Bozeman Resident Mike Connell is just another person frustrated with the USPS on Baxter Lane.
“For the last three days, no mail—period. So, it’s really frustrating and I know the old excuse, we don’t have enough help,” says Connell. “My mail has been very sporadic. Sometimes it doesn’t come, or the next morning I’ll find it when I get my newspaper.”
Like many businesses in Bozeman, the post office on Baxter Lane has been struggling with staffing its facility.
In an email obtained by MTN contributor and Newsy National Correspondent Maritsa Georgiou, the number of applicants that were interested in working at the Post Office on Baxter Lane was extremely low. Only 11 people showed up to apply at the job fair. That is a very low number compared to the usual 80-plus.
Mike Connell is not alone in his struggle to send and receive mail. Other customers like Vicky Riojags are also having issues with receiving mail within an appropriate time frame.
“I had put a bill in the mail three days ago and it stayed in my mailbox, and so on the way back from dropping the bill off, I decided I was just going to come in here and see what was going on,” says Riojags, “and they said that people have quit and we’re not getting our mail.”
Other customers such as Geri Housewright have to wait in very long lines to send out a package, and there still remains some uncertainty if the package will even end up at its final destination.
“it’s definitely you are always waiting in a line, unfortunately; I know that they’re doing the best that they can,” said Housewright. “It takes a long time to get to the desk and then you don’t know if your package is gonna get there, whether you pay for the overnight or just send it out regularly.”
In a statement to the public today, Senator Steve Daines asked USPS to rectify the interruption as soon as possible and take steps to ensure that any future interruptions are avoided.
Senator Daines’ statement was also followed by a statement from Senator Jon Tester. He urged USPS to provide immediate relief to the community and bolster the Baxter Lane location with staff from other locations.
Bozeman residents are ready for a change when it comes to their mail.
“You know, the mail's motto is, 'No rain, no shine, the mail is always delivered on time.' Let’s get back to it,” Connell said.
Newsy reached out to the Postal Service and received the following response from USPS Strategic Communications Specialist Lecia A. Hall:
The United States Postal Service plays an important role in the community and we are committed to providing the best service possible.
Bozeman is a high-growth area and we are hiring city carriers, rural carriers and clerks, and utilizing resources from surrounding areas while we fill the gap.
These are great jobs that can lead to career opportunities with benefits, including paid annual leave (vacation time), sick leave, holiday pay, health care, retirement, and other benefits.
Last week, over the holiday weekend, both Sunday and Monday were non-delivery days. The mail volume to be delivered in the following days often exceeded the number of available delivery hours. As a result, we couldn’t reach some homes and businesses, but we delivered to them the next day. Due to continued staffing issues, there may be days when a customer does not receive mail, but we are rotating employees so those customers will receive mail the next day.
Currently, we’re using every available resource, borrowing employees from facilities across the state, and doing everything we can to serve every customer every day. We appreciate our customers’ patience and we apologize for any inconsistencies. For individual issues, customers also can go to our website usps.com [gcc02.safelinks.protection.outlook.com] and click on “Contact Us” at the bottom of our homepage, or call Postal Service Customer Service at (800) 275-8777.