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LETTERS TO THE NYACK VILLAGE

Letters

Dear readers—
Our note in the March Villager asking for your thoughts about the Nyack Post Office certainly touched a nerve. Many of you wrote—and few had anything good to say about postal service in Nyack.

If our postal workers are disaffected, it’s not easy to understand why. They do pretty well financially, at least. Though competition for these jobs is fierce, entry-level jobs do not require formal postsecondary education.

According to 2014 figures, mail carriers are paid between $30,000 and $59,000 annually. Postal mail processing clerks earn between $29,000 and $56,00 and the Postmaster gets between $26,000 and $90,000 a year.

We broke our own rule limiting the length of letters we print
when we accepted the first letter below. Although it is extra long, we felt it articulated many of the complaints voiced by the community and was well worth our space and your time.

All letters printed here were signed. As is our long-standing policy, The Nyack Villager will withhold your name if you request it.

If Nyack post office people wish us to print their comments or rebuttals, we will be happy to do so.
—Jan Haber, Editor, The Nyack Villager

LONG LIST OF POST OFFICE WOES
To The Nyack Villager—
First I just want to let you know that I am a lo-ooong time Nyack resident and love The Nyack Villager. I have been reading it religiously since its first issue and just want to thank you for all the work you do to make it happen. Please keep it coming.

I am writing in response to your request for comments about our experiences with the Nyack Postal Service. Ugh! Where do I even begin? Any time I have mentioned the subject to other village residents, they have all had the same response: “HORRIBLE.” They then proceed to give examples of their utterly frustrating experiences. I was truly shocked to read (in the March Villager) Mr. Flood’s claim that Nyack does not get an unusual volume of customer complaints. Maybe we’ve just grown tired of being ignored and have given up. What a shame.

The examples I am listing (and these are just the worst of the examples, not all), come from myself, friends, and family who all live in the Nyack Villages (Nyack, Upper Grandview, South Nyack, Upper Nyack,) for between 25 and 45 years. We are not newbies and know that it didn’t use to be like this. (We miss Darcy!) Here goes.

1) At the posted opening time of the post office, one should be able to walk in and find postal workers ready to serve the first customer, correct? Not at the Nyack post office! Sometimes the doors open 5 or 10 minutes late, and then no one comes out of the back room to serve customers for 10-20 minutes after that. No joke. (By then, as you can imagine, the line is now already to the door.) As if it isn’t late enough, they now first turn on the credit card machine, so if you’re paying with plastic, you have to wait even longer. During business hours, only one worker is assigned to serve customers. Whenever you go to the post office, the wait is excruciatingly time-consuming and downright painful. Let’s not even get into the fact that the agents are rude and make it perfectly clear they don’t give a hoot.

2) Most of the time, my mail is delivered to my house only once (or rarely, twice) a week. After receiving no mail for days on end, I’ll find my mailbox stuffed or overflowing with a week’s worth of mail. The postmarks confirm that these letters have been sitting at the post office for up to a week. This has caused me to miss deadlines on time-sensitive required responses. My neighbors have all called the post office to report these occurrences, but as usual, it’s to no avail and nothing changes.

3) The mailman sometimes leaves the mail on the hood of the car in the driveway—and sometimes on the ground up against the garage door.

4) For the past five years I have been regularly receiving, and sending back, mail for people who have not lived at my address for a decade. Throughout these years I have been writing “no longer at this address” on every single one, then leaving it for the mailman to take back (which, by the way, tells me how infrequently my mailman comes. LOL) I have also gone to the post office to have this corrected but all my efforts have been to no avail as I am still receiving this mail.

5) Let’s talk about having a PO Box. First, mail (sometimes correctly addressed to other people) keeps appearing in my fiance’s PO box. This happens regularly. Nyack’s postal workers don’t pay attention and make it clear that they just don’t care.

Here’s a specific incident: Although my neighbor’s account for his PO Box was paid up in full for the entire year, due to some ‘payment documentation’ mistake on the disorganized post office’s part, the Nyack Post Office decided to terminate his PO Box lease without any prior warning. The PO Box is used for a local business so you can imagine the damage this did. No checks, license renewals, or tax notifications were received. What’s worse—all the mail that should have come to that PO Box was returned to the senders with the message that the box was no longer in service so, of course, no one tried to re-send. Again, the owner was never notified by the post office, as should be SOP when they have not (or think they have) not received payment. Had my neighbor been notified, he could have corrected the error and avoided the damage. When their mistake finally came to light, not only were the postal workers unapologetic, but they were rude about it. Now, six months later, my neighbor is still dealing with the mess that resulted.

6) For the past few years, when a neighboring couple go on vacation, though they fill out the ‘hold mail’ card, mail is still delivered to their house. They have called and called and called, appealed in person at the post office, but it never stops. The agent always claims the card is there, that they don’t know what happened but they will fix it—but the mail is still delivered. After years of this, it has become a joke. The problem is, it’s not funny. The accumulating mail announces to the world that the house is unoccupied.

7) Whether you’re dealing with your mail deliverer or the agents at the post office, there is an overall attitude of laziness, unfriendliness and even sometimes nastiness. They really seem to hate their jobs. I find it very sad for all parties involved.

I hope this helps your efforts to get to the truth about what is going on with our postal service. We need help and we feel that we have no options. You are our last hope to get them to make the changes necessary to serve our town properly (and hopefully like their jobs again!)

If my comments are used, leave me anonymous as I’m afraid they will figure out who we are and retaliate by making it even worse.

Thank you very much for your time and efforts in this matter.
With regards,
—Exasperated Nyack resident

DECLINE IN POSTAL SERVICE
To The Nyack Villager—
I received the March issue of the Nyack Villager in yesterdays mail, March 7. I used to receive the Villager on the first or second of the month. I had just made a mental note to call the post office on Monday and complain about our delivery problem when I read your article, Post Office complaints.

We live on Sixth Avenue in Nyack and in the past several months we have experienced a noticeable decline in mail service. We receive mail maybe 4 days a week, instead of the six days a week delivery schedule. On at least two of the days that we do receive mail, we receive other people’s mail as well. For example yesterday, out of eleven pieces of mail received, four were for another address. In the past few weeks our postman has left a note saying, “please get a mailbox”. We have a mailbox, but I guess he doesn’t like our mailbox. It’s the same mailbox that was on the house when we purchased it 21 years ago and has never been a problem until now. It seems strange to me that the postman seems more concerned about the mailbox than delivering the mail each day and to the correct address.

In the past Nyack’s postal service was great, no problems, delivery every day. Inside the Post Office there were no waits and friendly, efficient counter help. It might not be a coincidence that it was also run by women!
—Laurie Steinhorst

RATHER GO TO GUAM
To The Nyack Villager—
First our delivery service is wonderful—and no problems.
But rather than go to mail something at the Nyack Post office, we would rather go to Guam. It is slow, slow, slow…. Why does the postal worker ask me if i would like a passport today? (Duh.) Why does she ask me if i want to mail this large envelope by overnight express, when i have it marked Media Mail. (Duh.) When I ask why she’s asking me this— and do people ever change their minds and then pay for overnight express, she says…“yes, once in a while.” Hard to believe. Why ask me if there is anything fragile in the package, when I have Fragile Stickers all over the package?

it’s all amazing to me and so we go to anywhere else— Palisades Mall, Blauvelt, Nanuet, anywhere but the Nyack Post Office. Time for a new postmaster for sure.

Sorry to carry on, but it’s very frustrating to find services at Nyack, so we have stopped.

Please withhold my name. I still want to receive my mail.
—Name withheld at the writer’s request

VILLAGER LATE TO THE PARTY
To The Nyack Villager—
You are a little late to the party. I have been spearheading this effort over the past few months. My advice to you is not to take what the PO spokesman tells you at face value. If you want to actually report honestly on this situation and find out what is really happening, you should talk to me.
Best Regards,—Joe Carlin

7PM MAIL DELIVERY
To The Nyack Villager—
I was glad to see you addressing this problem. I live on Summit Street. Our mail has been getting later and later, arriving around 6:30 to 7pm. But worse than that, it doesn’t come at all. No delivery on our street. Calls to the postmaster elicited nothing but hostility and nonsensical excuses. Things have improved somewhat since the Journal-News exposé. If you publish this letter, please don’t use my name.
—Name withheld at the writer’s request

YESTERDAY’S MAIL TODAY
To The Nyack Villager—
I’m glad this problem is finally getting some needed attention. I have lived in several different towns over the years, but never experienced such terrible and disconcerting mail service until I moved here to South Nyack about a year and a half ago. I have experienced missing holiday cards, invitations, and even bills. I regularly receive mail that isn’t mine, which leads me to believe that my missing mail has ended up at some other address. To try to avoid at least one major problem resulting from this terrible mail service, I now pay my bills online to avoid late payments or other problems with credit.

My mail usually arrives late in the afternoon. One morning, the mail carrier was arriving as I was leaving. I commented, “You’re early today.” She replied, “Oh, this is yesterday’s mail.” Really?
—Ann Davis

MAIL GOING ASTRAY
To The Nyack Villager—
I just opened to page 4 of the March issue of The Nyack Villager and I can’t believe there is actually a write up about the post office in Nyack!

I do not have one good thing to say about this location!

I recently moved one block within Nyack, filled out the change of address online, and when I had not received one piece of mail in over a month, I went into the post office to complain and ask where my mail was. I was told by the supervisor they had no idea and that I should fill out another change of address form, and check back to see if they had found my mail. I did just that but still to no avail. About a week later my neighbor with a different address put a piece of my mail into my mailbox and on that piece of mail was his address, not mine.

I went back to the post office to ask why the wrong change of address was listed and I was told to fill out a third form to correct it with no explanation as to why it was entered in the computer incorrectly.

Long story short—about 3 weeks after that (now February) I received about 10 pieces of mail, dated from December dumped into my mailbox.

In addition I have complained more than once about the mail carrier constantly dropping all of the mail for the three apartments in my building into one mailbox. Whoever comes home first has to sort through everyone else’s mail to find his own—which is an invasion of privacy as far as I’m concerned. And it’s still happening.

I’m fed up and could complain for hours, but I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with an issue.

They need to retrain their staff immediately.
Angry and mail-less in Nyack,
—Christine Z

LIKE A TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODE
To The Nyack Villager—
I only use the Nyack Post Office as a last resort because it is, hands down, the slowest post office I’ve ever been in. I’ve left the line several times because I couldn’t take it. It often feels like an episode of the Twilight Zone! I go out of my way to avoid it.
—Chip James, Nyack

LATE DELIVERY IN CENTRAL NYACK
To The Nyack Villager—
My only complaint with Nyack Post office is that my mail gets delivered too late. I live in Central Nyack behind the Hub Shopping Center. I’ve gotten my mail as late as 6pm. It usually arrives at 5pm.

In the winter this is a hardship. I arrive home at about 3pm and have to to make a special trip to pick up my mail after dark at 5 or 6pm.

I was told there is a shortage of staff. Maybe that is the reason for the long lines at the post office. I also feel the staff at the post office is extremely slow and complacent.

Thank you for letting me vent.
—A. Rodriguez