US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

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ponyboy
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US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by ponyboy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:41 am

I dont understand why its common practice to give usps delivery people gifts around this time of year? They are government employees, who make a good salary with good benefits. Why should we feel compelled to give them a gift? Never made sense to me.

PluckyDucky
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by PluckyDucky » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:43 am

To show your appreciation. Why else?

daheld
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by daheld » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:43 am

ponyboy wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:41 am
I dont understand why its common practice to give usps delivery people gifts around this time of year? They are government employees, who make a good salary with good benefits. Why should we feel compelled to give them a gift? Never made sense to me.
1. Hopefully this topic is swiftly locked down as it is not actionable and a petty grievance.

2. If this concept does not make sense to you, then by default you should not feel compelled to give a gift. So don't.

theplayer11
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by theplayer11 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:45 am

my gift is helping to pay their pension

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jhfenton
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by jhfenton » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:50 am

From the USPS:
Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy
All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.
I had never even thought of leaving a gift for my completely anonymous mail carrier(s) until I read about it a few years ago. I don't even know who would receive it. To the extent I am occasionally home to see a mail carrier, it is never the same one twice.

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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by Dottie57 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:54 am

TIPS- to insure prompt service.

The postman goes above and beyond for my mom. She has large packages delivered everymonth. He rings the doorbell, eaits and slides the package inside for her. Very nice man.

shunkman
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by shunkman » Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:58 am

USPS employees are fairly compensated. I would rather give my gift to a worthy charity. (USPS retired)

HoosierJim
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by HoosierJim » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:01 am

My tipping/gifting rule is for only people that make minimum wage jobs or jobs that are below minimum wage and rely on tips (such as servers) and especially not occupations that have a pension.

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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:05 am

jhfenton wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:50 am
From the USPS:
Employee Tipping and Gift-Receiving Policy
All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Exec­utive Branch. Under these federal regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount. Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year period.
I had never even thought of leaving a gift for my completely anonymous mail carrier(s) until I read about it a few years ago. I don't even know who would receive it. To the extent I am occasionally home to see a mail carrier, it is never the same one twice.
I've never even heard about tipping or gifting more than half the people that threads are started about on here. My local post office is literally criminal - they've had 2 employees prosecuted for dumping hundreds of pounds of mail into garbage cans since we moved in this neighborhood 4yrs ago - and I have had countless issues with delivery; there is no way I am gifting for continued terrible service.

mpsz
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by mpsz » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:09 am

My letter carrier misdelivers a good amount of my mail, and does everything possible to avoid having to deliver packages. I consider the taxes I pay to be a gift.

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lthenderson
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by lthenderson » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:12 am

ponyboy wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:41 am
I dont understand why its common practice to give usps delivery people gifts around this time of year?
Not common at all in my area. Do you extend tipping to UPS, FEDEX, Amazon and other carriers that bring stuff to you?

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8foot7
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by 8foot7 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:15 am

For weeks we would receive no mail. For months on Saturdays we would receive other peoples' mail. The postal worker delivers to a community mailbox, packages included, and I have to walk every day to a central location to retrieve mail. (That was the icing on the cake for a while--that mail was still misdelivered even when all of the community's mailbox slots were right there in front of the person.)

I will say lately we have not had as much misdelivered mail but I would certainly call the level of service we receive the bare minimum. If they helped with large packages up to the door or brought mail around in bundles on heavy days or even freaking delivered to a street mailbox in front of my house, that would be one thing.

But no thank you on tipping someone to drive to a single spot in the neighborhood and shove letters in slots. I'm good.

PLUS I generally am uninterested in tipping people with solid federal pension when I'm still trying to scratch together a retirement plan. That might be unfair but it is at least honest.
Last edited by 8foot7 on Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:15 am

shunkman wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 9:58 am
USPS employees are fairly compensated. I would rather give my gift to a worthy charity. (USPS retired)
That's very interesting. Were you a delivery person or "behind the scenes?"

I've sometimes thought about giving a gift to my delivery person, but the sorters are just as important, and so is the counter person, etc. For all I know, the people "behind the scenes" are the same 2 or 3 people.

And then, there's the trash - recycling people, but here it's a small closely held family business and I have a rule about tipping owners (and I'm pretty sure the pickup guys are brothers).

I have decided to simply not tip anyone other than restaurant servers and people who deliver and install heavy items.
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

hicabob
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by hicabob » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:22 am

Technically you shouldn't give USPS employees cash or cash equivalents for tips.
https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/ ... er_025.htm

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ponyboy
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by ponyboy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:22 am

So they are federal workers, and can receive up to a $50 gift.

My wife is a federal worker, and her department can only accept gifts up to $10 in value. It doesnt make sense.

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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by DetroitRick » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:39 am

I give my carrier a gift simply because I want to, not because I feel an obligation. It makes us both happy - that's the main reason. I don't care what others do, and most in my neighborhood don't give our carrier a holiday gift. My postal carrier is pleasant, has gone out of her way to be helpful, and has been with us for a number of years. Same with our UPS carrier (who I also give a cash gift to), for that matter. If I couldn't afford it, or no longer wanted to, I'd just stop. No big deal either way - I'm sure I'd still get good service with or without the giving. I feel no obligation - it's a gift, not a bribe.

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greg24
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by greg24 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:41 am

People give gifts to be nice. Do it if you want to be nice to your mail carrier.

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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by oldcomputerguy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 10:49 am

This topic has run its course (not actionable) and has been locked. See Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics:
If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here.
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snoberdale
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Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by snoberdale » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:29 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below --admin LadyGeek]

My dad used to give a holiday card and cash to our regular mailman who has been delivering for the last ~20 years. I plan to start doing it from this year onwards with a Visa gift card for $25 and a card.
Does anyone do the same?

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dm200
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by dm200 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:30 pm

snoberdale wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:29 pm
My dad used to give a holiday card and cash to our regular mailman who has been delivering for the last ~20 years. I plan to start doing it from this year onwards with a Visa gift card for $25 and a card.
Does anyone do the same?
No. I think I have seen some other posts on this topic.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by KlingKlang » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:30 pm

According to the Postal Service, federal regulations allow all postal employees, including carriers, to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas or a birthday.

Mr. Rumples
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Mr. Rumples » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:45 pm

Here is the regulation, carriers know what it is:

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/ ... er_025.htm

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Doom&Gloom
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:50 pm

Nope.

I have considered gifting the garbage collection guys some cash, but so far I have not done so. If anyone deserves a gift at this time of years, it is those guys imo.

jyoung
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by jyoung » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:18 pm

We used to when we lived in a more urban part of the city and the mail person came to our door. Now we give gifts to the garage guys because it's the same guys and they come to our back door 2x week.

snoberdale
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by snoberdale » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:26 pm

Mr. Rumples wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:45 pm
Here is the regulation, carriers know what it is:

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/ ... er_025.htm
Thank you! I didn't know this.

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by cleosdad » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:35 pm

snoberdale wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:26 pm
Mr. Rumples wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:45 pm
Here is the regulation, carriers know what it is:

https://about.usps.com/postal-bulletin/ ... er_025.htm
Thank you! I didn't know this.
I retired in 2005 after 32 years. I received anything from cookies to $100 bills to baseball tickets. They will accept and thank you for it. That regulation is so dated and useless that 50 years from now (if still there) they will be saying the same thing.

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ponyboy
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by ponyboy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:55 pm

No. They're federal workers with good pay/benefits. My wife is a federal worker and she doesnt magically receive gifts from random people out of the kindness of their hearts.

Also, this thread should be closed. I opened an identical one that "ran its course." Close it down.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Dec 17, 2019 1:57 pm

OP's Dad's mail carrier was in violation of the rules, and should have politely declined.
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by sawhorse » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:41 pm

I have lived in an apartment for many years and don't know who the mailman is, but growing up my parents always gifted the mailman a modest gift card or some sweets. Our mail guys were awesome. Never misdelivered anything, got to know us kids as well as the dog, always greeted us warmly.

One time our dog escaped, and the mailman brought her back in his truck :mrgreen:

shunkman
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by shunkman » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:44 pm

It might not be a bad idea to do a search before starting a new thread. Here's how I responded to the other thread on this subject earlier today.

"USPS employees are fairly compensated. I would rather give my gift to a worthy charity. (USPS retired)"

Ron
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Ron » Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:49 pm

Our mail delivery person is a contractor and does not work directly for the USPS ( https://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Contra ... al-Service ).

The route we live on for the last 25 years had many different delivery folks; some better, more worse over that time frame.

Currently, we have a mail lady that delivers to our street mailbox within the same hour every day, along with many packages to our front porch for the bulky ones to stay out of the weather.

However, she does supply superior service by giving our dog a treat whenever we're walking in the neighborhood, along with ensuring when we travel that the mail is held and not sitting in the mailbox for days on end. Yes, I know you can request mail to be held, but that was often not the case with many of our former contract drivers.

My wife's dog gives her a holiday card, along with a $25 gift card and two boxes of Milk Bones to share with the other dogs on the route :mrgreen: He also gives her another two boxes of MB's in the summer to ensure that all the pups on the route are taken care of.

She is truly providing superior service (or at least our dog thinks so!)

- Ron

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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:03 pm

KlingKlang wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:30 pm
According to the Postal Service, federal regulations allow all postal employees, including carriers, to accept a gift worth $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas or a birthday.
What I want to know is, who knows their mail carrier's birthday?
Ron wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 2:49 pm
However, she does supply superior service by giving our dog a treat whenever we're walking in the neighborhood
Bribing a dog not to bite you constitutes superior service?

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Hug401k » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:10 pm

Doom&Gloom wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 12:50 pm
Nope.

I have considered gifting the garbage collection guys some cash, but so far I have not done so. If anyone deserves a gift at this time of years, it is those guys imo.
My mother used to leave cold cokes out for the garbage men in the summer, back when they were lifting barrels and not the truck. I swear, they would take anything she left on the curb.

Hug401k
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Hug401k » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:12 pm

I always want to tip my normal UPS driver this time of year, but she disappears, replaced with contractors. I need to start leaving a July present. My UPS driver provides an extremely high level of service compared to the rest.

Katietsu
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Katietsu » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:14 pm

Garbage men that will take everything and leave the can neatly covered in place and mailman who go the extra step to bring large things up the stairs out of the weather deserve a sign of appreciation at least.

beehivehave
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by beehivehave » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:18 pm

I really don't think you should tip a government employee.
Same goes for gifts to teachers unless it is schools supplies for sharing with students.
Contractors are a different story.

merganser
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by merganser » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:19 pm

I gave our rural mail carrier a Starbucks gift card for $10. In retrospect, I should have gave her $20. I say that because recently I was in Starbucks and watched 2 children come into Starbucks with their mother. The little girls seemed to be so thrilled that they were being treated to this special place (to them). My postal carrier has 2 children as well and next year I will give her $20. By the way, the nearest Starbucks is 45 miles away.

ThatGuy
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by ThatGuy » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:30 pm

Made me think of this happy dance video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xQbHpyOcQM
Work is the curse of the drinking class - Oscar Wilde

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greg24
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by greg24 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:32 pm

Bah humbug!!!

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Barsoom » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:47 pm

My wife puts out a basket of snacks and water/GatorAde on the front porch for any delivery people who come by (USPS, UPS, FedEx, etc.)

She knows how much extra they work during the holidays, so she invites any who deliver to us to take a snack and a drink.

She will also bring the basket to the community mailbox if she sees the letter carrier at the box delivering the mail.

They are all very appreciative of the gesture.

-B

mlipps
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by mlipps » Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:49 pm

No, because my postal service is abysmal.

DaftInvestor
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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:04 pm

Katietsu wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:14 pm
Garbage men that will take everything and leave the can neatly covered in place and mailman who go the extra step to bring large things up the stairs out of the weather deserve a sign of appreciation at least.
I agree - if this is the case for you consider yourself lucky. Me - I have never tipped because I have never experienced these conditions (my packages are left next to mailbox to soak up the rain; I routinely get my neighbors mail and bring it over to them; last year one of my daughters never got her W2 - since our mailman routinely mis-delivers all the mail on our street I'm guessing one of my neighbors got it and tossed it rather than walk it over to us.).

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by jlawrence01 » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:13 pm

Yes.

All summer in Arizona we leave out two frozen bottles of water on most days.

And yes, a gift card for our usual carrier. She places our packages right in a box on our front porch in a protected spot.

This contrasts with the Amazon delivery guy who throws parcels over the gate, even the Nikon boxes.

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by FlyAF » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:16 pm

merganser wrote:
Tue Dec 17, 2019 3:19 pm
By the way, the nearest Starbucks is 45 miles away.
Do you live on the moon?

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Re: Does anyone gift their mailman?

Post by Nicolas » Tue Dec 17, 2019 4:36 pm

I don’t. It never crossed my mind to do that. Same with garbage men and paperboys. I tip waiters/waitresses, that’s about it, and only because of social pressure.
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Re: US Postal Worker - why give them a gift?

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Dec 17, 2019 5:31 pm

I merged snoberdale's thread into the on-going discussion. The discussion is not productive and will remain locked. See: Personal Consumer Issues
Note that this subforum has a much lower threshold for locking or removing posts than the financial and investing subforums. In general, controversial, offensive, pointless, divisive or mean-spirited posts or topics may be locked, edited or deleted (with or without notice) at the discretion of the moderating staff even if they do not otherwise violate forum policies.
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