02/18/2005: Going Postal
Speaking of the US Postal Service and Upcoming Deliveries...
And since Len DID NOT YET get the tape I sent via Two-Day Priority Mail.... I see I made my usual mistake. Shoulda' choosen "slow banana boat from China" via the Cape of Good Hope Route, then had it air lifted from California when it arrived. Woulda' been faster. Silly me...what was I thinking?
Some of you...Well All of you really, don't know that I used to work for the US Postal Service...way back when. There was this "jobs program" at Maine South High School, with school credit hours too, for good students to get a cushy early release from school if so employed. So, I got a job working for the US Postal Service Bulk Mail Delivery Center. This facility is still located at O'Hare International Airport....and a mere few minutes drive from Park Ridge. This was quite a $$$ job for a mere high-schooler and every time there was a "cost of living" adjustment in the economy upwards...so too did Postal Wages rise like yeasty-dinner-rolls for our consumption.
This is also why I KNOW the Thought Police have my number (and have had it for decades) cause, as a Federal Employee, I was of course required to submit my fingertips for fingerprinting to be kept on file in those Fingerprint Archives Of The Vast United States Government. *wink*
But this was a great job...we worked on the Bulk Mail Line. Occassionally we had to "help" on the Department for "Letter Sorting"...standing in front of a giant wall of pidgeon holes - each designated for a different Chicago zip-code - which we were suppose to "throw" the correct, matching zip-coded letter into the right hole. Probably, for those sentanced to a life time of this purgatory, it became a rote exercise at which hole matched which zip-code...but for an occassional fill in position in, was murderously slow and a night of painful brain death. A wrong flick of the wrist and a letter could go the long way round via LeRoy, through Carbondale, and back to the North Side of Chicago three weeks later for delivery.
Mostly, we worked on the Giant Conveyer Belts of Bulk Mail. There were these enormous chutes whence the mail off-loaded from incoming mail-planes (stuff from around the world) which would flood our belts and carried streaming mail towards us waiting Postal employees. Our Job was to sort this "bulk mail" into large oversized canvas hampers-with-wheels for their further destinational end-of-the-line mail delivery. Some things would get unceremoniously "Tossed" "Heaved" or "Flung" at these hampers. Note: Ever wonder WHY that box from overseas and all its contents got "mangled in delivery"...you can probably Blame ME and the US Postal Service Bulk Mail Delivery Center.
The "Best Days" were when Overseas Post Cards arrived. Most letters are sealed and do manage to make it to their destination "mangle free" --- though they have a whole Postal service in-house department devoted to mangled, broken, torn, squashed, squished, leaking, or address-less mail --- post cards can be viewed for the beautiful pictures on their front side. These were, of course, of exciting and exotic places that mere lowly Postal Employee High-Schoolers like us could only dream of someday escaping to visit.
There there were the "other Postal mishaps:
* large boxes and cartons caught in the chute requiring risky maneuvering by the male Postal-HE-MEN on site to dislodge...and resulting sometimes in cases of "more mangled mail".
*The mailed "weird items:"- special delivery organ donor body parts
-medical supplies and fluids.
-live animal shipments...well, mostly still alive, we hoped and prayed, but not always. --- Sometime these packages would break open and animals, snakes, lizards would escape, requiring some deft maneuvering to catch and re-package same.
-Monstrously heavy packages --- who mails this stuff ---again a job for Postal HE-MEN.
All in all, it was great job. I enjoyed it. Met lots of interesting people. If you're going think "Going-Postal"...Well...I met some of them "Life-ers" too.
Karen on 02.18.05 @ 09:50 AM CST