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Service at the Post Office

Donald E. de Castro. Photo: VINO/File
Donald E. de Castro

“Too old to be intimidated”

We all understand why laws are made and in addition to the laws, regulations and policies are also put in place in conjunction with the laws. However, at times, I, like many of you are at a lost when we encounter situations with many government services that we find difficult to understand.

Since the passing of hurricanes Irma and Maria it appears to me that many people in government who are supposed to be the servants of the people and should be doing all that they can to assist the public seem at most times they make every attempt in putting themselves out of their way to make life more difficult for the same people they are supposed to be helping. Bear in mind that the people that we encounter are not the ones that make the laws, regulations or policies but are given basic instructions by their department head; however, these front-line employees should and must have the ability to use their discretion and this is a major problem here in the Virgin Islands as it appears that so many frontline employees, and, in many instances their immediate supervisors lack this basic ability.

Apparently, what has developed and has become, totally unacceptable to me, and thanks to the financial services market, no matter how long you know one, whether family, friend or foe unless you have a picture ID it is getting more and more difficult to do even the simplest of business with the banks and government.

Here is a simple example. We are all aware that a great number, if not all Post Office Boxes were destroyed or are not accessible therefore all box holders are required to pick up their mail at the post office. Here you are required to present your ID which is understandable but having to do the same thing six days a week makes absolutely no sense.

The reason for one renting a mail box is for their personal convenience, especially since there is no mail delivery throughout the Virgin Islands. Now with no access to post office boxes one must continue to pay full rent and journey to the post office during post office hours.

After considering this I decided to surrender my mail box and have my mail sent to General Delivery. Here is where I encountered the highest form of lack of common sense. Now that I have surrendered my box after more than thirty years I was told that I can no longer receive mail that may be in the post office for me that has my former box number since I no longer own that box. I then asked if the mail will be sent back the to sender and they said no. In addition, I was told that I should write a letter asking to forward all mail to General Delivery and pay a $40.00 forwarding fee. I am not getting my mail and they are not returning it to the sender; are they going to throw the mail in the garbage or burn it? I then asked to speak to the Post Mistress and was told that she was not in, I then asked to speak to her assistant and received the same reply. I have since spoken to a former employee who told me that one should receive their mail and should have three months grace period to receive their mail, giving them enough time to notify those with whom they correspond of their new mailing address.

Residents and visitors alike are always complaining about customer service here in the Virgin Islands, and, yes, in many instances, more often than not they are right. It is a common concern and talk among many as to qualification to do a job. Is qualification and ability the same? There are many people who may be qualified to do a fantastic desk job and be a great asset to their employer but put that same person on the frontline to serve people and they could bankrupt the same business as they do not have the ability to deal with people. I am not saying that all the employees at the post office are giving bad service for if I did, that would not be true as the vast majority of them are always pleasant and smiling, but there are one or two that need to be in the back and not serving the public.

12 Responses to “Service at the Post Office”

  • Joker (20/02/2018, 15:39) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply

    Espicially that Big Pig Miss S G******

  • ABC (20/02/2018, 16:22) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good points
  • The Watcher (20/02/2018, 18:02) Like (7) Dislike (0) Reply
    This is a good read, I hope the persons that need improving improve!
  • Diplomat (20/02/2018, 19:37) Like (3) Dislike (7) Reply
    Donald just show your ID. Why raise a storm in a tea cup. However, I’m flabbergasted that it is not as simply as ABC to redirect mail from mail box to general delivery. C’mon folks let common sense be common.
  • Concubine (20/02/2018, 19:54) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    This situation is unacceptable, heads need to roll.
  • Really (20/02/2018, 20:04) Like (18) Dislike (1) Reply
    I think we are really going backwards in this place.

    The man’s name is Donald DeCastro. If he has no mailbox obviously it must go to general delivery thats a give. So then charge him a cancellation fee for the box if $40 (not mail forwarding) and give the man his mail whether its adressed to the P.O Box or not at the end of the day his name has not changed and he is showing you his ID to receive his mail. His address has absolutely nothing to do with it in this instance, particularly since Irma has created so much chaos. Jesus somebody in authority please make a change so that we in the BVi don’t keep looking stupid. Jesus!!!!
  • I telling you ! (20/02/2018, 20:57) Like (10) Dislike (0) Reply
    Especially the thick black girl with tie tongue ! She does NOT need to be customer facing
  • Me Too (20/02/2018, 21:18) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have not picked up my mail since December because of that nonsense. I pay for a box because I want to collect mail on my own time. I can understand the ID thing, but WHY must I spend 30 to 45 minutes to hear - there's no mail for you, after they've disappeared behind the counter for such a long time. And I don't think it's no mail - I think back there is so disorganized they can't find anything. Employ more staff too. How can they expect to serve so many business and personal customers from behind a counter with 2 persons manning it?
  • Uncle Buck (21/02/2018, 00:00) Like (4) Dislike (0) Reply
    Great comments Mr. DE Castro! If you have a plan I am sure the government would love to look into it.
  • Always amazed (21/02/2018, 09:41) Like (11) Dislike (0) Reply
    For years I have been collecting my mail from my postbox and there would always be mail belonging to someone else in my box. I complained about this but it continued. I do not have time to keep returning mail that do not belong to me because the post office's closing time is not convenient for me. I would return them at the end of each month.
    I visited the post office one day last week around 8:30. I supplied the necessary ID to collect my mail. I paced back and forth and waited restlessly as I had to get to work. I received the mail around 9:00. I took the mail and rushed out the door as I was late. I checked the mail later only to see that among my mail was one that didn't belong to me. Despite asking for ID they are still not being careful. Suppose I had arrived to find a line of people,what time would I have left there? I believe that they can sort the mail by names and when you produce your ID, it shouldn't take no more than two to five minutes or less to give you your mail.
  • Perplexed (22/02/2018, 01:39) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    I mailed a letter to St Thomas in October 2016, it arrived there in january 2017. They said mail to St Thomas has to go to Jacksonville Florida first and then sent to St Thomas.

    Another time, expecting a package, I wenr to the PO every week, since november 2015, to ask for it and being told each time, no mail for me. When I finally got the package there was a stamp on it indicating 2nd notice, final notice, returned dates. These dates were all in january 2016 which means the package was there all along.

    I still have mail outstanding since last summer.
  • Tolian (25/02/2018, 16:53) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    The first time since IRMARIA I went to the PO and a girl which I never saw before asked me for my ID and PB#. She then came back and told me I must bring a letter from the box owner to get my mail. Well, that would be my husband who died 20 years ago, but she is welcome to go Johnsons GhutCemetry looking for the letter. I am paying this box over 20 years - we have it over 40 - and my ID and even the key for the box is not enough proof?

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