Author: tommyroma

Tough Love

Tough Love

I call this problem the “Postal/NAPS Paradox.” The vast majority of NAPS members and officers have dealt with it since the beginning of our association more than a century ago. I’m talking about dealing with the poor-performing supervisor in the workplace without compromising your integrity.

You are a station manager and the local branch president. You know the reality of the situation: Your supervisor constantly fails to perform his duties and, even worse, lies to you. Work that you have assumed was completed, e.g., street supervision, route inspection and driver observations, simply wasn’t done. Even worse, you have advised your area manager, “Don’t worry, I took care of it!”

This starts a chain of events that is so predictable it is pathetic. The station manager is called on the carpet by either or both the area manager and postmaster and given the famous “Shape up or ship out” talk (remember, I was in the U.S. Navy). It’s easy to blame your subordinate and throw him or her under the bus. But here is the paradox: The station manager/NAPS president now must write up the supervisor to get off the hook.

What is one to do? Write up the person you are going to represent?

The key is to prevent this situation from ever happening. And, yes, that’s easier said than done! Just as with any employee, communication remains the key. Is there a reason for the poor performance? Personal problems impacting the job? Get EAP involved. Lack of knowledge? Get PEDC involved.

Most people want to excel in their positions; no one starts off the day with the thought of doing a bad job. We need to learn the reason why something is happening. An oil change is always cheaper than a complete engine replacement.

The old days, which were only two or three years ago, allowed you to move the weak employee around and, eventually, to an easy station where he or she could hide. Well, there are no easy stations/tours for anyone to get lost in anymore. The underachiever will drain you, the operation and the branch, eventually taking down other people in the unit.

Do everything you can, both as a manager and a NAPS officer, to help the supervisor before a situation reaches the point of discipline. You cannot serve two masters!

Tommy Roma – [email protected]

About Tommy Roma


Tommy Roma HeadshotTommy Roma entered the Postal Service March 1, 1968 as a substitute letter carrier in Brooklyn, NY. He was promoted to Supervisor of mails in 1978. He became a member of the National Association of Postal Supervisors from day one of his supervisory career and rose through the ranks of NAPS from Executive Board member to President of NAPS Branch 68 Brooklyn N.Y. He was elected New York Area Vice President of NAPS at the National Convention in Alaska September 2000, and has set out to make a difference.

After serving in various higher levels, he was promoted to Manager Ryder station EAS22, a position he retired from in 2014. Tommy had been employed with the Postal Service for 46 years. He is very active in the community and gave financial help to needy people who needed major surgery and could not afford it. He was also cited for his work with the Community boards, Mary Queen of Heaven baseball League, and the Bergen Beach Youth Council for his help with the youth of those organizations. He also has been recognized by local Politicians in the Ryder area for his help to the community over the years.

Tommy is married to his lovely wife, Cathy, who he says deserves lots of credit for standing by him and putting up with him for the last 47 years. They have a married daughter, Victoria, who resides in St. Petersburg Florida and is the proud parent of their first Grandson, Marco Thomas, who is now 10 years old; and, a son, John, who graduated Xaverian High School and entered the Postal Service as a letter carrier. He currently is the Manager of Maintenance, USPS, Triboro, following in his father’s footsteps. John married his lovely wife, Christina, 6 years ago and on July 9, 2020 blessed the family with the birth of their son, Thomas John Roma, who weighed in at 7 lbs and 20 inches tall. God bless them.


Communications! That is what this web page is all about, Me sharing information with you the members that I proudly serve.  No NAPS funds are used to support this site so it is really the Tommy Roma page.  This provides me the freedom to really tell it like it is and provide valuable assistance to all.

I encourage you to visit this site frequently and check out the various links that are provided for your information.  Your comments, questions and suggestions are welcome. The ever changing landscape of the Postal Service requires timely news, so please LOG IN!

Tommy Roma

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