A week before Floyd showed up, the supervisor asked me if I wanted to learn yet another route, my third. I said okay and asked for the line of travel for rural route 3. The line of travel is an ordered list of all the roads and turns the carrier makes as he or she "follows the mail" on the route. I drove it last Friday on my own time just to see what it was like (I've done that with the other routes I've learned as well).
Today the supervisor called me at home. She said "I usually like to do things the way you guys ask me to but sometimes I just can't."
"Huh?" I said.
"You're not going to learn route 3. I need you to learn route 7. The sub just quit."
That sub was Greg (not his real name). He came on about two weeks before me. He often talked about his Christian faith and asked lots of questions about what I did as a church staff memeber. He was struggling as a carrier and more than once had mentioned that his wife was unhappy about him having to work every Saturday. Two weeks ago I told my wife I thought he might quit soon.
Somehow Greg managed to take all of last week off, which is why I worked three days, they needed all the remaining subs. He hadn't yet returned to work from his week off when he called today and quit, effective immediately, no notice.
So now I'm going to learn the route he abandoned and suddenly I will be working every Saturday for the forseeable future.
Part of me is a little miffed that Greg talked so openly about being a Christian but then put the screws to the whole crew of subs by quitting so suddenly and, despite being asked by the supervisor for two weeks notice, refused to give it. Though I'm not surprised, I guess. The demands of this job make it very, very hard to think of anyone but oneself.
Still... "very, very hard" is not "impossible."