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Secrets of the U. S. Postal System

Essay by   •  March 12, 2011  •  Essay  •  864 Words (4 Pages)  •  942 Views

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After working with the post office for 2 years I have realized that there are many secrets that happen to you mail behind closed doors.

My speech today is to out some of the questions people have had about the post office. A few of them that I will expose today is the history of mail processing and how it works, employee salaries, mail volume, and some random fun facts.

Did you know that the before the 1950's all U.S. mail was sorted by hand. It wasn't until 1956 in Baltimore Maryland that the first semi-automatic parcel sorting machine was introduced. Today the post office uses many different types of sorting machines to sort mail. These machines are called Vsorts. Not only do they sort but it arranges letters right side up so the special software programmed with it can read the mailing address of each envelope. It also puts an invisible mark over the letters stamp so the stamp cannot be reused. This is called stamp canceling. This machine can scan and sort 24,000 letters an hour. When a letter address cannot be read the computer takes a picture of the letters address and sends it to a Remote Encoding Center. Here U.S. Postal employees check and correct addresses and send the information back to the machine so I can be further sorted by zip code. If the letter cannot be read by machine nor human it is stamped return to sender. Occasionally there is no return address and the letter is opened to identify the sender. Most of the time they are birthday cards from grandma. They sadly get thrown away for lack of information. Any cash inside the card is donated to charity. This is why it is very important to write legibly. All sorted mail from one zip code it put into large bags and sent out to its correct post office.

Once it arrives there it is sorted once again and is placed in its correct route. The carrier of that rout arrives at 6:30 am to start sorting there route. It will take them about 3 hours to sort their route before they can begin delivery. The carrier has to have a good memory. Each letter carrier delivers an average of nearly 2,900 pieces of mail a day to more than 600 addresses on their route and it is all sorted by memory. They also have to remember what customers are on hold, or what customers have moved and have asked for their mail to be forwarded to their correct address. Mistakes should be minimal because 600 customers can generate a lot of complaints. From start to finish, depending on the size of the route it will take about 8 hours to complete. The mail is delivered everyday except Sunday's. Its motto is "Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds."

Another great mystery of the post office is employee salaries. The post office is the second-largest employer in the United

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