It’s sad to see a carefully wrapped care package addressed to a UMD student get returned to the sender. But it happens. A lot of letter mail, packages, cards and textbooks get returned to the sender. We see so much college student correspondence not making it into the hands of the students that we, the Duluth post office’s Diversity Committee, would like to offer some suggestions to help you get the mail that’s coming to you. Here are several things that can cause your mail to be delayed or returned:
• No change of address on file. Mail will only follow you when you tell the USPS where you’ve moved. If you move and don’t file a change, your mail gets returned to the sender. Change of addresses can be done at USPS.com or by filling out a form that you can get from your post office or your letter carrier.
• No names on the mailbox. If the carrier doesn’t know who lives at an apartment or home, he/she can’t leave your mail there. That also means that if your girlfriend moves in with you and she’s expecting some textbooks, she should add her name to the list on your mailbox.
• Incomplete addresses. We need to know your apartment numbers. You’d be surprised how many times a package will be sent to an apartment complex addressed to someone named Johnson. There is usually more than one Johnson in an apartment building.
• Not shoveling sidewalks and stairs. Letter carriers do not deliver to customers that don’t shovel. Stairs that aren’t shoveled soon get trampled down into very slick ramps. Letter carriers like challenges, but we like coming home with no broken bones, too.
• Dogs not on leashes. Dogs love letter carriers. Unfortunately, they also like to gnaw on letter carriers. You might think Spot wouldn’t hurt a flea, but letter carriers know and are instructed to be wary of any dog and to not deliver if we feel at all threatened.
• Not collecting your mail. If you go on break, feel free to ask your local post office or letter carrier to place a HOLD on your mail. We’ll hold mail for you from 3 to 30 days. If you leave and you don’t have your mail held, your mail could become damaged by the weather or stolen. If the box fills up, the letter carrier has no choice but to bring it back to the post office and, after 10 days, return it to the sender.
If you follow these suggestions, you should get your mail day in and day out, through rain, snow and gloom of night and all that stuff that we letter carriers deliver through. We take our jobs seriously, and we seriously want to see that everyone gets all the mail that’s coming to them.
Dave Chelseth firstname.lastname@example.org Chelseth is a UMD alumnus, letter carrier, and member of the Duluth Post Office Diversity Committee.