The Small Issue of My Mail Delivery

As the title suggests, this is not an issue of much consequence, relative to big world issues.  It’s just been in the background, the periphery, of my life recently.  I live in the city, in a neighborhood that I love.  I have been here 9 years, and I am grateful I’ve been so fortunate to be able to own this home.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but to me it is.  I am a woman who bought a home with no one else. I didn’t have a partner, or help from wealthy parents.  I saved up the down payment, looked at houses, and signed every paper, with the pen my firm gave me, for my 5 work anniversary working for them.

It’s been an unexpected sense of pride, that I bought this house and own it. I pay the mortgage and property taxes.  I do the required maintenance on the gutters, furnace, etc. I try to take care of my lawn and garden (Unfortunately, I do not have my Grandma’s green thumb.). It’s been a labor of love, upgrading this house, making it my own, and budgeting to take care of it, which is not always easy.

Every once in a while, I get mail for the person who lived here before me, who is now deceased.  Once in a great while, I get mail that might be for someone else or a name similar to the previous owner. I generally write on the envelope “deceased” or “does not live here”. It always gets taken away.  At least it used to.  Recently, I wrote on a piece of mail ” Does not live here”.  The next day, I was shocked to see the envelope was left in my mailbox and more writing was added.  It said, “Who Does? Put name/s on box.”

(addressee blocked out for privacy)

I was dumbfounded. I loved my mail carriers. They were always nice, delivered well, and they waved even when they were 1/2 down the block and I was driving by or walking. This guy had to be new.  Who did he think he was, telling me I had to put my name on my house? This is my home! I decide whether my name is plastered on it, for any passersby to see, or not to deface my property.

This pissed me off, but I put it aside. He comes by, before I come home. I see him on my Ring monitor, but I’m working, so that’s not ideal for discussing this with him.  Eventually, I decided I would write him a quick note to express my disappointment and explain that this was inappropriate. This is what the note said:

This is entirely inappropriate. I have owned this home for 9 years. I am not required to advertise my name on my house. I have never had an issue marking incorrect maii in this manner. Please send this back.
Thank you.


I put it on top of the envelope, and hope he realizes this is not cool.  I certainly did not expect that he would write an entire note back to me, on the back of the note I left him.

This is that reply: 

Hi, I can see your are confused as to why I asked for your mailbox to be labeled. I’m new to this route and I’m trying to learn the names. When people kick back a letter I simply request the box be labeled so we don’t waste each others time w/ mail thats not yours. I have asked dozens of people and you are the only one pushing back on this. Sorry to offend you.

Now I am just infuriated.  Are you kidding me? I’m confused? I don’t think so. You’ve done this to dozens of people and that’s a good thing? What do I have to do, to put this seemingly nothing of an issue, to rest? I considered filing a complaint with the post office, but I was hesitant. Postal workers have tough jobs and I don’t want to give him a hard time.  In the same respect, I don’t deserve this, and I’m getting frustrated because this is my home. No one should be able to tell me what to put on it.

I even looked up postal regulations. I doesn’t say anything about putting your name, and for the record, the number of my address is on a pillar on my porch, in line with my mailbox, in big numbers. You could make the argument that it’s not on my mailbox, as my mailbox is an old fashioned milk door, on the side of my house. This is not the argument he is making.

Then, I check my mailbox and he f%^king put a label on the top of my mailbox door, with my motherf$%king name on it.  Are you kidding me, right now?


(my name blocked out)

This is my house! I 1/2 wanted to report him to the police for defacing my property. How dare he? What does he not get about this being my home, my property, and him being so out of line?

I decided I needed to report this to the USPS.  It’s a bit cumbersome filling out the form for this report, and I couldn’t attach any pictures, to document the situation, which is what made me want to write this completely random post about these unexpected troubles I’m having with my new letter carrier.

This is what I wrote in the box for describing the issue:

I’ve owned my home for 9 years, and always had great letter carriers. Recently I wrote on an envelope that the recipient didn’t live here.  The new carrier wrote on the envelope asking who did live here and that I should label my mailbox. He left the envelope. I wrote a note back that this was unprofessional and I am not required to put my name on my house. This is a privacy concern. He wrote back that he’s new to the route and that I needed to help him by telling him who lived here. Then he stuck a label with my name on my mailbox. I need someone to explain to him that this is unacceptable behavior and to knock it off. I can accept mail for anyone at my home, even if they don’t live here. I am not required to put a sign saying who I take mail for. I am allowed to put a note on mail that is not accepted at my address, to return to sender.  Clearly he does not respect this.

If he defaces my property again, I will file a report with the police. He doesn’t pay my mortgage or property taxes. He has no right to put labels on my mailbox, and it is frustrating that he did not just take the mail and move on.  Please deal with this. I have loved the mail carriers I had before, and they never had trouble with this.  Please re-train this carrier, or take him off my route.

So, now I’m wondering. Should I report this to the police, in case he takes it further? Am I making this more than it is?  I am looking for input.  Part of me feels this is a non-issue, but I removed the label he left, and now I don’t know what he might do next. I’m frustrated, and wondering if I even should be.  I’m hoping I will get some feedback, from anyone who thinks I am right to be upset, and those who think I am not. Should I have left the note, and taken the steps I have taken? Is reporting him to the police necessary?

Thanks for your input.


Update: I got a call from the Station Manager, for the station where my mail goes through. He asked me to describe what had happened. He then said it was completely inappropriate, from the moment the letter carrier wrote on the envelope. He also let me know that this letter carrier is no longer working for the station and is now at another station. I recommended that the new station might want to submit him for some re-training. The manager said it was just completely inappropriate and should never have happened. He also thanked me for reporting it. I thanked him for calling me. 

I really appreciated that they didn’t just email me, but he called and personally addressed my issues.  Postal workers are incredibly busy and I have the highest respect for their work.  My regular carrier is back on my route, and she is fantastic. I hope the new carrier, will learn to respect the right of home owners to decide how their mail is delivered, and how their house is or is not marked. 

Owning a home is a pride I never realized I would feel. I just thought it would be a matter of fact thing.  I quickly saw that the effort of caring for a home, beyond just paying the mortgage, builds a sense of pride in the owner, at least for me.  We have our arguments, me and my personified abode, but overall I am proud that I saved up, and bought this house all on my home. 

I recall that when I was nearing the closing, I was terrified I would somehow end up over my head and lose the house in like 2 years. Having just passed 9 years of home ownership, I feel like I know myself more.  I have figured out solutions, learned to budget, learned what I like and don’t like, and I keep learning.  I love the quirks of my house, including my mailbox, which happens to be an old fashioned milk door.  I look forward to receiving mail, from awesome letter carriers, for years to come.

The end!