Going Postal: Day 3

yoda_stamp.jpgDAY 3: Adventures in Sweeping

Just finished my third day on the job, and my first full day in action. Holy Crap!!! What the fuck have I gotten myself in to? I feel terrible. And I didn’t even work the full shit—some of us got sent home 90 minutes early, meaning we only put in a 10 ½-hour shift instead of twelve. Ninety minutes doesn’t seem like much in the broad scheme of things, but to me it felt like the difference between spending fifty years in prison, as opposed to life without parole.

Most of my shift was spent “sweeping.” Don’t ask me to explain it, because I can’t, nor do I fully understand what I was doing. All I know is that the last time I worked this hard physically, with this much clueless understanding of the point of it all, was when I was dating my ex-girlfriend Jen. That’s to say that schlepping mail all night was neither emotionally nor intellectually fulfilling, but it asked a lot of my body. I discovered after the first hour of sweeping that I didn’t much care for it, but because I had gotten the hang of it after four hours, I decided I would rather keep doing this than try something new—which is how I ended up with Jen for four years.

Sweeping has something to do with separating larger packages into different postal codes for delivery. You fill a container with stuff going to New Mexico and you think, “Damn, how many people in Oregon send packages to New Mexico in a day?” And then within an hour you’ve filled three more containers with stuff for New Mexico, as well as ten containers for Florida, five containers for Illinois, seven for Minnesota—all in an hour or two, and all you can think about is who is sending all this stuff, and how much of it there is.

Probably the most valuable thing I learned was that the new MP3 player I got as an early birthday present has trouble shuffling songs on my playlists. I have about 100 songs on one of the playlists, and the damn thing only played the same ten over and over again. It would go from Jay Z to Marylyn Manson to Fishbone to Bad Brains to Bad Brains to Bad Brains to Fishbone to Bad Brains to 24-7 Spyz to Suicidal Tendencies. And it kept “shuffling” things in the same order. Even if I would skip a track, it would go right into one of the same ten songs, ignoring the other 90-something on the list. I mean what the fuck is the point of having shuffle if it does such a bad job?

Anyway, that’s all for today.


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