Going Postal: Day 10

ella-stamp.jpgDay 10: So Funny I Forgot to Laugh

The shift me and several other people were hired to work is from 5 pm to 5:30 am. Actually, nobody told us the shift lasted to 5:30 in the morning, but according to the post office, since we get a full 30 minutes for lunch, we are supposed to be on the job for a total of 12 ½ hours. Most days the supervisors send some people home around 1:30, after they have put in 8 hours. Who gets sent home early seems to be fairly random, although after two weeks, I am the only person out of the crew I started with who has yet to be let go early. Instead, I have worked more 11 and 12 hour days than anyone out of my group. And I’m not happy about that.

At the beginning of last night’s shift—before the pain had yet to fully kick in—I asked the supervisor to send me home early if the opportunity arrived. Now, before I get into what she said, let me say that by 4 in the morning everyone from my crew except the dude from Vietnam and me had been sent home early. I can’t speak for my man from Vietnam—whose favorite catch phrase seems to be “mo’ money”—but I was pissed off to the heights of pissedivity.

It would be one thing if all of us got stuck working late, or there was some sort of rotation as to who gets to leave after eight or nine hours, but there ain’t no shit like that. I guarantee you that if you show up at the postal processing center at 4 in the motherfucking morning, if anyone from my crew is still working, it will be me and Mr. Mo’ Money. Now maybe Mo’Money has told the supervisors he wants all the hours he can get. But I haven’t said jack or shit along those lines.

The funny part of all of this is that after I told the supervisor I wanted to go home early, she tells me that shouldn’t be a problem. Then she says the most ridiculous shit anyone has said to me in a long time. “We don’t want you guys getting burned out too quickly, because we’ve got you all on crew for a year.” Then she mentioned the cat who quit the day before who, like me, was part of a crew brought on as year-long temps. She says how it was too bad he burned out so fast, because now they have to replace him. I looked at her and said, “Sheeee-it, he ain’t the only one that’s burned out.” And left it at that.

What I’m wondering is how does the post office expect people to work five and six days a week, for 12 hours a day, performing back-breaking, intense physical labor, and not get burned out. Seriously, this past Tuesday, I spent a total of eleven hours on my feet—on hard concrete—hauling sacks of mail that weighed up to 100 pounds. I know some mother fuckers that would burn out on that shit in less than a full day. But I’ve been holding it down for two weeks—although with the number of hours I’m clocking, it is closer to three weeks. Still, how in the bing-bang-butt-fucking hell do they expect us not to burn out? Expecting anything less than that is ridiculously offensive.

I was thinking about this last night, as I was moving these boxes of bricks wrapped in steel. When I work a full shift at the post office, I am there for 12 ½ hours. On a good day, it takes me about 15 to 20 minutes to drive each way. So, let’s round that down to 30 minutes, meaning the post office actually gets 13 hours of my day. At some point during the day I like to take a shower, pinch a loaf, and have something to eat—although not in that order—so we’ll figure an hour for all of that. Plus, I need to prepare my meal for work—another thirty minutes. Now we’re looking at 14 ½ hours of my day that is accounted for. And then we get to sleep. If I were to sleep eight hours, that would only leave me with 90 minutes of free time per day. Instead, I sleep about four or five hours after work, and then try to squeeze in an hour nap just before going in for my shift. Either way, sleep takes up about 6 hours, leaving me with just over 3 hours to do whatever I want—which includes writing these posts, checking and responding to emails, returning phone calls, and wondering how my life came to this. Actually, I do that last one while I’m hauling mail.


2 Responses to “Going Postal: Day 10”

  1. hihat Says:

    Just think how buffed out your body is going to be in a year!

  2. Chief Scalpum Whiteman Says:

    My little brother worked at the post office one Christmas, when he was still in high school. He worked for several weeks then just stopped showing up. He never told them he quit, or anything. After regaining his strength, he went back down there, and they put him back to work like nothing happened. Nobody said a word to him, just put him back to work. He finished up the season, and they asked him to come back the next year.

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