Friday, July 13, 2012

Losing Dollars and Making No Sense

So, a while ago you may have read my post about how the Post Office was doing its part to save money by getting me a rock.

If the above sentence makes no sense to you, please read my post titled “Rocking and Rolling” - it will explain everything.

Now, since that time there has been another, more recent change put into effect in an attempt to save money at my local office. It has been in the works for a while, the process beginning before my post about the rock (and since then I have also had 3 other vehicles, without rocks, and finally got my own assigned vehicke back just a few days ago, but thet’s another story) but the effect not being seen until the beginning of this week. It’s called ‘Excessing’.

Excessing, basically, is when the Postal Service moves so-called ‘excess personnel’ around within the greater organization.

“You need another clerk over in Town A? Well, they seem to have a surplus of clerks over in Town B, excess clerks you might say! We’ll just forcibly transfer one of the clerks from B to A! There, problem solved, yes? The clerk now has an hour to commute each way, when he used to have 15 minutes, but what the hell, I don’t know the guy, right? Right!”

So, one of our carriers, JA, has been excessed to another town and the forcible transfer went into effect the beginning of this week.We apparently have extra carriers in our town, I’ll call us Town B, like in the example. Town A was in dire need of carriers, and so they got one of ours. On paper, I’ll bet this looked like it made sense.


Every single day, even while JA was still here in Town B, we have been in a ‘State of Emergency’, where to get all the mail delivered for the day we have to force people to work overtime. People who don’t want it are being forced to work it. They were already spending more in overtime than they would have shelled out if they’d just hired another worker. Now, with JA gone, we are, in a word, ‘screwed’.

Doesn’t seem like the best plan of action, at least to me, for a company that’s already in serious financial trouble. But what do I know? I just work there.

At the beginning of the week, realizing what a hole this transfer was putting us in, our supervisor got on the phone and called local offices looking for help. Our offices do have the ability to ‘lend’ employees between each-other, in effect making short-term transfers in emergency situations - sort of our own little excessing program. Post Offices can lend each-other extra bodies.

Here’s where it gets weird.

We got immediate help sent to us from another local office. The same day JA started in Town A, we got help in the form of an experienced letter carrier who came in to do, effectively, JA’s old job here. And this New Guy is from … Town A.

Yup. That’s right. The town who so desperately needed warm bodies that the District gave them one of ours now seems to have at least one extra person to send out to help us! It seems as though there’s some sort of hole in the logic used in figuring out the whole ‘excessing’ thing, doesn’t it? It looks that way to us. You could usually tell who in our office had just heard where our ‘extra body’ had come from by the disposition of their lower jaw: if their mouth had dropped open so far they were tripping on their own chin, they’d probably just been told.

That is on the District level. What seems even worse to us is the decision that was made on the local level:

Us: “Hey, we just excessed a guy to your town, and now we’re really in a hole here. Is there any way you guys could send us another body, I mean, if you have any extra carriers we could use?”

Them: “Sure. You just sent us JA, right? Okay… we’ll send you New Guy for a while. How’s that sound?”

Us: “That sounds great! Thanks so much for the help, we really could use it now that JA is working over there instead of here!”

Yeah. Instead of sending back, even temporarily, the guy we sent there which apparently gives them extra help, the guy who knows our office, knows the job here, and could have continued, even just temporarily, to do what he had been doing here, they sent us New Guy. Who doesn’t know the office, doesn’t know the job here, and can’t just step in and do what JA had been doing here. He can eventually, but it takes him longer, so we get to pay him more overtime than JA was taking. And over there in Town A, JA is learning his job over there, which means he’s taking longer to get things done there than he would have here… or that New Guy would have been doing if her were still over there.

This way, both local offices can shell out even more in overtime than they did before. Genius!

And here’s another thing: you may think I’m just making fun of some of the decisions made in my office, but there were two local offices involved in this one!

I… I… I think…

…I’m speechless.

Talk to you later!

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