Mail delivery sporadic in Minot

Shalom Baer Gee/MDN Barbara Vondell stands by the mailbox of her southeast Minot home. Vondell received a week and a half worth of mail on Tuesday.

Minot residents have been having issues with receiving mail lately. Some has shown up late, some not at all, and some all at once.

Southeast Minot resident Barbara Vondell said she was receiving mail late in the evenings for a couple weeks, then received nothing for a week and half. On Tuesday, she got what appeared to be the backlog of the mail she hadn’t been receiving.

“I got like a whole stack of mail,” Vondell said. “That was kind of crazy. I mean, it could have been something important that the timeline needed to be addressed right away, and I’m sure it’s not just me. Think of other people if they’re expecting something in the mail or if it’s important.”

Anna Trumpower, a United States Postal Service (USPS) carrier who services the northwest side of Minot, said that the past few weeks have been filled with overtime hours for mail carriers who have had to work their own routes in addition to covering for sick coworkers.

“It’s been horrid,” she said. “Last week, we were working 15-16 hours a day. A lot of people think we’re being lazy, and it’s really frustrating.”

She estimated that there are around 30 carriers who deliver in Minot and that about 10 have been out sick recently.

The Minot Daily News contacted the United States Postal Service and they would not confirm the number of carriers out sick or the number of carriers that work at the Minot Post Office, but a representative said that, “local management is aware of delivery issues in Minot, North Dakota and is taking steps to address the concerns.” The statement also alluded to the effect of the pandemic on post office employees.

“Our workforce, like others, is not immune to the human impacts of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic,” it read. “We will continue flexing our available resources to match the workload and we are proud of the efforts of postal employees as they define essential public service every day.”

The postal service didn’t answer requests for a time frame as to when residents can expect mail services to get back to normal, but Trumpower said it has been improving some this week.

“Now it’s just a little lighter,” she said. “People are starting to start to come back, so it’s easier but it seems like I’m just very barely able to catch up and be able to finish my own route.”

Vondell said she’s not blaming mail carriers, but she expressed that it would be helpful if the postal service were to notify the public when they’re short on staff and mail will be late.

“If we’re not getting mail, or they don’t have enough people to deliver the mail, why don’t they just come out with something that says, ‘We’re short, sorry about that,’ instead of not saying anything and leaving you wondering why you’re not getting anything?” Vondell said. “I’m not angry or upset. I feel bad for them because that’s got to be a lot of pressure on them.”


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