Posted on Monday, 15th September 2014 by Nancy LedgerwoodPrint This Post
I was so excited when I got the call to come to work for the United States Postal Service! I had recently been laid off from another job and this couldn’t have come at a better time. I had always heard that the USPS was a good place to work and I found out it was. The benefits were excellent; 5 weeks of vacation (when I retired), 10 paid holidays, 13 paid sick days, health benefits and good wages!
I began my postal career June 1, 1991 at the General Mail Facility (GMF) in Kansas City KS working as a Distribution Clerk. My duties included; sorting parcels, letters and flats, working in the registry cage, running the Flat machine and Bar Code Sorter.
One of my favorite things to do was work on the flat machine. This was a machine that sorted the flats (magazines and newspapers) by zip code. I would sit at a conveyer and the flats would come in front of me and I would have to key the last three digits of the zip code, then the machine would take the flat and dump it in a tub to be delivered to that particular post office. I liked to challenge myself on how fast I could key them in. I was scheduled on Tour 1, which is 10:30 pm to 7 am and I was surprised when I found out I would be working nights. I guess I never gave it a thought as to how the mail got to the post office for the carriers to deliver. I have to admit, it was an adjustment to work those hours and as soon as I could, I put in for a transfer to the Pleasant Hill MO Post Office.
I was able to transfer in August of 1993 and began working the window and sorting mail. I would arrive at the post office around 5:45 am and began sorting the mail for the carriers. We had to sort it by route. It took a little while to learn all the different street names and which route they went on, but doing it day after day, I learned it pretty quickly. We had two city routes and 5 rural routes. The clerks in offices like this usually do a split shift, we come in early to sort the mail and then come back in the afternoon to get all the mail ready for dispatch.
One of my other duties while working at Pleasant Hill was as a substitute City Carrier. I would carry the mail every other Saturday. I’m not much of an “outdoor” person, so this job wasn’t one of my favorite things to do. You had to carry mail in the rain, snow, hail, etc. I liked the days where it was 70 degrees and mail was light! This route was 4 miles long, so it wasn’t that bad compared to the other route, which was 18 miles. I met a lot of nice people along the route and some of them were very good to me including giving me something cold to drink on those hot days. That was so appreciated! That’s one of the nice things about the postal service; there are many, many different jobs. There is one out there for you!
I transferred in 1995 to the Greenwood MO Post Office where I also worked the window and sorted mail. This was a smaller office than Pleasant Hill; we didn’t have any city routes and only 3 rural routes. No more carrying mail! I liked that! I stayed at this post office until 2000, when I transferred to the Bates City MO Post Office. That is one of the nice things about the post office, you are able to transfer and get closer to home. Bates City was only a few miles from my home, which made it so nice. I was the only clerk in Bates City. Whenever the Postmaster was out of the office, such as on annual or meetings at the District Office, I would be the Officer In Charge or Acting Postmaster.
In October of 2003, I was fortunate to be “detailed” in the Personnel Department at the District Offices in Kansas City MO. I learned so much in that position and loved that job. I was responsible for the hiring of career and non-career employees in 700+ post offices, stations and processing plants in Kansas and Missouri. My two-year “detail” turned into 5 years! It was a very rewarding position, because I got to see the excitement on new employees faces just like I had in 1991. The USPS has been very good to me; I had excellent pay, health benefits and now a good retirement. If you are looking for the same things, I strongly urge you to visit http://www.postalwork.net to explore the opportunities and for direct links to the official USPS employment site. Search for any positions that are now available and apply. I don’t think you will be sorry that you did. Good luck to you!
Helpful Career Planning Tools
- Applying For Post Office Jobs
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- Take Charge of Your Federal Career; An Action Oriented Career Management Workbook for Federal Employees
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- Federal Employee’s Career Development & IDP Center
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