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Pushing the envelope: How postal workers on the Central Coast deliver at the busiest time of the year

It's heading into the busiest week of the year for postal carriers

It’s the peak time of year for delivering packages and greeting cards.

Another package is dropped off at the Post Office in Solvang.

It’s one of more than 12 billion pieces of mail and packages expected to be processed and delivered this holiday season.

Postmaster Tina Grames is helping to sort the mail ready for delivery.

It’s all hands on deck, she says – as they’re coming into busiest week of the year, next week – and she’s managing staff sickness absences as well as the large quantities of mail.

"This is the busiest time of year for us - 1200 parcels today, just for us.

"When you don't have all your employees at work, it makes for a more challenging day," she told KCLU.

Letter carrier Chris Piro has been in the job for nearly ten years…he’s been sorting mail and packages since he came in at 6 this morning…ahead of starting his round.


"I'm usually averaging around 250 packages a day," he said.

But he brings a smile and positive attitude, explaining he is pleased to earn the overtime from the extra hours and enjoys the familiarity from his customers, who - he explains - recognize his 1960s music playing from his delivery truck.

Of course, with more package delivery comes the threat of porches pirates – opportunist thieves who target some of the around 900 MILLION packages being delivered by USPS.

Along with a home security video system, if you’re going out of town, you can have your mail held at your local post office.

About five hours after Chris started his shift, his round is finally ready and the mail is loaded into his delivery truck.

His delivery round – which will take around 6 hours - begins. He says if he’s lucky, he will be back to the Post Office by dark.

There's just one more thing to do - blast his favorite music – the mail makes the final part of the journey to your mailbox.

"Music makes it more interesting," he say, and starts his round.

Caroline joined KCLU in October 2020. She won LA Press Club's Audio Journalist of the Year Award in 2022 and 2023.

Since joining the station she's won 10 Golden Mike Awards, 5 Los Angeles Press Club Awards, 2 National Arts & Entertainment Awards and a Regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Excellence in Writing.

She started her broadcasting career in the UK, in both radio and television for BBC News, 95.8 Capital FM and Sky News and was awarded the Prince Philip Medal for her services to radio and journalism in 2007.

She has lived in California for eleven years and is both an American and British citizen - and a very proud mom to her daughter, Elsie.