1. Maybe your dog wonât bite you.
But in 2013, 5500 of us were bitten, an average of 18 bites per delivery day. Thatâs why I wince when your Doberman comes flying out the door.
2. Remember this on Valentineâs Day:
It takes our machines longer to read addresses on red envelopes (especially if theyâre written in colored ink).
3. Why stand in line?
, you can buy stamps, place a hold on your mail, change your address, and apply for passports. We even offer free package pickup and free flat-rate envelopes and boxes, all delivered right to your doorstep.
4. Media Mail is a bargain!
But most of you donât know to ask for it. Sending ten pounds of books from New York City to San Francisco through Media Mail costs $6.95, compared with $24.77 for Standard Post. Besides books, use it to send manuscripts, DVDs, and CDs; just donât include anything else in the package.
5. We donât get a penny of your tax dollars.
6. UPS and FedEx charge you $10 or more...
...if you mess up an address. Us? Not a cent.
7. Paychecks, personal cards, lettersâ
anything that looks like good newsâI put those on top. Utility and credit card bills? They go under everything else.
8. Sorry if I seem like Iâm in a hurry,
but Iâm under the gun: Our supervisors tell us when to leave, how many pieces of mail to deliver, and when we should aim to be back. Then some of us scan bar codes in mailboxes along our route so they can monitor our progress.
9. Yes, we do have to buy our own stamps,
but a lot of us carry them for customers who need them. If we donât charge you, thatâs because we like you.
10. Use a ballpoint pen.
Ink from those felt tips runs in the rain.
11. Please dress properly when you come to the door.
A towel wrapped around you doesnât cut it. And we definitely donât want to see you in your underwearâor naked!
12. We serve 150 million addresses six days a week,
so weâre often in the right place at the right time. We pull people out of burning cars, catch burglars in the act, and call 911 to report traffic accidents, dead bodies, and more.
13. Most of us donât mind if you pull up to our trucks
while weâre delivering and ask for your mail a little early. But please get out of your car and come get it. Donât just put your hand out your window and wait for me to bring it to you.
14. Most of us love our jobs
and the people we serve. I met my wife and my best friend because I was their letter carrier.
15. We go to great lengths to deliver to every address,
no matter how remote. Thatâs why, in the most rural areas, even UPS and FedEx rely on us to make their final deliveries.
16. Those plants around your mailbox are beautiful,
but Iâd like them better if you kept them trimmed back.
17. Is it hot enough for me?
The heat index is 110 degrees. What do you think? (Instead of asking that, offer me a cold drink.)
18. Despite the âneither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of nightâ motto,
weâre instructed not to deliver to a mailbox if the snow and ice around it isnât cleared. Most of us take the motto to heart, though, and do our best to deliver in even the most hazardous conditions.
19. I have people who leave a letter in their box
and tape 49 cents in change to it. Iâll take it, but the next day Iâll be waiting in line like everyone else to buy you a stamp.
20. One day while delivering to a woman
who had been very sick, her daughter met me by the mailbox and asked me if I wanted to say goodbye to her mom. She was unconscious and didnât know that I was there, but I held her hand and said a silent prayer for her and her family. It wasnât even an hour later when another customer met me at his door. He was a new father, overjoyed, telling me that his wife had just given birth to his son. The whole cycle of life, in just one day.
21. Itâs a small thing that makes my job so much easier:
Please park your car in the driveway instead of in front of the mailbox.
22. If a letter has your name
but the number is wrong and it gets to you, thank your carrier. We still sort our mail before we hit the street.
23. If your carrier walks his route,
it would be nice if you would sweep or shovel your stairs when it snows.
24. Sometimes, when my wife and I are shopping or out to dinner,
I ask if they give discounts to people in the âservice.â They usually say âyes,â then ask âWhat branch are you in?â I reply, âpostal.â I usually get a funny look and a little snickerâ¦ I guess that means Iâm just going to have to wait for my senior-citizens discount.
Sources: Letter carriers in Missouri, New Jersey, and North Carolina; Fredric V. Rolando, president of the National Association of Letter Carriers; and a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.