ATLANTA -- For all the challenges the U.S. Postal Service is facing, trying to compete and stay in business, a homeowner's outdoor surveillance video will not help.
The video shows how one mail carrier delivered one package in Atlanta on Monday, when he might have thought no one would be watching.
The mail carrier, based that day at the 30306 post office in Virginia Highland, in Northeast Atlanta, displayed an indelicate style of delivery that, at least in this one instance, is a reminder to all -- when boxing up anything fragile to send, don't skimp on the bubble wrap.
The cameras show the mail carrier stopping part way up a staircase that winds around toward the homeowner's front door, then tossing the package high, over the stairway railing. He watches the package fall, and land with a loud thud at the doorstep several feet away from him. Then he walks down the steps and leaves.
Inside that box -- a handmade, ceramic cup, from a friend of the homeowner, mailed to Atlanta from Virginia.
The homeowner was at work, and he had been monitoring his outdoor home cameras on-line, to see if the package had been delivered. And that's when he saw the USPS carrier launch the package airborn --sort of an impromptu airmail delivery on the last leg of its journey.
For the record, that staircase is comprised of 17 steps, from the driveway up to the door.
The carrier climbed only up to the sixth step, tossed the package, and he was done -- on to the next house.
To be certain, the postal service competitors, such as FedEx, have been just as cavalier. One of the most popular and infamous videos on YouTube from 2011 shows a FedEx driver delivering a big, flat-screen television to a home by throwing it over the fence instead of walking it up to the door.
In Atlanta on Tuesday, the postal service spokesman, Michael Miles, was quick to respond to Monday's incident:
"The actions of this carrier do not reflect those of the many conscientious postal employees who perform their jobs each day with pride and professionalism," Miles wrote 11Alive News in an email. "The Atlanta Postmaster [will determine] any disciplinary action to be taken against this employee."
The homeowners did not want to comment on camera. But they showed 11Alive News not only their video but also their handmade, ceramic cup. Thankfully, it is in one piece, thanks to all the bubble wrap that cushioned its fall.
The cup isn't busted. But the mail carrier is.
The Atlanta Postmaster now has the video, and will identify the carrier, and go from there.
And to anyone who says, "No harm, no foul," Miles said it's the principle of the matter that is important. "There is no excuse for this kind of behavior."
Miles said customers in Metro Atlanta who have concerns about the handling of their mail or the conduct of an Atlanta District postal employee should call the Consumer Affairs office at 404-765-7702.