Have you ever wondered what it's like to be a mailman? The job certainly has its attractions. The daily life of a mailman is a mixture of the routine and the unexpected. It is a great job for a person who likes to be off work fairly early and who doesn't mind, or even enjoys, being up at the crack of dawn. Perhaps the lure of working outside is appealing when sitting at a desk has been your life for the last decade. If so these mailman facts will be of particular interest.
The mailman goes by many different names in different countries. Historically the postie or mail carrier has been an approachable person who is always willing to stop for a quick chat. A mailman is as much a part of the community as the local store owners or your neighbors. Most can complete their route blindfolded and all are trained in a number of ways you probably wouldn't expect.
Mailmen have seen their jobs move much more towards package delivery in the electronic age. The amount of correspondence done by e-mail and text message means handwritten letters are becoming rarer even than delivering chickens. Even so the mailman still has a hugely important role to play in delivering items that can cross the country in less than 24 hours.Enjoy these facts about mailmen and next time someone you know wonders, "what is being a postal worker like?" you'll have all the answers.
They Don't Really Have a Place to Go to the Bathroom
Mailmen work an eight hour shift between the work at the post office and the work on their route. During this time period they get a 30 minute lunch break and two 10 minute breaks. While mailmen working in cities will often pass businesses where they can stop in and use the bathroom, there are rural routes that offer no such luxuries. Workers on these routes need to either time their breaks so they are passing a gas station or be ready to ask a resident to use their bathroom. If all else fails, there's always disappearing into the woods.
USPS Is One of America's Biggest Drug Distributors
The US Postal Service is (unwittingly) one of the biggest deliverers and distributors of drugs in the USA. While Hollywood would tell you that the way to deliver drugs is via speedboats and sports cars, the truth is that many online drug dealers simply package up their product and ship it around the country for the price of a few stamps. How is this possible? This USPS statement explains perfectly:
"First-Class letters and parcels are protected against search and seizure under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, and, as such, cannot be opened without a search warrant. If there is probable cause to believe the contents of a First-Class letter or parcel violate federal law, Postal Inspectors can obtain a search warrant to open the mailpiece. Other classes of mail do not contain private correspondence, and therefore may be opened without a warrant."So unless the package smells overwhelmingly of drugs, chances are it will get through without being searched.
Many Mailmen Are Actually Temporary Employees
While career mailmen can make big bucks, there are many mailmen out there who are technically temporary employees. These employees will be hired for a year before being let go for a week around their anniversary date... then being hired back on again. Why? Because this way the US Postal Service is that there are no benefits, and specifically no retirement funds, paid to these employees. These kinds of carriers became much more commonplace because of budget issues in late 2012.
It's Illegal to Leave Something in a Friend's Mailbox
Mailboxes at residences are considered USPS property. This means that any advertisements, newspapers, or magazines that are put in a mailbox without going through the postal service are technically illegal. While a mailman is unlikely to call someone out for posting a flyer about a missing dog around their neighborhood, they will get in touch if continued offenses occur, especially if the offense involves advertiing.