TikTok is a great place to see how things work behind the scenes. An employee of the United States Postal Service (USPS) showed how the post office sorts letters. He also shared a public notice on what should not be sent in a standard letter.
The video, posted by the @secretsofusps account, shows a letter sorting machine going through hundreds of letters in the seven seconds the creator recorded the video. “Stop posting coins, cards, keys and jewelry,” the teletext reads, “This machine will rip them out.” The video’s caption states that these items can cause the machine to jam, which appears to be countless times has happened.
@secretsofusps I can’t even count the number of times it gets stuck because of stuff like this. There is a high chance that you will receive an empty envelope. #usps #uspsworker #postoffice ###uspsproblems ♬ Original sound – Shh Don’t Tell
The video went viral and has been viewed over 5 million times since its release on March 15th. The originator’s request to stop sending small metal items in envelopes sparked a debate in the comments section, with people suggesting that machine jamming was the postal service’s problem.
“It’s the company’s problem, not the people’s. We are not paid to accommodate all of you. You get paid to find out,” one person wrote.
Someone else commented, “Not my problem that you decide to use a destructive machine.”
People came to the USPS’ defense and wrote, “Why is everyone so pressured in the comments? Like- You can send a key or a card! Just use the right packaging. Envelopes are for mailing paper.”
The YouTuber responded to a critical comment in a follow-up video. The text in the video reads: “Great news! The post office has already figured out a way to accommodate small, rigid items.” They continue, “For just 30 cents more you can use a non-workable product [sic] Stamp. That way the employees know that they have to sort your letter by hand.”
@secretsofusps reply to @rose_23_11 Just use a non-machinable stamp. It’s only 30 cents. #postoffice #uspsworker #uspsproblems #usps #hotsauce #fishingline ♬ Original sound – Shh Don’t Tell
The USPS imposes a non-handling surcharge on packages containing small rigid items. The Daily Dot reached out to the creator via a TikTok comment.
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*Initial publication: March 22, 2022 at 6:11 p.m. CDT
Moses Mendez II
Moises Mendez II is a graduate of CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. He is a freelance journalist based in New York City and writes on everything from music to LGBTQ issues.
https://www.dailydot.com/irl/usps-worker-letter-sorting-rigid-items-tiktok/ USPS worker shows why you shouldn’t ship small rigid items in letters