the morning mail

Yesterday I had an easy mail day, and I brought along my camera. Fortunately for you, there wasn't a lot of mail or else I wouldn't have had the time to take these pictures.

This is the mail case for route 7, the one I worked yesterday. Most of those slots represent two addresses, though some only contain one. This is how it looked first thing in the morning. You can see stuff sitting in the slots already. Those are Friday afternoon's flats. When we finish our routes in the afternoon and return to the PO, there is almost always a stack of flats waiting for us to throw into the case. Sometimes it's only a foot high, sometimes it's three feet. Yesterday we didn't have any afternoon flats, which probably means I'm going to get pounded on my usual route tomorrow.

Here is a bad non-working flashbulb picture of the case for route 5, my usual route. Those are tubs full of flats sitting on the floor. To the left, if you can make it out, is a stack of coupon circulars called "the Clipper." Those are what we refer to as "box holders," they go to every residential box on the route. Those are still at the case now since Jim Regular took out the newspapers on the right, also a boxholder, called "The Connection." They arrive every Friday. Remember how I said this was a light day? It was. Tomorrow I'll have anywhere from six to eight tubs of flats waiting for me when I arrive, and four (or more) additional will arrive while I'm working. And we haven't even talked about raw letters, pre-sorted letters, second class mail, small parcels (called "pieces"), or parcels yet.

Skipping way ahead, here's my car loaded with the day's mail (I forgot to take a shot of the loaded cart, I'll have to bring my camera again some other time). Anyway, the top shot is from the front seat looking back, the middle shot is from the back and the bottom picture is taken from outside the passenger side rear door. If I had taken a fourth picture from the other side you would have seen a bunch of parcels, but I couldn't open that door without them spilling out on the asphalt. Now, I don't always have huge parcels like the monsters I had today. I usually can see out the back windshield from the front of the car.

Incidentally, the recipients of those two humongous parcels were not home but they did think to leave their gigantic chops-licking dog outside to ensure that I couldn't get out of the car. So I had to drive around all day with those things (each of which weighed about 40 lbs) in my car. Lovely.

Remember I told you about my two worst days as a carrier so far. Both nightmares involved one of these things. This is the infamous nutting cart (with siblings in background). Oy. Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

And here I am, car all loaded, ready to rock and roll. Can you tell I've already put in four hours of solid work casing, lifting, and loading a bunch of mail? Notice the tray of mail leaning against the passenger seat at the bottom left of frame. That's tray number one in its delivery position for when I get to the first stop on the route. I had seven trays total yesterday.

Multiply this day by two and you get a typical Monday. If I can swing it, maybe I'll snap a picture or two tomorrow, 'cause I can tell you're having trouble believing me.

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