No matter where you live or what type of property you manage, your local mail carrier is vital when it comes to receiving mail and packages from the USPS. These workers must work outdoors, doing physically demanding work all day, and often face the danger of injuries from work conditions as well as from the environment.
In fact, postal employees face more severe injuries than many other types of employees who handle similar workloads.
Thanking someone for such an important service will not go unnoticed by your carrier. The good news is that there are several ways to show your appreciation for this overlooked job.
Keep It Safe. The stereotype about dogs attacking mail carriers is no joke but slipping and falling is another very real danger for the mail carrier. While it may not be possible to get rid of the family guard dog, you can reduce or eliminate the possibility of your dog mistaking your mail carrier for an intruder.
If you have a curbside mailbox, keeping your dog away from the mailbox will prevent any attacks. However, wall-mounted mailboxes pose another issue, as your mail carrier will be required to cross your yard to reach it.
If this is the case, consider keeping any potentially hazardous pets in the backyard.
To prevent slipping and falling, keep the area around your mailbox clear of ice and snow, and apply salt during the winter months. Ensure that all tripping hazards such as holes, objects and rocks are removed from the area as well and be sure to repair any walkways that may have damage.
During the summer, hornets and wasps could make a home in your mailbox, so ensure your carrier doesn’t face these hazards when delivering mail.
Provide a Convenient Delivery Area. No one wants to deliver mail in bad weather, but postal carriers are expected to do just that, while hauling a bag that weighs around 35 pounds.
Any carrier will much appreciate a covered space in which to deliver mail, or a space in which they have room to place down a heavy bag or handle packages. This is especially true if you manage a property that uses centralized mailboxes and parcel lockers.
Centralized mailboxes, which consist of multiple customer compartments in the same cabinet, and often parcel lockers, can mount indoors or outdoors. If indoors, ensure there is enough space for your carrier to comfortably navigate. If your mailboxes are outdoors, providing a shelter such as a kiosk roof, a windbreak, or some other break from adverse weather will be much appreciated not just by your carrier, but by your tenants.
Ensure that any centralized mailboxes are easy to find and reach.
For curbside mailboxes and wall-mounted boxes, make sure the area is clear enough for someone to easily handle a mail bag, and possibly packages (in the case of porches.)
Be Careful with Parking. If you manage a community or a commercial property, this is extra important. Guests may tend to park in inappropriate areas for a community and making sure that areas in front of mailboxes are labeled as no-parking zones, or for mail pickup only.
Being smart about parking arrangements will allow a USPS driver to park close to mailboxes and reduce the physical load of carrying a mail bag for longer distances. Allowing the USPS to park closer to shelter (if it is provided from the weather) will also help to keep mail safe, and be appreciated not just by your carrier, but by those picking up their mail as well.
If you have a curbside mailbox, make sure your guests don’t park in front of it, particularly during delivery hours. Even if your mail has already come for the day, it’s possible a package might arrive separately from the USPS or another delivery company. Though another company won’t use your mailbox, they may need to park in the same spot to deliver a package.
Show Your Appreciation with Gifts. Any job becomes better when you know that those you serve appreciate what you do. If your mail carrier knows who you are, inserting a gift for your mail carrier into your mailbox may be a good idea, so long as you make the nature of the gift obvious and don’t overstep your bounds. Stick to holidays and special occasions and be sure to keep the gift-giving professional.
Avoid placing items such as chocolate in mailboxes during the warmer months and avoid personal gifts that go beyond the professional relationship. Stick to gifts that almost anyone can use, such as travel kits and calendars.
Cards are another possibility for mail carriers and are a great idea when signed by members of an entire community or office building.
Be Polite, But Don’t Interrupt. Mail carriers appreciate friendliness. A hello or short conversation may help to brighten the day but remember that mail carriers have a job to do, and they cannot afford to be held up for long periods of time in conversation.
An exception may be when a mail carrier is spending some time at centralized mailboxes and will be in one place for long enough to talk for a few minutes. Even then, ensure that you are not interfering with work, and end the conversation when appropriate.
Making Your Mail Carrier’s Job Easier will also Make Your Job Easier
Whether you manage one mailbox, or manage an entire community’s worth of mailboxes, many of these things you do for your mail carrier will not only make his or her job easier, but yours as well.
Keeping mailboxes safe and convenient will benefit everyone, as well as choosing the right type of mailbox for your property. Centralized mailboxes will shorten a mail carrier’s job and reduce physical strain, and in most cases, tenants appreciate them as well.
To find the best mailbox type and setup for you and your mail carrier, don’t hesitate to contact us at National Mailboxes today.