Working: A Day on the Job
By ELLEN MOSES
How long have you worked for the U.S. Postal Service?
I started here at the South Annex as a temp in December 1995.
What kind of hours do you work?
My regular hours are from 7 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., but I'm on the overtime list, so I have about a 50-hour work week.
What is your daily routine like?
I come in the office from 7 'til about 9 a.m. Here we have what you might call pigeonholes where we sort the mail for our route by address. Then I take down the mail and load the truck in sequence and head out to my route. My route, which is (zip code) 33712, has 405 stops, all homes.
When does your work day end?
Hopefully by 3:30 it's the end of the day, but if someone got sick or we're short-handed, we split up that route so I might have to take like an hour or hour and a half and go out on someone else's route.
How do heavy mailing holidays affect your job?
Usually the month of December we have no vacation time. We can usually prepare ourselves for working at least six days a week. Packages are very heavy this time of year.
What kind of qualifications do you need for this job?
A perfect driving record, a background history with no felonies or misdemeanors and a high school diploma.
How far do you walk each day?
Anywhere from 5 to 10 miles a day.
So how much weight do you carry?
About 15 pounds to start off.
Do you go through a lot of shoes on your job?
No. We receive allowance money, anywhere from $250 to $300, where we can go and buy regulated postal shoes. Usually my shoes last me anywhere from six to eight months
Have you ever been bitten by a dog?
Yes, once. The customer was letting the garage door up . . . and the dog came running out, and before I knew it he nipped me on the back of the leg.
How did that anthrax scare affect you?
At first when I heard about it, it did kind of scare me, but just knowing the security that we had from the main post office helped. We were allowed to wear gloves if we felt unsafe, but I never did. Pretty soon everything just kind of went back to normal.
What are some of the perks of your job?
Good benefits. Good money. Good exercise. I constantly tell people it's just what the doctor ordered.
How much money do you make?
I can say anywhere from $37,000 to about $42,000 a year with my experience.
What other kinds of jobs have you worked?
I worked at McDonald's for seven years. I was a manager. That was my first job and then I came here.
What would your dream job would be?
I want to be a postmaster. That's my goal.
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