postal tragedy

You may be wondering about my reaction to the news that a former postal employee killed six of her coworkers, a former neighbor, and herself Monday night. If not, then you can skip this post.

I first heard about it when another rural carrier showed up to work yesterday morning and told me about it. Since I had been at my case since 5am, I hadn't heard. The other rural carriers (our cases are all in one area of the building) all had the same reaction, sadness over the loss of life mixed with frustration that it gives people one more reason to hold postal workers in low esteem. Forget that the woman was an ex postal worker who was removed for psychological reasons. Forget too that she gained access to the facility by stealing an ID badge from another worker at gunpoint. All that will be remembered is: another postal worker went crazy and killed people.

The fact is that there are about 700,000 people employed by the USPS, and any time you're dealing with that many people it is statistically impossible not to have a few people who are emotionally or mentally unbalanced.

My own feelings are mainly of deep sadness for the people who lost their lives, and their survivors since as this story indicates, some of them had spouses and children. The real tradegy in all of this is what a few husbands and wives and children now must face.

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