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September 08, 2003

A Good Mailman

One thing Tammy and I miss from Boise is our old mailman. He was not a post mail carrier. He was a mailman – George. It seems that a really good mailman is hard to find these days. George was just such a mailman. I’m sure he wasn’t the fastest on the route, but he had something else. He knew his route by the people themselves, not by the address numbers or just even the last names. He rarely mis-delivered the mail, even though we were in an apartment block with 20 mailboxes all stacked in a 2’ × 2’ cube. I think in 18 months we had mis-delivered mail 8-10 times, which mainly happened when he was sick or on a 1 week vacation to Maine. He often checked on the elderly residents, asking me about them if he hadn’t seen them in a few days. His route was part of his community, and he was a part of ours. We enjoyed seeing him, even if we were having a bad day and didn’t want to see the inevitable bills and junk mail he brought. Every Christmas Tammy made him treats and she actually timed them to be fresh out of the oven when he came by.

We knew even while in Boise that we would miss George if he retired or we moved. Sure enough we miss him all the more, as our current PMC is nothing like George. Ok, for the record they are both men, they are (or were, I believe George has retired) both employed by the US Postal Service, and they are both from New England. Our current PMC never has a pleasant greeting. He is short and brusque if you try to ask him a question– including, “How are you?” Of course, if the mail was always delivered early and correctly that wouldn’t be such a big deal, but, the basic fact is, in the 8 weeks we’ve been here, he hasn’t delivered a single week without sticking our mail in someone else’s box and other’s mail in ours. There are 24 actual apartments in the old mill/foundry we live in, no harder or easier a task than George’s was. The difference appears to be in caring and taking the time to do it right. We really miss George.

And if you really need to get a letter or package to us— send it UPS. George is our UPS man – a different George, but cut from the same cloth as George of Boise.

Posted by Eric at September 8, 2003 12:38 PM | TrackBack
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