KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The biggest shopping week of the year is approaching and 900 million packages are expected to be delivered over the holiday season.
Many people will order some of their gifts online, which means the next few weeks will also be busy for postal carriers.
Paul Swoboda has worked with USPS for more than 35 years and said he's seen a lot.
"It's not made for everybody, but it's a fairly good job and I enjoy it," Swoboda said.
Each day is different.
"The snow, the rain, the weather, the cold and the holidays going, but it's all worth it," Swoboda said.
But the elements aren't the only things he deals with. Over the years, he said he's witnessed a lot.
"I've had a bomb before go off in the mailbox," Swoboda said. "It happened years ago and it must've been at night, but it's amazing what it does. So every time I open a box, a mounted box on the street, I always keep back and watch."
With the holidays right around the corner, he's keeping an extra eye out — not only for himself but for customers he's delivering packages to.
"I have some customers where we think their packages will get grabbed and stuff, you have a busy section, a busy street, so I work with them," Swoboda said. "I'll put it someplace at their house different and they know it, and I put little post-it notes in their mailbox and tell them."
He said little things like that help make sure all holiday packages arrive on time and safely, but he could use a little help.
"It would be nice if they could take care of their sidewalks and walkways in the winter," Swoboda said. "It'd be nice and you know I understand if you're busy and you got a job too but if they can take that for the carrier, it'd be a nice thing."
When it comes to keeping your packages safe from porch pirates, here are a few tips USPS recommends:
- Don't leave packages sitting on your porch or in the mailbox longer than you have to. See if a neighbor can hold onto your package if you know you won't be home for a while.
- Don't forget, the post office will hold your mail for you if you're going out of town.
- Plan ahead. If you're shipping something to someone else, use Hold for Pickup and then they can pick it up at their local post office instead of receiving it at home.
- Use USPS Special Services, where a signature is required to receive the package.
- Be sure to track your packages online at USPS.com