A sign on a door reflects staffing problems at the U.S. Postal Service’s south Lewiston branch office. Peter Geiger photo

LEWISTON — For Peter Geiger, executive vice president of the Lewiston company that bears his name, dealing with the United States Postal Service’s branch in south Lewiston is a game of catch-as-catch-can.

Staffing problems at the branch have resulted in irregular and erratic hours at the office, leaving Geiger and others stumped as to how to get their mail from the location.

“No mail for days, then a glut in one shot,” wrote one Lewiston resident on Facebook.

“It’s been this way all year,” wrote another local woman. “Frustrating.”

“I have a package there for three days now,” offered another, “and doors always locked.”

The branch office sits along South Avenue in Lewiston, although its official address is 999 Lisbon St.


For Geiger, getting mail for his business has been a frustrating affair, even as he takes special pains to accommodate the odd hours kept there.

“I have asked my shipping department to keep me in the loop regarding our ability to get mail from the South Lewiston USPS office where we get company mail,” he said. “We couldn’t get it for a full week until I made arrangements to be there after hours. This week I think we got it on Monday but here is a message regarding today (Wednesday). We used to get mail every morning at 8:30 a.m. That hasn’t worked so I told my staff to go closer to midmorning. The point being there is no way to know when the office is open. They don’t have a phone number so you have to go back and forth hoping our mail can be picked up.”

Geiger recognizes that the inability to get mail in a timely fashion may be even more dire for others.

“If you are getting meds and it doesn’t fit in the box, you wait for the window to be open and that could be a week or more,” he said. “The situation is desperate for people with P.O. boxes at the South branch.”

A sign on a door reflects staffing problems at the U.S. Postal Service’s south Lewiston branch office. Peter Geiger photo

What’s more, Geiger and others have reported that attempts to call the post office to check the current hours of operation have been unsuccessful. If you can find a relevant phone number at all, chances are good that no one will answer.

Contacted on Wednesday, a spokesperson for the USPS said staffing levels at the Lewiston south branch are expected to return to normal soon. They did not elaborate on the cause of their present staffing situation.


“Employee availability at the South Lewiston Post Office is currently lower than normal due to unforeseen circumstances,” according to a statement issued by Amy Gibbs, a strategic communications specialist with the service. “Per postal policy, we are required to keep personnel information confidential and may only share such information in very limited situations. We expect staffing to resume to normal levels soon. We thank our customers for their understanding, patience and apologize for any inconvenience.”

In the meantime, Geiger has tried working with the post office to conduct his business at the branch, which is roughly a mile from Geiger Brothers.

“If they could find staff, the lobby would be open, and all would be good with the world. But I can’t access the lobby and packages,” Geiger said. “When I learned we were getting no packages for a week, I was able to set a time to retrieve them after hours. It filled my SUV. Consider the many people who pay for boxes at this location. They can get the mail from the box but if you have a package or medications by mail, you sit and wait until the day the lobby is open. It might open or it might not. And there is no phone to call even if it was open. One day the lobby was not unlocked. It is such a mess.”

Matt Theriault of Lewiston was so frustrated with delayed mail, he got scientific on the situation.

“I tried a test,” he said. “I mailed my office a letter from South Avenue. It took 11 days to come back to me. We will get letters postmarked over a week, sometimes two weeks, spread all on one day.” It’s “just become the new norm.”

The situation has been frustrating, but Geiger still manages to muster sympathy for the people who hear complaints on those days when the post office branch happens to be open.

“Those I have dealt with at all locations are wonderful, caring people,” he said. “There are just too few.”

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