Mel's Mail Moments
CCAs - You get what you pay for
Hello, My name is Mel Carriere, and I welcome you to my first hub, where my primary goal is to explore all things postal. However, I am not so close minded to think that there is no life outside of the postal service, so don't be surprised if I deviate from the postal norm time and again. I will not be straightjacketed into rigid conformity to any given theme, but I will try to explore subjects that will be interesting and helpful for all readers within and without of the postal community.
if you are expecting me to wave the Union banner here, think again. On the other hand, if you're looking for somebody to rubber stamp management decisions you have also come to the wrong place. I believe that bad, unprofessional management is the primary reason the Postal Service finds itself in the straits that it is in, so you are going to hear a lot more about this if you follow my blog. I have been on both sides of the fence, and I intend to objectively analyze the post office based on all of these experiences. Nobody will get a free pass - if you are behaving badly I am going to call you out.
So welcome to my blog. All these things being said, we can get started.
The first topic I would like to discuss is the CCA, or City Carrier Associate. I have done a lot of work with these new employees since they first came into existence a very short time ago, and my immediate impression is that the post office is going to get exactly what it is paying for, which is not much. My first question is if the CCAs are all American citizens. One fellow I came into contact with barely spoke English, or should I say he did not understand the finer nuances of the language. Many of the suggestions I made to him were responded to with dumbfounded stares. I understand that the job can be difficult and befuddling at first, but letter carriers are required to understand all of the essential functions of the job, so a firm grasp of the English language seems to be essential. Is the postal service purposely hiring people with limited English skills, in hopes that it will encounter more blind devotion to its bad policies by people who are afraid to talk back - simply because they cannot?
Another glaring characteristic of the CCAs is their extremely young age. Before the CCA we had the TE, or Temporary Employee, and most of them were military veterans. I have not met any military veterans among the CCAs as of yet. In fact, the oldest CCA I have encountered so far was 23 years of age. The Postal Service is getting a very inexperienced skill set here, even though the job of letter carrier is more complicated than most people think. Perhaps because this is a very young age group, I haven't met any CCA that owns a belt. When I speak to the CCAs I continually reiterate the fact with them that they need to wear a belt in order to avoid losing their arrow keys, but my admonitions fall upon deaf ears. This is the generation that lets its pants drop down below butt crack level, and it is evident in these youngsters' attitude toward belts. Is the next generation of postal employees going to consist of butt-crack showing letter carriers? Will this improve our public image?
The next issue is money, and of course this is the most significant one. Along with a satchel, a letter carrier carries with him or her a sacred public trust, and my contention is the less you are being paid the less you are going to care. Easy come, easy go, in other words. If the job is not paying all of your bills, how much are you going to care if you keep it or lose it, or whether the institution that is paying you is profitable?
UPS and Fedex pay their employees living wages and are still able to clear a profit. So is underpaying the work force really the answer? Or should we perhaps try employing modern management techniques or better yet, modern state of the art technology? All of these factors will be discussed ad nauseam in other blogs, so stay tuned. In the meantime, why not take my poll below. I want to know your reaction to the issue of the CCA.
Until next time,