By Dana Kozlov

CHICAGO (CBS) — Mail problems have been plaguing the city of Chicago and the suburbs since the beginning of the COVID pandemic.

But people living in one northwest side neighborhood didn’t expect to hear this: Come get your mail yourself.

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CBS 2 Political Investigator Dana Kozlov reports it’s an un-welcomed first. And one the post office is now denying, which isn’t making things any better.

People who live in an Edison Park condo building, down the street from a United States Post Office, said when it comes to getting their mail, they have to stand in a line. That message was given to Tim Steigerwald’s neighbor on Monday.

“She was also told, and this is unusual, we’ll give you the mail now. But from now on you have to have people in your building call us ahead of time and pick up their mail. No delivery,” he said.

That rain, sleet, snow or COVID delivery promise, not happening here.

“Lately, we haven’t gotten mail at all. I’d say we haven’t gotten mail in a week in a half to two weeks,” Steigerwald said.

He and his neighbor, Mary, who CBS 2 spoke with by phone said sporadic or nonexistent mail delivery has been a problem in their area since the fall. CBS 2 spotted a USPS truck in the area Tuesday morning. But still no mail.

The residents call this pick it up yourself edict unacceptable.

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“No offense, but it’s not my job. It’s their job. They get paid to do that,” Steigerwald said.

He wrote the post office, his alderman and his U.S. Congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky.

“The idea that especial now, during COVID, that you have to ago to the post office to get your mail, that is certainly not an option for many, many people,” Schakowsky said, who added that Steigerwald’s complaint isn’t the first her office has received.

“It’s been a nightmare for people,” Schakowsky said.

Schakowsky said her office has been told there is a huge post office staffing shortage, something the post office spokesperson echoed in a response to CBS 2. But the spokesperson said  reported allegation that customers have to pick up their mail is not accurate.”  

“To deny that was said, I have no qualms about believing that that’s exactly what was said,” Schakowsky said.

Congresswoman Schakowsky said her district director is meeting with the Chicago Post Master Wednesday morning about mail problems throughout her district.

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One upside? She said there are good paying jobs within the USPS and they need to hire people. The USPS spokesperson said they are working on doing that.