Outside boxes at post office can overflow

The in basket: I learned a lesson recently in mailing something at one of those drive-up mailboxes outside post offices, in this case, the one in Port Orchard.
One recent Monday, I happened to be returning a couple of Netflix DVDs shortly before 1 p.m., the designated time for collection of the mail in the four outside boxes. When the DVDs didn’t slide away from me into Box Number 1 as I expected, I reached in and found it so full that I could pull out my mail and a lot more. I put everything back and checked Box 2. Same thing, and Box 3 was just as full. Only Box 4 had room for the mail to slide out of reach.


The in basket: I learned a lesson recently in mailing something at one of those drive-up mailboxes outside post offices, in this case, the one in Port Orchard.
If I had thought about it at all, I would have said the safest time to mail a valuable letter in one of those boxes would be just before the collection time posted on the box.
But one recent Monday, I happened to be returning a couple of Netflix DVDs shortly before 1 p.m., the designated time for collection of the mail in the four outside boxes. When the DVDs didn’t slide away from me into Box Number 1 as I expected, I reached in and found it so full that I could pull out my mail and a lot more. I put everything back and checked Box 2. Same thing, and Box 3 was just as full. Only Box 4 had room for the mail to slide out of reach.
My wife and I went inside a few minutes apart and told different postal employees. Surprisingly, neither said, “Yike,” and dispatched someone immediately to correct the problem. Another eight minutes passed before an employee came out at 1:03 p.m. to collect the mail. A couple other patrons we alerted to the problem as they drove up waited with us to see what would happen – and when.
From now on I’ll make it a point to drive to the farthest box at those outside locations to mail anything, especially on a Monday or after a holiday, when mailing traffic would be the heaviest. You should be careful too. I doubt that Port Orchard is the only place this happens. A friend tells me the same thing happened outside the Seabeck Post Office in December. Still, I asked David Eberhardt Jr., Port Orchard’s postmaster, if he wanted to comment on this.
The out basket:, He did. “I appreciate receiving this information,” he said. “Normally we have someone go out early on Mondays and empty the boxes to avoid this situation. I am not sure why that was not done on this particular Monday.
“Often times it is not that the collection box is full of mail, but a small package or bundle of mail is dropped in and gets stuck in the chute. I will research the availability of a larger style collection box (with a larger chute that does not clog as easily) to replace the existing boxes.
“Thanks for bringing this to my attention so I can work on a resolution to this,” he said.

One thought on “Outside boxes at post office can overflow

  1. Amazing…I’ve never found mail containers full.
    Has anyone reported finding overflowing mail containers at other locations than Port Orchard?

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