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Criticism of Bpost: A mail carrier answers back

© Belga

One of the Bpost mail carriers exposed to a wave of criticism in recent days has decided to break silence and reveal how hard the job actually is.

Roos is 39, and has been employed by the postal service since August 2019. In the past couple of weeks, she and her colleagues have come in for criticism after Bpost announced it would only deliver some packages to people’s homes, the remainder being available for pick-up at post offices.

The reason was that with the closure of non-essential shops and the approach of Sinterklaas and Christmas, more and more people were shopping online, leading to an explosion of the number of packages being sent through the post.

But the online criticism concentrated not on the shopping habits of the public, but on the alleged laziness and fecklessness of the postal workers.

Roos told her story on Twitter where she explained her schedule – 100 packages to be delivered in four hours and 13 minutes. And then explained the many difficulties that conspire to turn that ideal into an impossibility.

For instance: six packages to deliver on one street, and nine minutes to do all six. Roadworks that aren’t signalled by GPS because the sat-nav is old and breaks down intermittently. Ten minutes to deliver one single package as a result.

It’s dark now, and there’s an address she can’t find.

“I didn’t see a house number and the sequence of numbers was wrong. Cursing under my breath. I rang a few neighbours, to no avail. I registered in my mobi [a hand-held computer] ‘address not found’ and continued my route.”

When her rounds were finished, her conscience gets the better of her good sense.

I don’t want there to be a complaint, so I went back to the street. After 10 minutes of searching I found the address. I asked the man if the address was correct and pointed out the lack of a house number and name on the front door. ‘But it’s on my letterbox,’ the man snapped. In tiny letters, though. I could have saved myself fifteen minutes. After a day without a break. Lunch in the car.”

Finally, she clocks off after five hours and 40 minutes, one hour and 27 minutes late, on one single day.

As a result, Roos has decided to look for other work, she told Het Laatste Nieuws.

It’s a shame because I enjoy doing the job,” she said. “There is nothing better than seeing the sun rise every day during your newspaper round. You can ask any postman that. That is never boring.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times