ROCKLAND — Many Rockland customers are expressing frustration with the sporadic delivery of mail at their homes.

“When I first noticed that our home delivery had become erratic, it was aggravating. While I learned that the local office had only six carriers for nine routes, the postmaster could easily have issued a press release explaining the situation. The Postal Service is advertising for help wanted, and while these are really good jobs, apparently the government is in the same position as the private sector regarding new hires,” Rockland resident Gerald Weinand said.

Weinand was one of six people in Rockland to contact the Courier in the past few weeks about a lack of home deliveries, but the only one to agree to be quoted directly.

One business owner said he was told by the post office that he could go to the post office to pick up his mail, after not receiving any delivery for days. That mail included checks for the business.

A Pine Street resident said he recently had deliveries only three days out of 10. A Lawn Avenue resident said she receives deliveries only two days a week and was told she could pick up her mail at the post office.

Another resident complained that a newspaper that should have arrived Thursday arrived on the following Tuesday.

One day last week, the pick up counter in Rockland was closed for an hour at lunch with a sign citing a staff shortage.

The Owls Head Post Office, which falls under the jurisdiction of Rockland, was closed every afternoon last week except for Thursday and was closed Saturday.

A Postal Service representative said staff shortages were behind the problem.

“We are having difficulty filling positions across the northeast due to relatively low unemployment. While this job isn’t for everyone and can be physically demanding, it can also lead to a great career for the right individual. Readers who may be interested are encouraged to go to where they can search, by state, for jobs in their area,” said Stephen Doherty, a strategic communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service Atlantic Area/Northeast Region.

There are currently three positions for Rockland posted on — an Owls Head position that was posted Sept. 4 and one Rockland and one Owls Head posted Sept. 5.

A postal source said there are more vacancies not being posted.

There are one full-time and three part-time carrier positions vacant in Rockland; two part-time rural carriers and two part time clerks who work the window and sort the mail inside, the source said.

The person said people inquire about jobs at the post office, but no one from that pool were hired.

According to the Bureau of Labor Services, the average national hourly pay for a postal carrier in 2020 ranged from $18.30 an hour to $32.16.