Sunday, September 11, 2011


Would you believe the U.S. Postal Service, which lost a whopping $8.5 billion in 2010, spends millions of dollars a year paying thousands of employees to do absolutely nothing?  It's the truth.

"This is called standby time, and occurs when workers are idled but paid due to reassignments and reorganization efforts," according to the Postal Service's Office of Inspector General.

Where else could you get paid a decent salary for sitting in an empty room, doing absolutely nothing?

Cost of Standby Time
Standby time cost the Postal Service about $30.9 million in 2009, the equivalent of some 1.2 million hours. The semi-independent government agency paid out $22 million in 2010 in standby time, according to the Office of Inspector General.

Standby time represents a relatively small portion of the overall work done by the Postal Service. Still, it's about the same as having more than 1,000 workers on the clock but not having anything for them to do.

See also: Find Postal Service Jobs Without Being Scammed

"Although reducing standby hours remains a top management priority, it is small relative to overall work hours and does not take away from the substantial progress made in reducing work hours," the Inspector General's Office said in a 2011 report.

In 2010, for example, the 1.4 million hours of standby time represented less than 1 percent of the 1.18 billion work hours put in by Postal Service employees.

How Standby Time Works 
The Postal Service cannot simply lay off employees because of declining mail volume under its contracts with the major labor unions.

So workers impacted by such slowdowns report to work, but sit around in conference rooms, break rooms and occasionally 12-foot-by-8-foot storage closets, according to a 2009 report by Federal Times. The Postal Service reportedly calls those rooms "resource rooms." Employees who resent being bored refer to them derisively as "holding pens."

"The Postal Service records standby hours for career bargaining unit employees who are guaranteed work hours, as required by applicable national labor agreements, when there is insufficient work available," according to the Office of Inspector General.

"Standby time is used for unplanned impacts that effect employee complement, unplanned, low-work-volume periods on a particular day or days; or other unplanned events such as equipment breakdown."

Standby Time Policies

Nonetheless, Postal Service managers have said their hands are tied when it comes to standby time. "Volume has dropped, we don't get the same mail receipts we used to get, and our overtime is already pretty much nil," Edward Jackson, the plant manager at the mail processing facility in Washington, D.C., told Federal Times. "But we still have to keep them in a pay status. So we put them in the standby rooms."


  1. Where else? Schools. Plants of all sorts.

  2. Everything the government touches turns to crape. The dimwited Democrats want the government to do more.

  3. Chris, this is more a union item than a govt item.

    But then again if one chooses to sleep with, with, oh the devil, well one should probably expect to feel the prod in the night? Oh well, I think ya git the drift.

    Got a friend that spent a bunch of time at GM, as a union member. Unions were good to him for a very long time. Then as things got tough, the bosses still got all their shit, but, now retired, he was not getting his shit. Still is not today, big surprise because the unions are now having to pick up the bill they used to force the company to pay.

    The Post office has phuked themselves. Its taken years but they did it, to themselves by themselves. (remember they are not a function of govt)! But they will in an instant perform for any govt agency that makes a request, bow to every desie or request, fuck your rights, they will change the rules if need be.

    I've a post master out of the darkened ages. He thinks it's his responsibility to actually send a change of address to my got daaume credit card companies. Which I care about but not really, they already had it. But the fucker delivers CRITICAL mail to the old place! Anything from a formal or governmental sender will show up in the address 4 miles away! Everything else, no matter how addressed is delivered to where I live!

    I have lodged three formal complaints against him, even met with him face to face. Can but shake me head at this point and know that I know his game and play it.

    USPS is a well defined and run UNION shop. Funded by the citizens as in the right bar on the page of your choice. But not a function of govt.

    A visual of the mentality.

  4. Remember this flub? Even Obama accidentally said the post office was screwed up!