Join Waukesha resident Brien Lee and his blog, Sir Fido, as they explore the city and report on the interesting things they find.
Email Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org.
|"Going postal" is a pejorative term. What does it really mean?|
- All of the these (Checking to see if an elderly customer is ok., Collecting food for the needy., Paying postage due out of pocket to avoid a late charge on someone's bill.). The term "going postal" gained notoriety in the 1980s and 1990s, when some postal workers committed homicide inside the post office. The term has bad connotations, and postal workers are sick and tired of these connotations. The real meaning of "going postal" is going above and beyond what postal workers normally do. Why not thank them for the good deeds they do day in and day out?
I'd first thought I'd be helping the Waukesha Food Pantry when I signed up to volunteer for this year's National Letter Carrier's Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive via the Salvation Army website. I'm on the Salvation Army email list, and the site is a breeze to use for volunteering. I even mentioned to Judy at the Pantry that I'd already signed up. I soon realized, however, that I'd instead be helping the Salvation Army. It's all good though, because the food is distributed to the same less fortunate people, the Pantry and Salvation Army work well together, and I enjoy volunteering with both.
This year I chose to help at the post office unloading and loading trucks. Was told to meet at Salvation Army, and when their van stopped in front of the house thought they were here to give me a ride, but they were just cruisin' the 'hood to pick up donated food.
Major Carol gave me and another volunteer a ride over to the post office in their straight truck. I thought between her and Karen Tredwell they'd be the busiest people in Waukesha on this day. I felt fortunate to get a ride from her. Who should I find at the post office? Karen and Michael from the Pantry! I'd be working with all of them. This must be the happening spot.
Though less than a dozen people were there when we arrived, there was enough hot food to feed an army. Nothing was going on before 1:00 p.m., so I helped myself to a surprisingly delicious charcoal grilled brat while waiting for the rush everyone was predicting.
Polly from the post office offered us a tour and we took her up on it before we got busy. It was most interesting to see how our mail is sorted after arriving from Milwaukee, and to see the small slot all my bills go before coming here. She said we're the second stop on our carrier's route, and that the average amount of mail a carrier can sort is five feet an hour. That's a lot of bills!
Our tour was cut short by arriving trucks. I rushed outside to learn we'd also be doing some sorting. Regretted we didn't discuss the process, but I caught on quickly. Still early, this was a feel for what was to come. We were told 60 postal trucks would later arrive close together starting around two something. This first sample of the job gave me a feel of what to expect and we started organizing things, talked about it and got things ready.
Sorting was basic. Just three separations; cans, glass, and everything else. We ended up filling huge pallet boxes with the sorted food and loaded them onto the pantry trucks, which had to move every time a semi arrived.
The rush came as foretold, and it didn't help our truck was often not at the dock to load. Where before carts were in overabundance, they soon became in short supply as they were filled and set aside until we could get to them.
I kept moving, sorting, lifting . . . right along side Major Carol, Karen, Michael, Polly, Polly's daughter and her friends, postal workers... it was an intense three hours. Unbelievable helpers all! Never imagined we'd be done so soon. Huge thanks to everyone involved! The letter carriers and postal workers did a fantastic job!