Friday, September 01, 2006

I have several jobs. One of them is working part-time for the US Postal Service as a "Rural Carrier Associate". In our little area of Randolph County we have only two rural routes. Most of the folks that live in Lynn proper actually have a box and come pick their mail up on a semi-daily basis. My job is that of a substitute carrier, meaning that I run the route every other Saturday and on days when Jennifer, who is the real mail carrier, is sick, on vacation, or feeling otherwise postally disinclined.

Like all jobs, there are good things about it and not-so-good things, but overall, I like it very much and it has been a blessing to our family. There are only 7 people total who work at our Post Office and all of them are great. Because we are very small and in the country, the whole vibe is much more relaxed than it is in the city facilities. Rick, the Postmaster, couldn't be a nicer, more easy-going boss and alot of the bureaucratic formalities and regimental unpleasantries one finds in the administration of a metropolitan Post Office just do not exist in our office. We don't wear uniforms. We drive our own vehicles to deliver the mail and the USPS pays us a per diem to cover this usage. This is a good thing because postal delivery is really hard on the brakes.

As I mentioned, it is a rural route and, after sorting, casing, and generally organizing the mail, it takes about 4 hours to drive around the backroads putting mail in people's mailboxes and delivering packages. There's more to it than that, really, more detail than most people want to know about. But, in truth, alot of my day is about driving around out in the country, which is pretty fun. Except when it snows or ices, then it is not fun, but hard, hazardous, exhausting work.

I like to take pictures of some of the areas I see on my route. This a pond that is on County Road East 700 South (I told you it was rural). This photo was taken in the late spring, but this is an interesting place all year round. I almost always see geese at this pond, but I've also seen all manner of other waterfowl, including herons and what appear to be seagulls or a near relative. This area is beautiful in the winter, too.

I don't think I would enjoy postal work as much as I do if I had to do it everyday, but it isn't bad being the substitute. Its relaxing to drive around out in the country, listening to NPR and rock-and-roll on the radio, putting letters in boxes. Lord willing, I plan to do it for at least another three years or so, until my son gets out of college.


Anonymous said...

Actually sounds like a cool gig!


Sharon said...

That does sound relaxing.

Barry Pike said...

Its not bad, but it would make me nuts if I did it every day. I live in Indiana's most rural, least populous county, so most of it is really beautiful - lush, rolling farmland and 150-year old homesteads.

We moved here from a huge metro (D/FW) area about 9 years ago, and we love living in the country.