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A Trusted Friend in a Complicated World

11 Shocking Things Your Mail Carrier Knows About You

From the outside, hardworking postal workers may seem like perfect strangers, but—surprise!—they may know you better than your inner circle. From family secrets to hush hobbies check out the secrets your mail carrier knows about you and how they handle it with care.

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When it comes to breaking baby news, some women like to keep their pregnancy confidential, at least at the start. But even before you make any formal announcements, it’s hard to fool your mailman when your mailbox has been transformed into a nursery. Packed with pregnancy and parenting magazines, cord blood pamphlets, formula samples…these items are giveaways that you’re delivering your own little package very soon. Learn the surprising things mail carriers see every single day.

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Sick, vacationing, or lazy?

Raise your hand if you don’t check your mailbox every day. Your carrier certainly isn’t judging, but he does keep track. If your letters and junk mail start piling up, your postman may wonder where you’ve been. Some are so familiar with the residents on their route that they have been credited for rescuing the elderly in their homes and even saving lives. Find out what else your postal carrier isn’t telling you.

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Horrible handwriting?

Thanks to your postman’s super powers of deciphering poor penmanship, your mom received her birthday card and your landlord deposited the rent check, just in the nick of time. Some assume our providers aren’t as busy as we are and take their expertise for granted. Figuring out your “a” really is an “o,” or a zip code is missing a digit, takes a ton of patience and time to correct, but our carriers get the job done.

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Online shopping addiction?

The post office is your enabler! As daily deliveries of expensive shoes, beautiful candlesticks, and gourmet dog treats arrive at your doorsteps, you rely on your mailman’s visits. Luckily, he or she just drops off the packages and isn’t responsible for paying the bills.

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Still watching VHS tapes?

Credit card statements, paychecks, insurance deductibles…if the envelope feels like a check or a bill, the postman may wonder, “Has this person ever heard of online banking”? Of course, they can’t see your personal accounts or business transactions, but every two weeks she counts on dropping off an envelope from your place of work or delivering to American Express. Home inspectors know plenty about you, too—these are the secrets they won’t tell you.

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Seinfeld fan or not, it’s impossible to forget the episode when George’s fiancé died from licking cheap wedding invitation envelopes. If Scotch tape strips are being used to seal letters shut and to secure stamps, then your carrier could make a good guess that you avoid germs at any cost.

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Need a personal assistant?

Always using the wrong amount of postage, blocking mailbox access with your parked car, and letting your dog run amok on scheduled rounds can create serious obstacles for your mail service. Don’t forget to clear all paths for the postman to complete a successful job. Check out these fascinating facts you never knew about the US postal service.

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do for a living_secrets mail carriers knowJohnny Habell/Shutterstock

Making lots of money?

The mail you receive can reveal your employer, your occupation, and/or your social standing. Paychecks, company newsletters. and other pieces of mail from your employer will definitely clue your mail carrier in. Other pieces of mail, such as magazines and donation requests, can reveal your hobbies and things you’re passionate about. But it’s not just the contents of your mailbox that’s revealing—just by looking at your house and the car you drive, your mail carrier can most likely get a good idea of your social standing.

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Good credit?

If your credit is good, you’ll probably get lots of offers from creditors mailed to you. If a mail carrier delivers one, he or she instantly knows that that person has good credit. Credit card bills, on the other hand, point in the other direction. These are the surprising things your credit card company knows about you.

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age_secrets mail carrier knowsSarah2/Shutterstock

Getting on in years?

Even if your mail carrier has never seen you in person, he or she probably has a fairly good idea of how old you are. When someone turns 18, they’ll be flooded with offers from credit card companies, so that’s a surefire milestone for mailmen to recognize. Postal carriers know how to recognize hints of your age in your mail; they see who gets the college brochures, who gets the mail from retirement companies, and who gets insurance letters. And, of course, older people tend to receive more paper mail in general.

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Do or don’t tip?

Probably the most obvious, but still shocking, revelation is the fact that not every citizen provides their mail carrier with a stamp of appreciation. Whether it’s monetary, a Starbucks gift card, or a homemade treat, it’s important to show your gratitude. Although not a requirement, celebrating the men and women who trek miles to make your life easier deserve a heartfelt “Thank you”. That’s one of the things your housecleaner wishes you knew, too.

Hope Daniels
Hope Daniels is a contributor to's Lifestyle section, where she writes about life’s gifts and slips. From the depths of personal routine habits to a hilarious look at social blunders her articles have also appeared on partner sites, the, family and Her work in parenting and pop-culture has also been published on and ScaryMommy. She earned her BA in Journalism from Indiana University.