Special Delivery

Time for one more bitchy post before Saturday, which in case you didn’t know, is Christmas.

A friend on facebook asked for help in what to tip her mail carrier. Now being a bitter and unemployed ho-bag, I decided to pipe up with “why tip them for doing their job? It’s not like waitressing where they make less than minimum (far from it).”

Another friend responded: “They perform a service to you, and your habits (catalogs, ordering lots of stuff shipped thru the USPS, etc) can make their workload heavier. Anyone whose job regularly provides a service directly to you deserves a small token of acknowledgment at the holidays. Even when he’s a prick.”

Another friend then asked, “What if you consistently don’t get your mail or it goes to the wrong house? should you still give them one?”

The friend who thought they should get a token still felt that they deserved something because it’s the holidays.

Okay, fine. I’ll give in on the idea of giving a gift and ignore the tip concept. But hell no would I ever acknowledge crappy service just because it’s the holidays. You mean they should expect it?? I don’t even think so.

Do you “tip” your mail carrier? I’m talking about the guy who is employed by the United States Postal Services, not your 12-year-old neighbor kid who throws the paper into the bushes. Do you agree that s/he should get something even though they might consistently deliver you mail to the mail box five houses down?

By the way, maybe mail carriers in your area are different from what we have. Our mail carrier drives up and down the streets and pulls up next to the mailbox and without leaving his car, shoves the mail into the mailbox set up next to the road, and then drives away without changing gears.

20 thoughts on “Special Delivery”

  1. Somehow I totally missed this post. As the originator of the Facebook thread, I’ll note that 1. we’ve had the same mail carrier for 6 years (and had never tipped before) 2. three of our neighbors are mail carriers (so I think we feel some kinship with them) 3. our dog barks at him incessantly every single day and 4. ours walk their routes — each covers at least 6 miles of road a day (and 5. I thought the “tip a token no matter what just because it’s the holidays” friend was crazy). In the end, we gave him a $15 Dunkin Donuts gift card. I did not tip our paper guy, who put an envelope requesting a tip in our paper every week he delivered the paper, but only managed to deliver it half of the time. Instead, we canceled our subscription.

    To Brandy: I have tipped the woman who cleaned my office every year (and the woman who cleans the bathrooms for the building and the guy who sorts our mail). I’m sorry the people in your building don’t do the same — that sucks.

  2. Late to this, but our postie carries the post to our front door on his (or her) own two feet, though it is only 10 minutes walk to the sorting office. We are stingy tippers in England and we don’t tip him (nor the milkman, though to be honest he deserved it more than the postie given the weather we’ve been having recently, since he delivers at about 5am!)

  3. No. It wouldn’t even occur to me. I don’t know my mail carrier. I don’t think the same person even does it every day. My thought is unless they do something above and beyond the normal duties required by their paying job, no tip is really required. (Are they even allowed to accept tips? That seems shady.) I’m not a big tipper outside of hair dressers and waitresses. I just don’t feel like a tip is deserved for doing your job. A tip is deserved when you go above and beyond.

  4. Until my sister put something on her Facebook page about this I had never heard of such a thing. She also suggested tipping her garbage man. Really? I guess I just thought that was their job. Maybe in town where they walk to each house but in the country where they drive to our mailbox and stick in the mail…. sometimes in the wrong mail box…. nope… not tip did I give. Does that make me a scrooge? Possibly…..

  5. I’m a little late to the party, but what else is new??

    I have never “tipped” my mailman, but I do give him a hearty “MERRY CHRISTMAS, Michael!! (I was almost engaged to his older brother and he was one of my softball coaches back in the day…)

    I don’t tip the garbage collectors either. We *do* however, offer hot coffee in the winter & leave bottled water for them when it’s 100 degrees in August. We’ve never “lost” a trash can lid or had the handles broken off our cans, so I guess it’s worth the extra effort.

  6. I have never tipped the postman or the mail carrier but I also clean an office and get nothing special at the holidays. Yeah, I’m a little bitter.

    1. I was thinking specifically of you when I wrote this because if people say, “ALL service people should be…” then I’d have to wonder why not those like you, or my banker, or my husband for that matter.

  7. We don’t have mail delivery – I mean people DO around here, but my husband would rather fork out the money for a postal box than do the cheap and easy (STEP OFF THE SOAP BOX, JESS) so we have a mail person, a very nice lady named Amy who is the postmistress here and gives balloons to the kids every time we go get the mail. So yes, we give her a Christmas card and a little chocolate something for Christmas. But money? No.

  8. I don’t tip the mail carrier, gas man, etc. I think they do a job. I don’t expect a tip at Christmas as a nurse for doing my job and neither does my husband as a police officer.

  9. Nope, no tip. She delivers our mail in “batches” – nothing for a few to several days and then a whole lot of stuff. I worked part-time at our mail processing plant many years ago and I know it is sent out dailly so she’s stashing it somewhere so that she doesn’t have to deliver it every day (they actually have laws about that depending on where it’s being stashed).

    People around here tend to give bottles of booze – our mail carrier was inspecting the label on a bottle of wine as she delivered our mail yesterday.

    Perhaps it’s the cold north element.


  10. we live in a condo, so I hardly ever see her, but I have never tipped a mail carrier. I do tip our complex’s main guard because he helped us with some crazy neighbors. I doubt my mail would stop being crushed in the box just because I gave her $20.

  11. We’ve never gifted/tipped the mail lady. We don’t even always have the same person. If it’s someone you actually interact with, maybe. If it’s someone you don’t even know, not a chance. I don’t care if it’s the holidays.

  12. Only one year. It was the year the triplets were born and I was ordering a lot of diapers and stuff online. The mail guy was super nice and always brought everything to the door and waited for me to answer. But we don’t have the same one anymore. In fact I have no idea who the mail carrier is or if they are male or female. Nope I think it is ridiculous to tip/gift someone you have no contact with and wouldn’t recognize on the street.

  13. Actually, I think technically USPS employees are not allowed to accept cash tips–it’s a government employee thing. (Cookies are OK.) So the question is moot.

    That said, besides the mail carrier we tip or gift nearly everyone, provided they do a good job. We didn’t tip the newspaper guy for years because our newspaper would only show up 50 percent of the time, soaking wet. But this year’s guy will get a tip.

  14. Nope. No tip. I think the gift idea is nice, IF you have the incilnation, but it’s not expected. I think a lot of folks did stuff like that when they had a connection to those people (milkman, meter reader, post man… “Hey Mr Fred! How’s the missus?”). My grandfather was a mail carrier in the Bronx (1940-1960s) ALL on foot, in the snow, uphill, both ways, etc…. He never expected anything extra but it was nice when it came. But I think it always from the people who ‘knew’ him. I agree that the idea of expecting something is bogus. It’s like the standing ovation. How is it special when it’s ALWAYS done?

  15. Our mail carrier is actually really nice and makes sure to do things like wrap a package in a plastic bag if it’s raining. That said, we didn’t tip her any cash, but did give her a box of cookies that we made.

  16. Our mail carrier delivers from his car also and he is a really nice guy but we have never tipped him.

    And yes, the more I order the more he directly has to work but the more I order also is job security for a postal employee instead of Fed Ex. Wouldn’t his job security make him ok with carrying more magazines?

  17. well.. I don’t have a mail carrier… I have a post office box… when I lived “in town” and had a mail carrier, I got a small token gift and $10 gift card for the mail carrier who was always pleasant, and would do the small extras- like NOT leaving the package cards and running like hell when it’s well and truly obvious that I AM in fact home and would like my package NOW- not two days from now when I have to pick it up myself half way across the damn city! instead of just ringing my damn doorbell and giving me my package….

    I didn’t tip “el hoochy” mail carrier either… I just can’t see myself in this life or any other tipping a woman who persistently spends 10 minutes every day trying to play “milkman” with my husband…. yeah…

    On that note, if they’re JUST doing their job- and not going the extra mile- they get paid for that! No reason to tip! They get benefits too! So, um, yeah… just my 2 cents…

  18. We usually set out a plate of cookies or sweets or box of candy but no money. But, if we consistently got our mail mis-delivered he/she wouldn’t get anything! Also, I don’t think anyone should get anything just because “it’s the holidays.”

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