Missing Mail? Have you checked the carrier's car?


As if Detroit didn't have enough bad news. Someone saw 37-year-old James Stempnik Jr. putting a bin of unopened mail in the trunk of his car. Investigators found more than 20,000 pieces of mail stashed in Stempnik's garage, car and home.

After reading this piece of news, all I wondered is if this guy is friends with my former mail carrier. Because unfortunately, finding undelivered mail squirreled away by the occasional rogue carrier isn't terribly new.

Something similar happened in my neighborhood in the 1990s. For months I received old mail as the post office worked its way through the piles of undelivered pieces, and was happy to settle the question of whether or not a cousin had actually sent a wedding invitation.

This seems to happen with some frequency with carriers claiming to be overwhelmed by the mountain of mail, directly contradicting reports of reduced mail use. The USPS is even closing stations and considering reducing days of service to save money as revenues decline.

So often we hear about the failings of the USPS. Slow and surly service, important pieces that go missing and the occasional mail carrier turned hoarder or even thief.

Sometimes though, there's a carrier who actually lives up to the old timey vision of what our postman should be. This one did, but apparently was let go from the postal service. I wonder what might be found in his successor's garage down the road.

Originally published