Sunday, January 31, 2010

I Told You Never To Call Me Here

When I first transferred out to Henderson, NV, 10 years ago now (!), this was the fastest growing city in the United States. Not that Las Vegas had run out of room, but there was definitely more undeveloped area in Henderson that was very quickly BECOMING developed. Builders couldn’t put up houses fast enough. Everything was sold for months before it had even had a foundation poured. And if you had an existing home for sale, most of the time you couldn’t plant the “For Sale” sign in the ground, because it was already sold before you ever got that far. New streets were being opened every day, and the mapmakers were in a tizzy with the incredibly rapid change in the topography.

This made for interesting times as a mailman. You had no idea how long a route would take you, because each day you came to work, another dozen or so deliveries were suddenly on your route, because a new section had been finished, and people were already moving in. Often, mail would start showing up to addresses that didn’t even exist yet, but sooner or later would. Since every day was a journey of address discovery, it was difficult to gauge how late you’d be working. With this being a desert and all, and it tending to go over 110 degrees on a regular basis for most of June, July and August, many people weren’t interested in working beyond 8 hours in a day, and so opted not to be on the overtime desired list in the summer months.

As a new transfer, you go to the bottom of the seniority list, as far as within that office. You keep your Post Office time, you’re just at the bottom of the barrel where you are now. Consequently, you don’t have a choice as far as wanting to work OT or not. So there were a dozen or so people at any given time who were Part Time Flexible (PTF) employees whose hours were pretty much limited by Federal laws that say you can’t work over 60 hours in a week. Very often, I’d be carrying until 6PM after starting at 7AM, then coming back to the office and doing some clean-up work on mail that needed to be forwarded, returned as attempted unknown, insufficient address, etc.

The office I work out of is huge, as it currently houses nearly 100 different routes in it. When it was late at night in the office, and there were maybe 8 PTF’s and a supervisor left in the building , you could easily hear the doors open signaling the return of another weary carrier. Especially on this one night…

Having only been there a few months at the time, I was working late one night when the doors burst open and in came a carrier screaming at the top of his lungs. Many of the carriers in my office are of Filipino descent. This one in particular had a very thick accent. I, along with anyone else remaining in the office, looked up to see what was going on. The man continued walking into the office, and he was yelling into his phone, “I told you NEVER to call me here, Goddammit! You fu@$%ng bitch, I going to KILL you! You stupid woman…”

We collectively stopped breathing, let alone working. Slack-jawed and wide-eyed, we all sat there stunned as the raving and ranting continued for a few more seconds. He walked further into the office, continuing to yell into his phone, until…

…his phone RANG…

…because he hadn’t actually been ON it…

…and before anyone could even figure out what had happened, let alone have time to say anything, in mid-stride he instantly slipped into a lovey-dovey voice, complete with thick Filipino accent, and sweetly said “Hi Honeeeeeyyy…”

As soon as we realized we’d all been reeled in like a bunch of fish in Lake Mead, our respect level for him went thru the roof.

Blog Post Soundtrack; Soulfly, The White Stripes, The Doors, Minutemen, Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, Corrosion Of Conformity, Fear Factory, Tricky, Little Richard, Booker T. & The Mg’s, Bjork, Nick Oliveri, Foo Fighters, Metallica vs. Britney Spears, Dead Milkmen, Beastie Boys, Fugazi

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