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What’s It Like to Work as a Letter Carrier for the Postal Service?

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You’ve probably heard of the benefits that regular employees of the United States Postal Service are enjoying. Not only do career-track postal workers enjoy competitive pay, they also get numerous benefits. These include health insurance, a generous retirement program, thrift savings plan, Social Security and Medicare, life insurance, flexible spending accounts, paid leaves, and holidays.

But we all know that a competitive pay and benefits package only represent one side of the coin. To get a comprehensive view of what working for the USPS really is like, you need to look past the pay alone. You also need to consider what the day-to-day grind of postal workers is like. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mail handler or a letter carrier, the pressures you face at work are common among postal workers nationwide. Of course, they vary by degree. The lesser the population you serve, the lesser the pressure.

First, you have to be prepared to complete your assigned deliveries for the day. Mail needs to reach their intended recipients no matter what the cost. You have to be prepared for this kind of pressure or else you won’t last long in this job. The good news, however, is that it only takes a few deliveries for you to master your assigned route. Once you get the hang of your job, the succeeding ones become routine.

Second, you have to be ready to do your job no matter what the weather. Letter carriers who make up the bulk of the Postal Service workforce are most exposed to the elements since they do their jobs outdoors. If your immune system is not up for the task, perhaps you should consider ways to increase your susceptibility to infections by improving your nutritional intake and taking vitamin and mineral supplements upon the recommendation of your doctor.

Third, expect your supervisor to be all over you when you don’t do your job. Of course, there are always exceptions to this as there are bound to be supervisors who will understand that you’re new to the job. But you have to remember that your superiors are under pressure too. The best thing to do would be to do your duties as best you can. Learn ways to perform your work more efficiently and you will stay in your supervisor’s good graces.

Fourth, be ready to meet the dangers of the road. There are dogs and other animals that can pose a threat to your safety. If you’re driving, you could meet with reckless motorists and/or pedestrians on the road that can put your life in danger. You have to be alert and careful when driving a postal vehicle.

Finally, expect to interact with colleagues of different temperaments and work styles. Maintaining a harmonious relationship with your fellow postal workers is a must if you want to accomplish your tasks while avoiding bickering and office gossip. You have to learn to blend and be patient.


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