On top of a financial crisis of devastating proportions, it looks like the U.S. Postal Service has yet another problem on its hands: an employee that's hoarding stolen mail.
Karen Samford, a 72-year-old postal worker in Texas, has been suspended from her job after admitting she stole and kept literally truckloads of bulk mail over the last decade, MyFoxHouston reports (h/t The Consumerist). Her boss reportedly became concerned with the excess mail in her office and asked if she had stashed any elsewhere, to which she admitted to renting entire storage units to hold the junk mail.
"This is a hoarding problem," she told MyFoxHouston. "People can have mental issues... it doesn't make them insane. It makes them stupid."
Hoarding has been an especially popular topic of late, in part due to the success of TLC's Hoarding: Buried Alive, a show profiling those who suffer through the practice. This week, for example, firefighters in Arizona struggled to extinguish a house fire after finding thousands of beer cans and ceiling-high stacks of newspapers upon entering the home. The owner said he was just "holding on to" the trash.
But Samford's episode is only the latest public relations disaster for the struggling agency. USPS also made headlines just last week after a security camera caught on tape a postal worker throwing a package over a fence.
And it's not just USPS that's guilty of some bad deliveries. A similar event transpired last month when a FedEx employee delivered a package in much the same manner.
USPS has bigger problems than bad deliveries anyway. The independent government agency is facing the possibility of default due to a monstrous budget shortfall, even as it desperately seeks ways to reduce costs and raise revenues -- including cuts and raising the price of stamps.
Last month USPS announced it would delay the closure of some 3,700 local post offices and hundreds of mail processing centers to allow Congress time to pass legislation that would stave off default. The closures are currently estimated to result in $6.5 billion worth in savings and some 100,000 layoffs.
If USPS does reduce services, many small business owners fear the increased expenses of relying on more expensive private companies like FedEx will weigh on them, The Huffington Post reports.