After four months of repairs following extensive damage from Superstorm Sandy, the Bay Station Post Office at 2628 East 18th Street reopens today offering limited service.
Community Board 15′s liaison to the United States Postal Service, Don Brown, informed us over the weekend that box mail and parcel pickup services resume today. The retail service should be operational by the end of the week, he wrote, though that’s not yet definite. Until then, mobile unit operations will continue to provide service until the interior retail service resumes.
The station is open Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Saturdays, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., according to the USPS website.
Very few of us look forward to our trips to the local post offices. Many think of it as a special circle of Hell, featuring long lines of irritable weirdos, made worse by bad ventilation that gives the humid air a definite funk of moldy papers and body odor. Personally, I’ve never had an issue with the service itself, even finding many of the clerks friendly and helpful, but I’ve heard numerous horror stories that make me better understand the term “going postal.”
Well, complaints about our local branch have spurred the United States Post Office into action. After residents repeatedly lodged reports citing the “absence of courtesy” at the Bill Brown Post Office at 2628 East 18th Street, two new window clerks have been added, according to Don Brown, Community Board 15′s liaison to the USPS’ Consumer Advisory Council.
What’s more is that the new clerks – and presumably the old ones – have been provided a course in Customer Relations, to help ensure friendlier, more efficient service.
“It is hoped that these actions will help improve both the service and image of the Post Office,” Brown told Sheepshead Bites.
It’s no surprise that the problems of the United States Postal Service (USPS) have become unmanageable over the last decade and have led to its escalating economic crisis. Despite the record 213 billion pieces of mail it processed just five years ago, “snail mail” struggles to compete — especially electronically — and, since then, its volume has dropped 22 percent and its deficit has ballooned.
Part of problem is unprofitable post offices that continually take in less than they cost to operate. Consequently, almost 4,000 post offices have been targeted for closing, starting in January, including five of the 54 that serve Brooklyn. One is the branch on Coney Island Avenue in Brighton Beach, which has been targeted for closing every time cutbacks are proposed since 2009.
We get a lot of complaints about our local post offices. Keep reading for a rundown of system-wide problems that are at the root of local-level issues.