I'm sure you've asked yourself that question at some time. I try to stay in denial so I can maintain my positive (read that - head in the sand) perspective when it comes to delivering the mail. There were probably a thousand substitute mail carriers asking themselves that very question Monday. The Monday or Tuesday following a holiday is always a nightmare.
It seemed like the only thing I didn't have to load was a saddle for the mail pony.
Substitutes get mostly the heavy mail days and since we aren't paid by the hour but by estimated average time to deliver the route, it's easy to get discouraged. Some substitutes wait for 5, 10, 12, or even 17 years to become a regular with a regular route, benefits, annual and sick leave, and their own personal slave (known ever so fondly as the sub). The regular gets their choice of a day off during the week. I'm just lucky that my carrier likes Saturdays off because Mondays are hell.
There are a lot of misconceptions about delivering the mail which I will address in a separate blog. But something more urgent on the horizon is the talk about eliminating Saturday deliveries.
While that might seem like a great idea for the postal service's budget, there are serious problems with the concept. Think what those Mondays would be like with no Saturday delivery. I can tell you the word would be IMPOSSIBLE. If they eliminate a weekday, then the businesses who depend on mail during the week will be unhappy and their schedules disrupted. Once they eliminate a day of delivery, the current system of categorizing routes and scheduling employees collapses.
The whole postal delivery system depends on a bank of part time/on call 24/7 employees called substitutes to make sure the mail goes through. We know that. We know we will get the bad days, the heavy days, the inconvenient days. We know we can be called in the day before, the morning of, or in the middle of the regular carrier's route. We know we are expected to use our own vehicle and pay for all our expenses out of the usually insufficient gas allowance. We know that until we get on regular we will work every holiday, every Thanksgiving, every Christmas.
What kind of job is that? Why do we do it? Remind me again?
Is it to get a regular forty hour a week position as a regular which will probably never happen (I'm so far down on the totem pole)?
Oh that's right. The pay is good and it allows me to write.
Well, okay then. Bring on the mail.