Hello! Remember, almost a year ago, when I did an interview with John "the mailman" in Milwaukee, Wisconsin? Since then, he and I have become great friends, and exchanged lots of mail. If you missed his interview, you can read it here.
I have been wanting to find new mail carriers to interview, and especially a woman. As it turns out, one of our talented blog friends is a mail carrier in Chicago, who happily answered my questions! And, she has some great answers!
She is also an amazing art quilter, fiber artist, and photographer.
Stop by her blog, Threadstory, and learn more about Karen's artistic side.
|Karen's all ready for her day!|
Here goes!! Let's meet Karen.....another fabulous mail carrier, working the zip 60656-60706, Chicago, Illinois.
How long have you been a mail carrier and what did you do before this?
I have been a letter carrier for 23 years. Right before this I worked in a photo lab.
What's the most interesting or unusual thing you've delivered
That's a hard one. There have been the coconuts from Hawaii, beach balls, baby bottles with shower invitations, A tire, And once a beautifully wrapped hockey stick. But nothing comes to mind as having been really unusual.
( And those items were not in boxes--I asked! I'd love to get a loose coconut!)
What's the nicest thing someone on your route has done for you?
People are amazing. They hand out cold water during the hot summer days. Offer umbrellas when it rains ( I have to say no to that as I just do not have enough hands! ) Gifts of gloves,scarfs, and pocket hand warmer packets. Once I was given a teddy bear in a postal uniform as thanks for all I do. The best days are the ones when you see someone excited and smiling because you just gave them the best letter or package ever!
What do you hate to deliver?
Mail that has been mangled by the machinery! The damaged pieces or magazines just make it look as if we don't care. Believe me, we care!
Do you have a favorite stamp that the USPS has issued?
The series of stamps with forest plants and animals from some years back. And of course the Gees Bend quilts!
|Here's one of Gee's Bend quilt stamps|
Have you ever been bitten by a dog (or person)?
Dog - yes. Bit me on the toe of my shoe and missed my toe thankfully. And once by a gargoyle...yes you read that right. A gargoyle. On a porch of a residence there was a big ceramic pot that had decorative gargoyles with gaping mouths full of fang like teeth poised along the upper edge. It had been near the mailbox and when I turned to go back down the steps I bumped into it and one of the gargoyles fangs jabbed my leg cutting me. Not deeply but a two inch gash and tore the slacks as well.
Anything about your uniform mail carriers wish they could change?
I would love to see them do away with polyester...
Has anything embarrassing ever happened on the job?
Of course! The slips and falls on snowy days where one pops back up and hopes no one saw.... Any time I make a miss-delivery ( only human after all ). But nothing that would make it to you-tube!!
And lastly, I always love to ask people this; What is something we can't tell by looking at you?
People have no idea that I am a fiber artist or that photography is something I have done for years. At work I am the 'mail lady' and while many of the people know me by my first name, that is just about all they do know about me. The conversations are usually short and consist of things like the weather and big headline news. They tell me of families and bits of their lives. For some people I may be the only person they talk with for days. I am always happy to listen for the few minutes it takes to make a better day for them. Many of the people on my route are elderly and I - as well as my co-workers - tend to watch out for them. Paying attention to mail not being taken out of the box etc. People have been saved by a carrier seeing that and notifying authorities so they can check on them if no one responds to the door bell. The people are the best part of this job.
Thank you so much Karen for answering my questions and letting us into the world of another mail carrier! Your answers made me laugh out loud at times! All the best and wishing you a long Spring!