Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ December 2017

Postmaster Gives Us the News

By Jacquie Bokow

Gabriel Hamilton has been on the job as Postmaster for Silver Spring only six months, but he is determined to “change the culture” prevailing at the U.S. Postal Service here.

“They have not been treated like people,” he said of his workers while addressing the NFCCA October member meeting.  Hamilton insists on proper procedures, including lectures about safety every single day.

Hamilton told us about a new development called “Informed Delivery,” where you can go online to the website, plug in your address, and see a photo of every piece of mail that should have been delivered to your home that day.  This is a free and optional notification service, but you must sign up to use it.

One meeting attendee asked about a barcode that had been placed on her mailbox; these also appear on several mailboxes in the neighborhood.  Hamilton explained that that had been used as a way for USPS to track its carriers, who were supposed to scan that barcode when they got to that house.  He said they should arrive at each house the same time each day (he worked 15 years delivering mail himself, so he’s familiar with the process).

Unfortunately, some postal carriers realized they could take a photo of the barcode, then scan the photo even if they weren’t there, abusing the system.  (It was, no doubt, because of workers like this that the system was used in the first place.)  USPS now uses GPS devices carried by each mail carrier that indicates where each worker is at any particular time; Hamilton can also check the entire route they took during the day.

We were all encouraged by the Postmaster to contact him directly if we have any problems or concerns about our mail delivery:  Gabriel Hamilton, Postmaster, U.S. Postal Service, 12010 Plum Orchard Drive, Silver Spring, MD 20904, 202.495.8937, gabriel DOT hamilton AT usps DOT gov.   ■

   © 2017 NFCCA  [Source:]