way. But also just say hi and ask them how their day is going."
10."Cold water on a hot day, being patient with us if there are delays, somebody actually being home to take the next-day 1 p.m. delivery parcel you ordered, agree on a safe place for any parcels you get so your postie doesn’t have to spend extra time writing out a card."
11."Please be friendly and understanding if something is late or missing. As of right now, a lot of this stuff is out of our control. It’s coming straight down from the top and there isn’t a lot we can do about it ourselves."
13."Put numbers on your damn mailbox/house. Send cards/legit letters to people. Tear down your POS lockbox that nothing fits into, and get an actual mailbox."
14."Carrier here! All I ask is: for the love of God, PLEASE WEAR PANTS WHEN ANSWERING THE DOOR! I've had straight-up naked dudes sign for their package without batting a eye. Oh, also smiles and friendliness are appreciated 😃 ...but with clothes on."
15."Keep your dogs inside. If they're outside, make sure I can access your mailbox without them getting anywhere near me. If your dog is sitting outside and I think there's a risk, you're just not going to get your mail."
16."I’m a carrier and I can tell you the cutest thing I see with the men in my office is the pure joy on their face when they reveal all the drinks/snacks they were given on their routes. They are so excited to take their treasures home to show the family. They even take pictures and post them on Facebook. "
17."STOP YELLING AT ME WHEN I CANNOT FIND YOUR PACKAGE! We get mail from UPS and FedEx and sometimes it already comes to us all fucked up or they lost it...but we are last to touch it, so customers hate us for thinking we damaged the package or lost it."
18."When the quarantine was just getting started, a few of my customers left me a note in their mailbox. Just a friendly thanks and reminder that I am appreciated being out there during these hard times, making sure people get their mail and packages. I’d say this small kindness would be much appreciated again with all of this political nonsense interfering with my career."
19."Postal clerk here. Honestly, just support. I have a family of four and all this bullshit around the postal service going under has got my anxiety through the roof. I know it’s easier said than done, but any chance to support us is awesome. I honestly love my job and I love what I do. I would hate to have to start over. Thanks for supporting us, kind strangers."
20."Former letter carrier for nine years on a walking route. I know winter hasn’t arrived yet, but when it snows, please make sure you shovel your stairs."
21."Please don't ask us what's going on with the post office. We really don't know either. I tell people, 'I come to work, do my job and go home — until I'm told otherwise.' We have no control over anything other than that. It's so sad because I love my job, my route, and my customers. I've been on the same route for almost four years. Babies born during my first year on it are now going into preschool. I've had several people on my route pass away. I've cried with family members. There are people on my route I talk to every single day. They know what's going on in my life and I know what's going on in theirs. That's my focus and that's what I care about right now. I hope to be able to continue doing my job for another 20 years. Sorry for rambling, but this whole thing hurts...we're taking it day by day and hoping we have enough people on our side."
22."My Mom has worked for USPS since she was 18. She's 64 now. I just asked her, 'Hey Ma, what do you need right now as a USPS employee?' and she yelled back, 'GO OUT AND FUCKING VOTE.' So that's Kathy's answer."
You can check out the full thread of responses here.
Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.