To bide her time during quarantine, 11-year-old Jillian Wuertz and a friend hatched a quaint plan. They would become pen pals. They both live in Bakersfield but the anticipation of a letter in the mailbox, reading the-stream-of-thought-styled passages, penning exclamation points and smiley faces, seemed exciting.

Jillian fired off the first letter the same day the two discussed the idea in May. And then she waited. And waited.

A few weeks later she sent another letter and later learned both letters were delivered to her friend the same day.

The pair exchanged a few more letters, some subject to similar but not as lengthy delays, before the concept seemed to lose its luster.

When she went to write the most recent letter, she seemed a bit exasperated.

"Can I just FaceTime her?" she asked her mom. "I feel like it’s just quicker to FaceTime with her."

Jillian is one of many who has had odd, disappointing or frustrating experiences with the U.S. Postal Service lately. The USPS has said on its website that delivery times have been impacted by "limited transportation availability" but it has also been revealed that new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has implemented a plan to increase efficiency and cut costs that could also be partly to blame. There have also been widespread reports of delays in mail-order prescriptions and rotting food and dead baby chicks (often shipped from rural farmers immediately after they hatch) at postal facilities.

Bakersfield resident Jason Sperber posted on Facebook earlier this week that a birthday card he mailed his father in Los Angeles earlier this month took two weeks to get there and had been postmarked in Louisville, Ky. A second birthday card from Sperber's daughters, mailed the same day, arrived Aug. 5.

"What?!! I’m so confused," he wrote.

Friends commenting on his post shared similar experiences. Sara Chan Pettiford said a package she sent to her nephew in North Hollywood in a flat-rate priority box had somehow wound up in Atlanta, according to the tracking information on the USPS website.

The most recent update available as of Friday was from Aug. 11. It said: "Your package will arrive later than expected, but is still on its way. It is currently in transit to the next facility."

Pettiford said Friday she is also still waiting on a package she ordered from Amazon.

Another woman commenting on Sperber's post said a package she was expecting from Riverside County took a seven-day detour through Lenexa, Kan., before it arrived back in California and eventually arrived in Bakersfield 12 days after it was shipped. She posted an image of the tracking to corroborate the story.

The hiccups appear to be the result of a double whammy impacting the Postal Service.

COVID-19 created a deluge of parcels as people migrated to online shopping and also sickened some postal workers. At the same time, a major cost-cutting plan was being implemented by DeJoy that eliminated overtime and mothballed some sorting machines.

The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Postal Service workers in Santa Clarita had noticed in July that some automated sorting machines had been removed from service and a worker in Tehachapi said trucks were now leaving at night before all the day's mail had been processed.

In 2014, the USPS moved local mail processing operations from the Bakersfield Processing & Distribution Center on Pegasus Drive to Santa Clarita, meaning even if a letter was being sent to an address in town, it still traveled to Santa Clarita first.

Postal officials last week had little to say when asked about the mail delivery issues encountered by locals.

"The COVID-19 pandemic has led to heavy parcel volumes as customers continue to place online orders of essential items as they shelter in place," said Meiko S. Patton, a USPS spokeswoman based in Sacramento. "Our employees are working diligently to keep up with the increased volume. We are flexing our available resources to match the workload and appreciate the patience of our customers and the efforts of employees as conditions change on a day-to-day basis."

During congressional testimony Friday, DeJoy assured lawmakers that November elections would run smoothly and ensured timely delivery of mail-in ballots but conceded a plan to do so was not yet complete. Though he has agreed to stall further cost-cutting measures until after the elections, he refused during testimony to restore measures that had already been implemented.

Rep. Kevin McCarthy's office reported no increase in calls related to the Postal Service.

“The issues with the USPS have been going on for years, and predates both this administration and the current postmaster general who just took the post a few months ago," McCarthy said in a statement. "I am extremely confident that Mr. DeJoy, who previously served as the CEO of a logistics company that supported Postal Service operations, is the right man for the job and will tackle these long-term problems head-on.”

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(47) comments

Masked 2020

she does have have her mothers gift to gab........‘I’M [DEVASTATED] THAT MY MOTHER IS ACTUALLY SPEAKING AT THE RNC. LIKE DEVASTATED BEYOND COMPARE… I’M OFFICIALLY PUSHING FOR EMANCIPATION. BUCKLE UP BECAUSE THIS IS PROBABLY GOING TO BE PUBLIC ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, UNFORTUNATELY. WELCOME TO MY LIFE… MY MOTHER’S JOB RUINED MY LIFE TO BEGIN WITH. HEARTBREAKING THAT SHE CONTINUES TO GO DOWN THAT PATH AFTER YEARS OF WATCHING HER CHILDREN SUFFER. SELFISH. IT’S ALL ABOUT MONEY AND FAME, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN.’.....from the "Bipartisan Report"

Masked 2020

everyone NakedDon touches becomes a RealityShow star.........Kellyanne Conway’s Trump-hating daughter is apparently ready for a new family. “I’m officially pushing for emancipation. Buckle up because this is probably going to be public one way or another, unfortunately. Welcome to my life,” 15-year-old Claudia Conway tweeted Saturday night. Left-leaning Claudia has been openly feuding with her parents on TikTok and Twitter all summer, bashing them for their conservative views. At one point she urged progressive Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to adopt her....NY Post...

Zeppo

I think the National Enquirer is looking for a gossip columnist. You may want to apply.

Masked 2020

Sorry Zippy.....your American Idol is Who he is ...Dial 666 and Vote........your are Free 2 Vote for NakedDon and MaskedMike202O....its your choice.....Free 4 Today .......maybe... probably not in 2024 if you survive his pandemic and he gets Bingo .......Harris-Sleepy Joe 2020......

Zeppo

You should be smart, like Leo Terrell, who switched parties.

Masked 2020

Zippy it really isn't any of the Inquirers Business but since I'm homegrown and educated......are you related 2....I mean we are all CuzN's in the God's Eye... "ZIPPY THE CLOWN: Who remembers Zippy the Clown? Jim Escalle does and he sent me this note to share: "I was doing some traveling down memory lane in my mind tonight, thinking of days when I was a kid. I grew up in Delano back in the 1960s and 1970s, and was sharing with my sister about some things I remembered about those times. I was telling her about Zippy the clown, and how he came to our home in Delano in the mid to late 1960s for another sister's birthday party. I included a photo of that occasion. I'm the one on the far right with a big smile on my face. I remember Zippy making animal hats from those skinny balloons he twisted and shaped, then placed them on our heads. When I looked up Zippy on Google to see what if anything was on him, I came across one of your blog pages, dated April 12, 2012, and saw Zippy mentioned. So I thought I'd send you a photo of this wonderful character. According to my mother, he did quite a few birthday parties and other events for local kids. I also remember being on the Uncle Woody Show back in the late 1960s or early 1970s. My mother's Camp Fire Girls were going to Bakersfield to be on there, and I asked her if I could tag along. I knew Woody would give away a free toy to any boy or girl who could tell a good riddle or joke, so I went there for that reason. I got a Hippity Hop ball that day, and I was thrilled. Lots of good memories of those times."

Zeppo

I've never used the name of "Zippy" on line..........and I never liked clowns.

She Dee

Seems like there are plenty of reasons for adult daughters & sons to be disgusted by the acts of their parents. So many adults are making poor choices these days. They tend to 4get that their children can experience pain too. I think a name change might be helpful.

She Dee

I KNOW that something is definitely wrong with the USPS these days. I think it's got a lot to do with the people who are working there. Many just don't seem to care what box they toss the mail into! I cannot tell you the number of times that I get my neighbors mail and they get mine. We all know each other, so we put it where it belongs, but I cannot imagine what happens in neighborhoods where people don't interact or care! Try doing an address change and that's a fiasco and a half to resolve! It ends up getting rerouted to the previous address and then back again! It's enough to make a person toss and turn at night.

Zeppo

I make friends with my carriers and treat then as equals and give them money when Christmas comes around. Because of that, I have very little to complain about the P.O.

She Dee

Uhh, did you know that it is illegal for a mail carrier to accept cash gifts?

Zeppo

Oh, horrors! Not that!!!!

Zeppo

Oh, horrors! Not that!!!

Klepanga

The USPS workers can receive food as gifts such as See's Candies?

She Dee

The USPS website clearly states in their EMPLOYEE TIPPING AND GIFT-RECEIVING POLICY: "All postal employees, including carriers, must comply with the Standards of Ethical Conduct for the Employees of the Executive Branch.:

Under these Federal Regulations, carriers are permitted to accept a gift of $20 or less from a customer per occasion, such as Christmas. However, cash and cash equivalents, such as checks or gift cards that can be exchanged for cash, must never be accepted in any amount.

Furthermore, no employee may accept more than $50 worth of gifts from any one customer in any one calendar year.

Zeppo

I don't care. I will always give money to people who do a good job. Send your "It's illegal" postings to the people who are rioting, looting, firing at police, while you are at it.

RubySue

Good job. Bribery.

Zeppo

Do you call leaving a tip in a restaurant "bribery?" It's the same thing, for a job well done.

Lamonster

And some want to put our country's future in their hands.

RubySue

When my son got married, I ordered 4 dresses to see which one I liked best. I never received them. I am quite sure of where they went. One street over with the same number. Alas, there was nothing I could do. We are at the mercy of the USPS.

RubySue

In neighborhoods where people don't know one another, mailbox roulette is a wonderful way to meet, or at least learn your neighbor's name.

Klepanga

UPS does not work weekends and the USPS does!! UPS is UNION and I hate UNIONS! Trump should not be messing with the MAIL! As a Swing Voter who has voted GOP in the last 15 elections and am voting against TRUMP!! I have not voted in the last 8 Elections...but not this time!!! DON'T MESS WITH THE MAIL! FOOL!

Zeppo

Trump isn't "messing with the mail." The corrupt Dems are using this hoax in order to make voters distrust Trump.

peneumbra

I'll be coming over one of these evenings to set you straight.

peneumbra

Nice that you finally woke up...

Masked 2020

A spade is a spade...Kevin just needs to own it........he's been bought and paid for......[Cut and past 4 context and Clorinator]... Rolling Stones gather no moss.......DeJoy is an unabashed partisan. Since 2016, he has given more than $1.2 million to the Trump Victory Committee, a similar amount the Republican National Committee, as well as nearly $175,000 to the Republican National Senatorial Committee and $70,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee, according to FEC records. In May 2019, befitting his GOP-cash-king status, DeJoy was named finance chair for the 2020 Republican presidential convention, then planned to take place in Charlotte, North Carolina. DeJoy’s massive political donations to the president and to GOP committees have arguably benefited every Republican now holding federal elective office. But DeJoy has also targeted his giving to individual Republican candidates, who — as Congress begins oversight of the disruption DeJoy has wrought — are now challenged to bite the hand that fed them. In the House, minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) has been a DeJoy darling. In April, shortly before becoming Postmaster, DeJoy gave $35,000 to the McCarthy Victory Fund, and another $2,800 to McCarthy’s campaign directly. In July, McCarthy voted against Democratic legislation in the House that would fully fund the Postal Service. Campaign finance law limits the size of direct contributions to candidates. In the Senate, DeJoy has given the maximum legal donation to majority leader Mitch McConnell’s re-election campaign with contributions totaling $5,600. McConnell has downplayed the crisis DeJoy has provoked, insisting: “The Postal Service is going to be just fine.”

Legumedude

I read your post as saying that problems with the Postal Service are directly attributable to Mr. DeJoy. I also am puzzled by that assertion, because the Postal Service has been inefficient and a mess for years, and the current COVID situation has exacerbated it. I disagree with your post.

jtjsrch

The PO's problems began when the Rs demanded that the PO fund pensions forward for SEVENTY FIVE YEARS !!!!! No other government service is required to do that. It needs to be stopped. The PO actually runs a small profit when that pension requirement is removed from the figures. Just another step by Rs at voter suppression. Funny thing: Lots of rural Rs are not getting their SS checks, their meds etc. .....not to mention if their votes will be counted if they mail their ballot.

Zeppo

EVERYONE should have to show their I.D. before they vote to prove who they are. There is no such thing as "voter suppression." It's a made-up conceit just like the Russian collusion with Trump was.

Veritas

I think you mean the Ds. If not then I’ll give you the correct responsible party, the Ds. Let me know if you want the facts to prove it, for the sake of brevity I didn’t list it here.

Klepanga

Not TRUE! My Aunt works at the USPS Postal DATA Information Service Center at 901 Campus in San Mateo California. She is the person who signs the Postal Workers checks and is part of upper Management. The mail has been tampered with and is taking a delay because deJoy removed Mailboxes from the curb in residential areas and sorting machines known as the BOTTOM LINE. These machines are up graded by law or new ones bought every 5 years. DeJoy has also cut hours of workers to part time? You can not tell me and other he did not do this on purpose!? Come voting timer I will vote in person and Trump is ONE AND DONE. Signed a Conservative Swing Voter!!! DON'T MESS WITH THE MAIL!!!

Zeppo

And don't forget blah, blah, blah, blah, and Trump once said blah, blah, blah, and Trump is bad because blah, blah, blah, blah. Remember, vote for Biden because we need more riots, anti-police policies, illegals with free health care, Government telling us what's best for us, etc., etc., etc.,

Klepanga

I am Disables and I have NEVER voted in the last 8 elections. I am a Independent Swing Voter. I order on Amazon everyday. Lately in the last several weeks I have been getting my mail ver LATE and many of my packages are LOST! I feel that this is directly from the IDIOTS who are at War with each other with the regular guys and gals the LOSER! I WILL BE VOTING FOR THE DNC and have just registered to do so! I think the mail should never have been messed with for Political reasons EVER! I also think other on the fence voters and non voters are GOING TO BE PISSED OFF and vote the other way! If they though this was going to help them me and my wife are voting for Biden not because we like him but because we do not like our US Mail being F'd with!!!!

Zeppo

Have you ever written a short reply to anything?

Moardeeb

Oh come on. Trump is trying to sabotage the election because he knows he can't win legitimately. Installing his crony as Postmaster was an obvious ploy to interfere with the election. Trumps a cheat, a liar and a conman.

Such is the way of Trump's evil. Out there in the vast world of ignorance, apathy and blindness it festers and spreads.

Veritas

Biden is a cheat, a liar and a conman. You can replace his name in that sentence with the name of any politician. They’re all morally bankrupt to one extent or another. Talk about ignorance and apathy... You and the other side keep holding that party line ‘deeb since credibility means nothing these days.

Zeppo

So true.....just don't be caught with a Trump hat, or they will assault you.....all those kind, compassionate people......

Masked 2020

oops.... Veritas you make a boo-boo... I thought you were suppose 2 B some proud, exact fighting machine.....but your sloppy....Naked Don really is a cheat, a liar and a conman...just ask his family

Veritas

Aaaah, yuckies. You keep proving my point over and over again. It’s so easy it is getting boring. I got a blog you should participate in, right up your alley. Let me know if you’re interested.

Gene Pool Chlorinator

Speaking of sloppy (and don't color me surprised), do a little Google search of "your" vs. "you're"...

Zeppo

......and if your family secretly recorded what you said, you would probably be in jail.

Another Independent Voter

Proof, Dweeb? I could easily say Democrats have been hijacking elections for years - but where is my proof? The fact is, if it all were so obvious, it would be relatively easy to fix the problems. It isn't so simple or easily done unless an election is close. In close elections, it isn't so much widespread as it is targeted in individual districts or even precincts, with feet on the ground and lawyers in place. Typically battleground states - and, again, in specific precincts. With that said, I've always felt Measure N suspiciously passed in the dead of night with JUST the right night of votes miraculously found to effect passage. The evidence, though, isn't just doing to be right there for us to find. But I don't doubt it happens. It requires having folks on your side - who is on Trump's side, Dweeb. By your own proclamation, nobody likes Trump, nobody will vote for Trump - so who would help him cheat?

Klepanga

AS A SWING VOTER: DON'T MESS WITH THE MAIL! We decide the Election NOT the Base of each Party!

Klepanga

More Swing Voters will not be voting for Trump! Say what the Conservative Base wants to say! I have voted all my life REPUBLICAN but not this time!!! Swing Voters DECIDE the Elections and not the Base of each Party. Trump mad a BIG MISTAKE in messing with my packages!!! I know since my family works for the USPS and I order from eCommerce daily! DON'T MESS WITH THE MAIL! FOOL!

Gene Pool Chlorinator

So, you've voted "all my life REPUBLICAN", but you're a "Swing Voter"?

And, how did Trump mess with your packages? Be specific...

Zeppo

This whole "Trump's messing with the mail" is a hoax pushed by the corrupt Dems. They want to be able to send out millions of ballots to mail in so they can do their dirty work of ballot harvesting to ensure that Biden wins, no matter what! Everyone should have to go in person to vote and show an I.D. .......and that is not "suppressing the vote" either.

She Dee

EVERYONE??? That means a person who is bed bound is not going to get to vote. That's not fair in my view.

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