Women at Work: Keep those cards and letters coming

December 23, 2018

Christmas is less than a week away, but postal workers’ jobs do not slow down.

It’s a busy time of year for those who deliver mail and packages. After all, it takes a lot to get all the holiday cards, gifts and, of course, monthly bills out.

Surprisingly, a high number of households still send out Christmas cards and letters. This is the one time I enjoy receiving mail versus reading things on social media. There is something to be said for getting old-school mail, especially this time of the year.

A local female mail carrier starts her day at 7 a.m. by casing her letters and packages for about an hour to get her truck ready for the day. Being part-time, her day is supposed to end around noon, but she often enjoys helping co-workers in need of extra hands. This time of year, many full-timers need help often.

In her third year, our mail carrier finds herself enjoying the majority of her job. Her favorite part of the work is walking outside in the fresh air.

When it comes to dislikes, there are only a couple, with the worst being wet feet! Although it’s difficult to sort letters when wearing gloves, she said she can deal with cold hands and sidewalks that have not been shoveled.

I asked for her weirdest experience, and she relayed a story during which she was sitting in her truck and a nude man walked out of his house and proceeded to run down the sidewalk. Without missing a beat, she rolled her truck door shut and simply motored away.

What she finds most rewarding is when customers trust her enough to invite her into their homes for a brief chat. “People are so excited to get their mail this time of year, and packages really bring the smiles to people’s faces.”

Here are a few tips for getting your holiday mail delivered where you wish it to be on time:

1. Pay attention to deadlines: Get your packages and mail out! First class mail usually has a different deadline than, say, UPS or FedEx. If you are the ultimate procrastinator, you will end up paying extra to get those packages delivered on time.

2. Track your packages. Most services have their own tracking services, so if you want to know exactly when your mail or package should arrive, make sure you track it. And, for fun, if packages are arriving from Santa, sometimes the kids like to see the “live” tracking as well.

3. Package your items correctly! Leave the crumpled newspapers in the recycle bin and actually use bubble wrap or another type of packaging material. When it comes to boxes, use one made specifically for shipping, not an old shoe or shirt box you have had in your closet for the past year.

This particular city carrier’s last statement, and I will say it was made with a grin, is, “Update your address list before you send your holiday mail out if you want it to get to the recipient on time.”

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