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Can you Give Tips to your Mailman?

The image of the hardworking postal worker is not hard to find in the United States. In fact, the mailman who delivers and picks up mail for you regularly might even be one such person. They brave all types of weather just to make sure that you receive your package or letter on time. To show their appreciation, some postal customers give postal workers a box of cookies or chocolates. Others go as far as to give them cash.

TBut is it really all right to give tips to your mailman? Or are you just tempting them to lose their jobs if the higher management finds out? What do the United States Postal Service policies say?

TAll postal employees are required to follow the Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch. In this rule, a gift equivalent to $20 or less may be accepted by the employee from a customer but that they may not accept more than $50 from any one customer in a given year. The policy further states that cash and cash equivalents like checks should not be given nor accepted by the employee. It doesn’t matter what the amount is, it doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas, the point of the matter is that you should not use money to tip your mailman.

THowever, this policy drew a lot of reaction from postal customers when this was discussed in the Postal Employee Network (http://postalemployeenetwork.com/news/2010/12/usps-says-bah-humbug/). Jan, for example, says: “My carrier is a dear. I ship lots of packages that she picks up from my porch. She is always cheerful, and she also checks on our elderly neighbors. She is so much more than just a letter carrier; she is part of our neighborhood. I appreciate that USPS has ethical standards, but I do think that if I want to give my carrier a Christmas present, I should be the one to determine the type and amount of gift.”

TDeb concurs: “I agree with Jan here. Our mail carrier goes above and beyond what his job requires him to do. He is friendly and is part of the neighborhood so what I decide to do is my business and NOT that of the USPS.”

TNH also believes that giving something to the friendly postal worker to show appreciation would be in order: “Some mail carriers go above just doing their job. Everyday since the day our mailman noticed that we had adopted a dog he has left a biscuit for her in our mailbox. It has become a part of our routine and our dog looks forward to my husband coming in with the mail after work everyday, knowing there will be a treat for her. I looked up this article because I want to give him a little something, just to say thanks. It [is] the little things that can make a big difference.”

TBut mike viehl has another viewpoint on the matter: “why should anyone tip a mailman for doing his job?they make a great salary,benefits,pension.jeez the attitude today is ridiculous.”

TWhat about you? What do you think about the standard that needs to be followed when giving tips or gifts to your mailman?