Your Awful Handwriting Is Keeping Postal Workers Employed


If you want to help out struggling post office employees you can send more letters, and while you’re at it you might want to make the address as illegible as possible. 95% of our mail is sorted by computer, but last year 714,085,866 letters with incomprehensible writing were deciphered the country’s two Remote Encoding Centers in Salt Lake City, Utah and Wichita, Kansas. There 1,900 clerks see scanned images of the letters and try to make sense of what the machines couldn’t.

If the clerks still can’t figure out what the envelope says, it’s labeled a “nixie” and another clerk takes a look at it. Rejects go to the Mail Recovery Center in Atlanta. Workers open the nixies that look like they may contain cash or documents and shred the rest. For now people who write “GALLERY303FIFTH-AVESUITE1603NYNY” or “Hello Big daddy Its your Sexymama!” on letters are ensuring that clerks will keep their jobs, but it’s possible that at some point the postal service will decide that if you can’t properly address an envelope, that’s your problem, not theirs.

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