You’ve got mail, but you might not be able to get it right away

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (NEWS10) — You’ve got mail, but because of staffing trouble you may not actually have it for a few days, says Bennington resident Janet Sempier. Sempier says before the pandemic she never had a problem. Even at the height of it all, she still says she did not have a problem. But now?

“You just don’t expect to get mail anymore. You know, mail is several days between deliveries now,” says Sempier.

Sempier says it started with her newspaper delivery, which comes through the postal service. And then, other mail began arriving late. “When I don’t get mail for a couple of days, I really don’t think that much of it except for getting the daily paper which isn’t daily anymore. But when it’s four days, five days, I mean certainly it occurs to you there’s a problem.” 

At one point, she went to the Bennington post office to pick up her mail herself, only to be turned away. “I thought, ‘if they cannot deliver the mail for me, it’s a quick trip. I’m retired. I have the time to go and pick up my mail,'” says Sempier, “and the response I got was, ‘I’m sorry I can’t give you the mail because it is not sorted yet.’ I said, ‘No problem. I can come back. When will the mail be sorted?’ ‘I don’t know.’”

From long lines to late mail, the United States Postal Service is struggling, like nearly every industry, with some level of a staff shortage. Sempier says her friends who live in other towns have no trouble with their mail.

In a statement, a postal service spokesperson did not respond to what may be troubling the Bennington post office. But they did say, “staffing levels in one location can vary from others…” and that USPS “expect(s) to hire approximately 100,000 employees from January 2021 to January 2022 nationwide. This number covers normal attrition and our peak holiday season.”

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