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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Night Shift

So I'm working at the Post Office, right? Right. I've been employed there since December 12, but most of that (up until about two weeks ago) had been lecture/classroom style training. You know, policy, procedure, sanctity of the mail and all that jazz. Well, I finally get to my AO (Area Office) in which I will be working. I'm the permanent sub for a very sweet girl on a MONSTER route: 490 mail stops, lots of bills and tons of junk mail. It's one of the biggest and "baddest" where I work.

So they have me doing on the job training. I'm jamming. I'm learning. I'm working my butt off...then comes the Christmas weekend with my first day by myself coming right on its heels. So Tuesday's start time is 6:30am. No big deal...early to start, earlier to finish, right? Wrong. I sort most of the mail for almost 8 hours (most are done in 3-5 hours). I still have to take some unsorted mail to the street. Then I pack my truck and I'm off to deliver the mail. Needless to say it takes me almost 6+ hours to deliver it (normally takes 3.5 give or take 15 minutes)! I had to deliver my last 4 neighborhoods in the dark...it was nuts! One man even came out and gave me some cake his wife had made b/c he felt so bad for me...that was very kind. I was very appreciative even though I never had time to eat it. I love irony.

Finally the mail is all delivered to its rightful home, the mailbox. As I'm driving, I can't believe it's so late. I look at my watch and think to myself that Sarah and Parker are already in bed and can't help but laugh. Wow! Eight o'clock...what a day. I make it to the Post Office to see every mail truck back in its proper place. But I also notice there aren't any other cars in the lot either...weird because, by protocol, my manager is supposed to wait for the last rural mail carrier to arrive back to the post. I really don't think anything of it because someone has to be there, right? Wrong, again. I go to the door for that we rural carriers use and they are locked tight. So I walk around to the doors the city carriers use and they, too, are locked down tighter than Ft. Knox. Nobody is home. "This can't be happening," I think to myself. I've got mail and packages that are in the truck needing to go out in the mail that day. I've got keys, a gas card, and scanning devices that all need to be turned back in so as not to be thought stealing. So I go back to my truck and lock all this stuff in - given that it's the most secure place I know of at the moment. I decide to come back early in the morning to get things squared away and settled up. As I pull out of the parking lot in my own car, I come to main gate which is now closed and locked! I'm going to be here all night! Now that's just sad. But as I get closer to the gate, I notice a car about to pull away so I flicker my lights. The car stops, backs up and someone gets out. It's the finance supervisor and she ask, "Who are you?" I say, "I'm the mail carrier from rural route 20 and I'd like to go home." Needless to say neither of us was very happy. We had to stay around for a bit to get the mail sorted out and finally pulled away from the post office at 9:00pm.

It was a memorable first day delivering mail by myself...one that I will never forget. Now here's the scary part...a week later is the same kind of holiday weekend because of New Year's Day. So the following Tuesday was almost an exact carbon copy of the week before except that they waited for me this time. Yippee!

Welcome to the USPS. Enjoy the hike in stamp prices.

1 comment:

Dr. Matt Rings said...

No wonder we're paying an extra 2 cents! All that overtime for you noobs!

HA!

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