The St Louis Contrarian

Providing Independent and Intelligent Insight on St. Louis Public Policy Issues

The Post Office and Me

Like most people, I am appalled at the politicization of the post office by Trump and his crowd and the whole notion of making it harder for people to vote. I have an especially fond memory of the post office, having worked as a letter carrier during the summers and at Christmas time.

I loved that job, it was perfect for me. We started at 5:3AM, sometimes 4, sorted mail for the route and went on the street and delivered at about 9. I substituted for regular carriers who had the day off or were on vacation. I learned quite a lot:

1. The mail carrier is a source of stability and peace in the neighborhood. You see what is going on. I rarely ran into customers but would be aware if there was anything improper going on.

2. The atmosphere in the post office among carriers sorting for their routes was fractious. They insulted the hell out of each other and nothing was off the table. Much of the talk would not be accepted now.

3. It was my first experience interacting in depth with black people. Many of the carriers and supervisors including my boss were black. What was interesting was that the black carriers were more educated than their white counterparts, many being college graduated and army vets. It took me a while to realize that many of these guys had trouble getting jobs in the private sector

4. The customers really relied on our services. In those days some businesses received two trips a day. Social security checks were delivered, it was before the days of direct deposit. We hand delivered all the original master card and Visa cards to people. What a deal!

Written by Paul Dribin


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