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Topic: So the deaf postal employee....

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dawgsncats avatar
Subject: So the deaf postal employee....
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 1:13 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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Didn't do any of the things the others typically do.

I brought in a PBS book to mail with a preprinted PBS label.  No postage already attached.  He had a sign at his window saying, "Hello my name is James.  I am deaf.  Please speak slowly and clearly.  How can I help you?"  He also had a big board with things written on it that you could point to (like "priority mail").

OK, fine.  So I hand him my package and point to the words "media mail" printed on the label already.  He nods recognition and applies postage, takes my money, gives me change and receipt.

Unlike every other employee in that same PO (where I always mail my PBS books) he did not ask if I wanted delivery confirmation.  He did not ask if there was anything fragile, liquid, hazardous, or perishable in my package.  He did not give me an estimated arrival.

Is he exempt from those requirements?  I guess I can't help but wonder if there isn't a better place for a deaf employee to work. 

nashvillethecat avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 1:40 PM ET
Member Since: 8/1/2007
Posts: 5,034
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Maybe he was new and just getting into the swing of things?

Alison-H avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 2:40 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 24
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The people who work at my PO never ask me any of that stuff.

drewsmom avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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I always get asked those questions.  Without fail. 

But we have a deaf (or severly hearing impaired) gal at our PO and I would have sincerely appreciated a sign the first couple of times she waited on me.  There was no way to know, until you were involved.  She is able to speak and, come to learn, reads lips, but I didn't know this the first time, and had forgotten it the second time.  I actually considered calling there and asking them why they didn't put out a sign saying to please speak slowly and with your head up so she could read your lips, but I didn't want to make her feel bad, so I left it alone.  But she still doesn't catch it all and people are repeating themselves and talking very loudly.  I get that she probably just wants to fit in and do her job, but a board with things to point to would have been a big help as I got wrongly charged the first time I dealt with her. 

Generic Profile avatar
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Date Posted: 9/25/2007 3:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2007
Posts: 465
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I would like to think that he'd not be on "the front lines" unless he were adequately trained.  Maybe he was flustered and forgot?

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 4:43 PM ET
Member Since: 8/29/2007
Posts: 78
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His placard hasn't been printed yet.  This is what it will say:

My name is James, and here is a list of stupid questions that I have to ask you:

  • Do you want delivery confirmation? 
  • Is there anything fragile?
  • Is there any liquid in this book?
  • Is this book perishable?
dawgsncats avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 4:49 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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Cute, Al :-)

Actually those questions WERE listed on the board in front of me, along with skeighty-eight million others.  I didn't even glance at it.  I wonder if TPTB think that people will just read the sign when dealing with him.

And, yes, many of my books are potentially hazardous....but that's another thread!

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 5:56 PM ET
Member Since: 2/11/2007
Posts: 808
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The deaf fellow who sometimes works the counter at my P O has an easily-erasable board w/ marker at his stand; I'd point at the words MEDIA MAIL on the PBS label, and he'd nod. I didn't notice any questions nearby, but with the APC I don't go to the counter very often.

Last Edited on: 9/25/07 5:58 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Coffee avatar
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Date Posted: 9/25/2007 6:09 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2005
Posts: 209
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I wish I could get hold of one of those boards, it might save my voice from going horse asking all those questions and replying to the same idiotic answers some people come up with thinking they're being cute.

mailgirl avatar
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 3/15/2006
Posts: 78
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Hmph... We have a deaf employee at our post office and she is an EXPERT lip reader! She ususally sorts mail at the carrier station but she also has a window credit and works the window sometimes. I am going to ask her if she has a sign like this. I felt a little sad when I read the comment about a better place for a deaf employee to work!... The PO stinks! After 18 years... I woud know! lol
daredevilgirl013 avatar
Friend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 9/25/2007 10:42 PM ET
Member Since: 5/12/2007
Posts: 2,755
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I bet he could tell it was a book, and since you have a sign to point at, I'm sure it said Delivery Confirmation on there somewhere, so you could have pointed to Media Mail Delivery Confirmation  and tahdah. The post office is not a bad place for a deaf person to work in, in fact, I see it as a bonus. They'll be able to tell a lot easier and quicker if something is wrong with a package, since they cannot hear, they can feel vibrations. So let's say someone puts a clock in a package without taking out the batteries, they'll feel the ticking (trust me they will) and know that something is up. This could save someone's package and also if it was attached to a device, a life possibly.

mobilemark avatar
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 12:03 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2006
Posts: 382
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I'm glad to see USPS employing disable person -(I myself I have aspergers)

and I always say look at the word DISABLE  and removed the letter "D" whats left  is the workd IS ABLE!


brcfan avatar
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Date Posted: 9/26/2007 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 9/18/2007
Posts: 11,613
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I ship packages to friends and family all the time and I'm rarely asked those questions.

Susanaque avatar
Standard Member medalFriend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 1:11 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,519
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Steve...it called a dry erase board and they can be found at any Walmart type stores!!

dawgsncats avatar
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 7:40 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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It wasn't a dry erase board.  It was a permanently marked board.  It was not for people to write on, it was for pointing to various phrases.

I hope no one thinks I'm being disapproving, because I'm not.  I'm glad they are making accommodations for him, but I don't understand why he's not asking those questions.  They were on a piece of paper in front of me.  All he needed to do was point at them and have me read them, and he didn't do it. 

I was glad they had the sign.  It certainly made the situation easier for both of us.   Generally it's a well-run PO counter.  My only quarrel with them to date is that they are always so busy and the lines are very long, yet they frequently take people with very large numbers of packages and keep the rest of us waiting waiting waiting....

Motleigh avatar
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 9:09 AM ET
Member Since: 7/30/2007
Posts: 4,275
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Last Edited on: 1/16/12 12:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Generic Profile avatar
Standard Member medalMember of the Month medalBook Data Correction Group medalTour Guide Leader medalFriend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,138
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One clerk at my closest post office always asks the perishable, hazardous, liquid question.  None of the others at this or any other post office I've gone to has asked them.  And I don't think anyone in the 30 years I've been using the post office has given me an estimated arrival date if I have a package that is already marked with the method of mail I'm using!

biancaneve avatar
Date Posted: 9/26/2007 2:46 PM ET
Member Since: 5/26/2007
Posts: 5,522
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I've learned to accept that they're going to ask me if there's anything perishable, dangerous, etc, and I'm fine with them asking me what's in my media mail package, too.  (Although it's a little annoying when I tell them it's a book when I get to the counter, and they still ask me all those questions.)  But it's just downright annoying when they try to upsell me to first class, priority mail, etc.  They're really aggressive about it at the PO that's closest to me.  I live near DC, so I think maybe they're paranoid about going by the book.

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 2:11 AM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 73
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They are probably paranoid because their boss is paranoid because his/her boss is.......

We were just told by our (new + idiot) boss that he will be observing and listening to us. If he catches us not asking all questions he will give us a letter of warning then disciplinary action. This is because his boss is riding him because a mystery shopper claimed that we did not explain the special services ( insurance will protect against loss or damage.......) In larger POs we do get shopped. Some district managers take it all very seriously, some postmasters cannot acknowledge that part of the failure might be on their head, so they find ways to be beligerant to their employees.

So, if you come to my station at my post office, Yes, I will ask you - just about every time. If you come there often, I will probably ask the questions so fast that you could not possibly understand what I am saying unless you know what it is already.(When I am running on automatic I have been known to ask when someone hands me a slip for a parcel pickup  :-} ) Or, I will add a bit of humor, or make a point about being "mystery shopped" Please understand that I am not being aggressive when I offer you Express Mail for you media mail item, and I don't really care which way you send it. It is just a case of CMA

dawgsncats avatar
Date Posted: 9/29/2007 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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I know for a fact that the location I visit is mystery shopped.  And FYI, the small PO's where I live are mystery shopped too.

Don't ask how I know this and we can still be friends, right?  (No, I don't do them.  But I know who does, ha ha.)

Every single time I bring in a book in a PBS wrapper I get asked if I want insurance.  I get asked if I want DC.  I get told estimated delivery time, with a comparison to the much-better estimated delivery time for priority mail.  Then I get the liquid...fragile questions.  Sometimes I get "Is there anything liquid.... in your BOOK?  (wink wink)"  But they always ask, sometimes acknowledging that it's a pretty stupid question to be asking me about what is OBVIOUSLY a book. 

Until yesterday, when I got Tony.  Tony's from Brooklyn.  I'm from Brooklyn.  The line was really long.  Tony's Brooklyn started coming out before I got to the counter.  I heard him ask the supervisor, "Who's in the back?"  Supervisor says, "Lisa."  Tony says, "What's Lisa doing back there?  Besides NOTHING?"  I hollered out from line, "Want me to go back there and get her?"  That got a good laugh out of everyone waiting.

By the time I got to the window, he took my stinkin $2.13 for my 14-ounce book that is too heavy to drop in the box thanks to that stupid triangular sticker....and sent me on my way.  But the deaf guy wasn't there yesterday.  I have another book order for Tuesday.  We'll see if he's there then.  Maybe they canned him for not asking me the questions.  Maybe they read this board.....oooooh I'm getting paranoid now.

He sent me on my way so fast I forgot I had promised to buy stamps for one of the guys in the office.  Sorry Brian.....

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/30/2007 1:01 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2005
Posts: 462
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If you had a deaf family member, I'm quite sure you wouldn't have titled your thread like the start of a bad joke.  You must not have realized how it might look to others, yes?

Honestly, I've read a zillion complaints on here about getting asked the questions, now there's a complaint about NOT getting asked the questions...these forums confuse me.  And amaze me. 

lilynlilac avatar
Date Posted: 9/30/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 3/6/2006
Posts: 3,070
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For the media mail books, I've NEVER been told a delivery date on them....but I'm frequently asked if they are perishable/liquid/fragile.  ?????

Generic Profile avatar
Date Posted: 9/30/2007 6:01 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 118
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If someone answered yes that their media mail package was perishable, liquid, or fragile, then they obviously would be abusing the system.

Maybe it's a good thing that those questions are asked??


Generic Profile avatar
Standard Member medalFriend of PBS-Silver medal
Date Posted: 9/30/2007 8:49 PM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,606
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I hand my stuff over and say

"Media mail,  nothing liquid perishable fragile or hazordous, and nothing but postage on any of them please."

The clerks grin at me.  They still half the time ask if I want DC (then say "nevermind") out of habit, but it does speed things up.

Breninithaca avatar
Standard Member medal
Date Posted: 10/1/2007 1:35 PM ET
Member Since: 10/6/2005
Posts: 11,072
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No one at my post office ever asks me those questions on ANY class of mail. Sometimes I actually have to point it out to one of them if something DOES qualify for liquid, fragile, or perishable, because I WANT them to stamp it on the package!

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