Did we anger our letter carrier with our gift?
December 19, 2011 7:59 PM   Subscribe

My wife and I moved into a new house this year, with a different mailman and a different UPS driver. Since we just had our first baby, all of our holiday shopping has been online. To express our thanks for their efforts, we bought some gourmet chocolates from a local chocolate shop for them, and left a nice card attached to both. Neither was accepted, just left sitting where we left them. Did we run afoul of some UPS and USPS regulation, or was it a crappy gift?
posted by tkerugger to Grab Bag (11 answers total)
I can't speak for USPS, but I have a family member who works for UPS and she brings home gifts from customers all the time. Lots of food, candy, homemade items, gift cards, etc.

Was it obvious the gift was for the driver without them having to look too closely/read a note on the door? They may have just assumed the gifts were left there for someone/by someone else and been too in a hurry to read any messages. Can't think of any other reason why the UPS guy may not have accepted it!
posted by biochemist at 8:04 PM on December 19, 2011 [2 favorites]

Oh, I should also add that the gifts are all handed to her personally. So it may just be a policy against accepting gifts that are left on the customer's porch.
posted by biochemist at 8:06 PM on December 19, 2011

I second the idea that they didn't know the gifts were left for them. With so many doorways to reach around this time of year, you might have to make your gift a little more explicitly for them in order for your delivery people to notice.
posted by xingcat at 8:21 PM on December 19, 2011 [4 favorites]

Even if it wasn't something they liked I'm sure they would have taken it and given it to a friend or family or something.

My admittedly not very valuable vote is for the driver misunderstanding that the gifts were for them.
posted by TheRedArmy at 8:22 PM on December 19, 2011

USPS workers officially aren't supposed to accept cash or gifts worth over $20. UPS drivers normally accept gifts and tips. A box of chocolates should be fine.

I would hand it to them personally though. They probably didn't notice your card.
posted by zachlipton at 8:25 PM on December 19, 2011

My mom actually just left a gift card for our mail guy out today. It was clearly labelled, and we've left him notes before so it probably wasn't that out-of-the-ordinary. Just make sure they know it's for them, and I bet it goes tomorrow!
posted by hepta at 9:11 PM on December 19, 2011

We run into this a lot. Sometimes I make sure to hang out in the front of the house so I see them coming. I think it's a combination of focus on "Drop-mail-get-mail... that's not mail, screw it" and maybe not wanting to be accused of stealing something off someone's porch.

But once I hand it to them, they invariably take it and are appreciative.
posted by Etrigan at 9:23 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

I am a courier but with the other big company, but you know, same deal. I'm sure they aren't snubbing you. I have received gifts left outside with a note before. People above are probably right that they didn't notice the gift as being a gift.
posted by Phantomx at 9:58 PM on December 19, 2011

Also I must add that things are VERY busy right now so it'd be easier for them not to notice.
posted by Phantomx at 9:59 PM on December 19, 2011

There are a lot of gifts being left in doorways this time of year, intended for the homeowner. Unless they had a big magic marker post-it saying "LETTER CARRIER" or "UPS DRIVER", I think it's safe to assume they never even really glanced at them.
posted by dhartung at 10:46 PM on December 19, 2011 [3 favorites]

I put an Xmas card with a $20.00 gift card in our mailbox clearly labelled in large letters "For Our Mail Person." (I'm never home when the mail comes, so I don't know what gender they are.) It was picked up and a couple of days later we got a nice thank you note with a Norman Rockwell Mail Man on it. There is a $20.00 limit on what USPS empoyees can accept.
posted by Lone_Wolf at 9:27 AM on December 20, 2011

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