anyone know a good u.s. postal service chat room or forum for postal employee questions

does anyone know a very good, well frequented U.S. Postal Service chat room or question and answer forum.......OTHER than this one?

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ttterkConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try  The "Forum & Chat" button seems to be dead, but the "What's New" button just wants you to sign in . . .
you don't really need to chat about it.....the AK-47 is still the tool of choice for going postal.....
nickg5Author Commented:
what is AK-47?
i am looking for a place where new employees can ask questions of the experienced employees. I can not access certain postal sites because I am not a member of the union.
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Hi, I'm a 28 yr veteran of the Postal Service. What question did you want to ask? Are you a clerk, or a mailhandler? Are you a casual, or PTF (Part Time Flexi)?
nickg5Author Commented:
equanb: I am a rookie RCA with a few questions.
Hi nickg5
What's your question(s)?
nickg5Author Commented:
1. when do "years of service" start? (after the 90 days on the job or one year since hire date(probation period)....or original hire date?......or when the RCA becomes a regular...)
2. I took the postal exam in April, filed for social security disability in June, got a local postal interview in my city in July, was non-select I assume (never got a notice of any kind), called back for an interview again in September, hired early October, still in the 24 hour on the job training, should begin substituting for my carrier on Nov. 8th, the decision on disability could come at any time, with possibly a 60 day appeal process after that. Since I would have to work 3 days at the post office to approximately equal the disability benefit and the income that you are allowed to earn on top of the disability, I may be faced with a decision on going on disability or taking the risk that my days per week will be 3 or less for years and years waiting on a route. i am age 53 so it is a little late to start a new career. I wanted to retire at 62 so if I did get a route by age 57, I would still be able to get in 5 years of service toward the pension plan if the years of service did not start until I got a route. Any way, my carrier said if you get fired because you are put on disability shortly after being hired, you probably would not be hired again by the postal service. right? She did say she was away of a sub that "quit" and was hired back. I doubt they would fire me but I could be forced to quit if I went on disability. and I am hearing nightmare stories about 75% turnover of RCA's and one of the reasons is you may work 9-10-11 hours and only be paid for 8 (my route evaluation) which is a discouraging part of it. And many other reasons why being an RCA is rough and will get rougher. So, quit and go on disability and pray they hire you back later, maybe years later, or pass on disability and maybe be stuck in a 1-2-3 day work week for years. And some RCA's wait longer than 5-6 years for a route. I am just going by what the guy that hired me said, that in 5-6 years alot of the carriers in my office would ,or would be eligible to, retire.
3. I really did not know about part time flexible or casual, and maybe one of those was the area I should have gone into until I knew 100% whether I would be approved for disability. I knew about casual and the word was, just call once in a while and see if they are hiring. I did but they never had any thing. And there is TRC, temp rural carrier which was an option i did not know about. I completed the training on the LLV yesterday and right there on the door was "now hiring casual" and I assume for the holiday...night and holiday and weekend work which would have suit me fine waiting on disability status. The two applicants in the office were Spanish and their English was not that good, so I may have had a good chance as a college graduate to get on casual or TRC or flexible part time. But, I am an RCA. (disability allows you to earn about $800 a month on top of the disability benefit, and that would be about 11-12 hours a week as an RCA but with the "you must be on call 6 days and the plan to train me on a Saturday auxilliary route,  I doubt I could stay under a 12 hour average per week, unless there was some way to have me substitute for my carrier on her day off which is Monday and other days here and there where my average income does not stay above the limits consistently. This station manager is supposed to be "hard nose and downright mean". He may not like me going on disability and I am not sure my carrier has even told him about my pending disability decision. The chances of getting it are less than 50% and the appeal could take 60 days and the reults on those is less than 50% even with a lawyer, so by then I'd have 2 months under my belt as a sub and they would know at that point if I was a decent employee or not.

So, now you know....when you asked me what my questions were you opened a minor can of worms.

and another general question.....pros and cons of joining the union....only about 20% join from what I hear.....

equanbConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Answer to question1: Your years of service start the day of service, if you are NOT a casual. This day is your seniority day.
EX. My seniority day is Nov. 5th, 1975. This is the first day I started as a career employee, i.e. PTF. Although, I was a casual for about a year prior to Nov. 5th, 1975, Those days are NOT counted when considering "years of service".

Answer to question2: Based on what I know of carriers and their routes, (Mind you, I'm not too familiar on carriers, having never been one.) You can not be fired if you are on disabilty to a point where it would refrain you from completing your assigned route. You can however be fired for failure to complete your duties as a carrier. I assume you are not a casual, so you are a carrier employee. As you are 53, I would not take the chance of a career as a carrier. I also assume you will be working in a small rural town, and not a city. I wish I could assist futher.

Answer to question3: One thing I know about the postal service, You are as good an employee as your attendance record.
It sounds to me that since you have a pending disability case, a career as a postal worker would not benefit you.

Answer to question 4:
I just recently dropped out of the union because the annual dues far surpassed the output of support from my stewards.
I'm a former member of the NPMHU (National Postal Mailhandlers Union), and for the first 18 years of my career, I was a member of the APWU.

I really hope I helped you in someway. I wish you all the best in your decision.
nickg5Author Commented:

nickg5Author Commented:
ttterk: I got that link to work.
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