Saturday 14 January 2012

Have a Nice Day

I was out for a walk the other day which is a habit that I have gotten into over the past 35 years or so. I am not out every day, but most days you can find me wandering about the neighbourhood scanning the sidewalk ahead of me for cracks and ice or snow. I also watch for discarded items at the side of the road that might just pique my interest.

I got into the habit of walking with my eyes focused on the ground in front of me during all of those years delivering mail. Casting your eyes on the ground as a mailman has more than one benefit. The most obvious one is that you can see where you are putting your feet and hopefully avoid either tripping or slipping on ice and snow. If you don’t pay attention to those things, you are more than likely going to end up on your ass with the mail fluttering down around you. You might even break your mickey of vodka! Not me, but other guys. The other benefit if you are a letter carrier is that if you have your eyes on the ground you can plausibly deny that you saw the customer that was trying to get your attention to either take some mail to the box or answer some really stupid question.

Every now and then you do lift your eyes and invariably some well meaning dipshit catches your attention. This happened to me one day when I was delivering in Marlborough Mall. This woman came and stood in front of me and said “Can I ask you a question?”

I wasn’t sure if that was the question she wanted to ask or if there was actually going to be more than one question. I nodded a yes that incorporated a shrug, an eye roll and of course a resigned sigh. I looked at this woman and she wasn’t wearing clothing but rather she had somehow managed to drape the contents of her entire laundry basket on her body. This should be great I thought.

“How much postage do I need to send a letter to Victoria BC?”

Hey, things are looking up; this is a real question, so I told her forty six cents. Have a nice day.”

“Would the letter get there if it didn’t have the correct postage?”

Uh-oh! “It should, but the person that you are sending it to will have to pay, or maybe it might come back to you marked insufficient postage. Have a nice day.”

“Oh and what if it didn’t have any postage?”

I looked at her and realized that I wasn’t going anywhere fast. “Well, the same thing would happen as with not enough postage. Have a nice day.”

“Tell me, if you found a letter on the ground, would you mail it?”

“Well, I would if I saw it, but I don’t normally pick up pieces of paper on the ground. Have a nice day.”

“Do you think anyone else would mail a letter if they found it on the ground?” She said with a very worried look on her face.

“Well, I would hope so. It is nice to think that people would go out of their way to help someone out.” I knew in my heart that the only paper most of the mall crawlers would pick up would have numbers in the corners and a picture of a dead Prime Minister in the centre. “Tell me, did you lose this letter that you are talking about?”

“It doesn’t seem to be in my bag, and I don’t remember whether I mailed it yesterday or the day before.”

“You know, now that I am thinking about it I did see an envelope just down at the other end of the mall yesterday, I bet that might be it. Why don’t you go about your shopping and I will see if it is still there and if it is I will mail it straight away. Have a nice day!”

“Thank you.” She said to my receding back.

I knew that there wasn’t a snowballs chance in Hell that I would ever see that letter, but for the rest of the time in the mall, I kept searching the floor for an envelope. Stranger things have happened.

1 comment:

  1. Well at least she wasn't 350 lbs and in spandex like so many mall crawlers are,or was she? B