• What It's Like

Things You Didn't Know About the Daily Life of Your Mailman

List RulesVote up the facts about the daily life of the average postal worker that surprised you the most.

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.
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    103 VOTES

    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.
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    Mailmen Carry Dog Spray... Just in Case

    Mailmen are trained not to approach any house to a dog out in the yard. Occasionally, a situation will present itself when an angry pet comes out of nowhere and surprises the valiant postal worker. This is no cartoon chase scene however, and the mailman has a pepper spray variant in his or her arsenal just for this situation. One spray of "off" is usually enough to allow the mailman to make a swift exit.

    Some use other techniques including rolled up mail or even using their postal bag as a shield!
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    56 VOTES

    Delivering the Mail Is Only Part of the Job

    Photo: johncappiello / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    The part of the mailman's day that the public sees is sometimes less than half of the job. The day starts several hours before mail hits the mailboxes with organizing hundreds of piece of mail with upwards of 1,000 names and addresses involved. Next comes packing the mail, a stressful process that has to be done perfectly day after day to ensure perfect mail delivery. After the mail is finally delivered, hitting every box on the route, the mailman must then organize any mail picked up on the route for pickup and finish their paperwork.
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    80 VOTES

    Mailmen Check on the Safety of People as They Do Their Rounds

    Photo: velostricken / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0
    The USPS Carrier Alert Program means that mailmen are keeping a watchful eye over the people on their route. Created in 1982, this program is a natural fit for a person who sees the neighborhood on a regular schedule and who gets to know the routines of the people to whom he or she delivers daily.
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