I have mixed feelings about the ridiculous federal attempt to save the U.S. Postal Service. On the one hand, I realize it’s an albatross whose wings should be clipped. Nowadays, it’s no more than a redundant hiring hall for Democrats, particularly black ones. And a distributor of junk mail.
On the other hand, I myself once benefited from its participation in the Democrat hiring machine. Best-paying job I ever had as a college student at the University of Maryland in 1966-67. My godmother, who was a minor cheese in the Woodrow Wilson administration (my, goodness, that was a long time ago) found out I was having trouble making ends meet as a part-time supermarket cashier while my other part-time career as a door-to-door Wearever cookware salesman was not prospering.
She wrote me a letter (no email in those days) with a D.C. telephone number, and said to call the number on a certain day at a certain time and to tell the nice man who answered my name. Just my name. He would tell me what to do next. Indeed, the nice man said to wait a sec while he checked something, his hiring list presumably. Then he said to go to a certain address on a certain date at a certain time and be ready to work.
The address was Greek to me. This was in pre-Google days. Even a map wouldn’t have told me what was there. Turned out to be the Georgia Avenue garage of the Postal Service, right across the street from historically-black Howard University. The nice supervisors, all black, gave me a Postal Service saucer hat to wear, told me I’d have to buy a jacket if I wanted one, handed me the keys to a one-ton truck, asked if I’d ever driven one (sure, I lied) a map and my route list.
The only other white boy in the place was my helper that day, to show me the ropes. Turned out he was a U of Maryland football player, an offensive lineman on scholarship, who needed extra money. The job was scooping mail from street boxes into heavy, gray canvas sacks, and dragging more sacks to the truck from office-building lobbies all over D.C. Particularly down around the White House, though the routes changed from day to day.
When the back of the truck was stacked high with the heavy bags of mail, I delivered them to a loading dock at Postal Service headquarters, off-loaded them and went out for more. I usually worked from 5 to 10, evenings. It was sweaty (particularly in the summer but even in the winter) manual labor lugging those mail bags around, but it paid a heckuva lot more than cashier or unsuccessful cookware salesmen.
If I hadn’t been drafted into the Army a week before graduation in June, 1967, I might still be working in some desk job for the Postal Service. Or retired from it, and worried about my friends and their futures.