WALLINGFORD — Residents found out Friday that the retail service counter at the Yalesville post office has closed from a sign taped to the door.
The sign also stated that Wallingford’s main post office branch will close its retail service windows from 11 a.m. to noon for an employee lunch break.
The changes, which took effect Friday, are temporary and customers can still access their post office boxes 24 hours a day, according to United States Postal Service spokesperson Amy Gibbs.
“As we continue to flex all available resources, we monitor the situation on a day-by-day basis,” she said via email Wednesday.
Gibbs said that both of Wallingford’s post office branches are experiencing staffing shortages, due to employees taking leaves of absence.
“The well-being of our employees is our highest priority,” she said. “Employees are eligible for leave for a variety of reasons and availability is also impacted by our updated leave policies that allow liberal use of leave due to the current pandemic.”
Lunch-hour availability at Wallingford’s main branch will be restored once the building is fully staffed again.
“Like every other business in America, we grapple with the current challenges,” Gibbs said. “We will continue to flex our resources to restore full service as quickly as possible to both locations as we monitor conditions daily.”‘The village is up in arms’
An anonymous handwritten note, paper-clipped to the sign observed Wednesday, encapsulated the sentiments of local residents by stating in all capital letters “THIS IS SO UNFAIR TO THE PEOPLE OF YALESVILLE!!!”
Customers seeking answers have come up against tight-lipped postal employees.
Yalesville resident Linda Loring has an online business, and said she visited the Yalesville branch almost every day during the holidays.
“The village is up in arms,” Loring said Wednesday. “It’s a very, very busy post office.”
She added that her 86-year-old husband, William Loring, visited the main post office in downtown Wallingford on Tuesday, but he couldn’t get any answers there from employees after waiting in a long line.
Customers arrived at the Yalesville post office Wednesday to find the building still closed.
Wallingford resident Joan Nash said she noticed that a couple long-time employees of the Yalesville post office have retired.
“My guess is that they were just understaffed,” Nash said. “The P.O. boxes are filled every day, so somebody is coming in.”
Ivon Masse, also a Wallingford resident, visited the Yalesville branch letters and packages in hand.
“We can’t get our mail out,” he said. “Hopefully they’re open tomorrow.”Visit the website
Many retail services are available online at www.usps.com. Services on the web include purchasing stamps by mail, printing postage on address labels and finding nearby post offices and their hours.
The website also provides users with where to find collection boxes or face-value stamps at national retailers, like CVS or Stop & Shop, along with tracking information, an official change of address site and a landing page to apply for a postal job in Connecticut and around the nation.
There were more than 2.6 billion uses of the USPS website in 2019, according to the USPS statement.
“It is a well-tested tool for many activities customers may wish to accomplish at any post office,” Gibbs said.