Sunday 23 December 2012

Every Corner Smelled Like Urine

For the past few months I have been working on and off doing a volume count for the Post office. They have figured out a way to take all of the joy and laughter out of the job and need a physical count of the mail to justify screwing over their employees. I am sure they would phrase things differently, but the end result will be the same, disgruntled, miserable, unhappy mailmen. You thought they were disgruntled before…just wait.

To do these counts, they need anywhere from twenty to fifty people. Most of our time is spent waiting in a lunch room until the carriers have the mail ready and then once the mail is counted, we retire to the lunchroom again and finish the paper work. Pretty simplistic work, but I find I am quite suited to it. The first day of each count, they have name tags which are supposed to be worn around the neck. I am sure it’s so that the carriers or someone else can put a name to the blame. I however find it really helpful as I can’t remember most people’s names. If they would only wear the damned tags, I would quickly learn the names, but after that first day no one bothers. Well, I do but I learned my name quite some time ago and rarely forget it.

I would like to see everyone wear name tags in everyday life. It just makes things simple. Mind you, even when people do wear tags I don’t as a rule use their name. I don’t want to presume a friendship where there isn’t one. Even when I am wearing a name tag, I am amazed that people know my name; it seems that I forget I am wearing the tag.

More than a few years ago, the Post Office embarked on a kind of beautification plan. I think they called it …no that wasn’t it…hmmmm…nope I just can’t remember. The idea was to standardize all of the offices and all of the depots across Canada so that a letter carrier or a clerk could walk into any installation and know where everything they needed was located. The stupid thing about this plan was that almost no one went from place to place and even if they did it took all of five minutes to orient yourself. I have to assume that who ever came up with the idea was a certifiable moron and couldn’t find his nose with his finger.

They came around and painted all of the walls according to some master plan, they moved the different work stations to fit into their master plan. Of course this caused no end of confusion with the people who actually did the work. They put signs hanging from the roof telling you where each walk was, where the registration booth was, where the supervisor was located, the lunchroom, the loading dock and they even put up signs to tell us where the washrooms were. Thank God! Up until then, people had been taking dumps all over the place and every corner smelled like urine.

To do this, instead of using the maintenance staff, there were three or four highly paid management types scraping mouse shit from under the sinks in the lunch rooms. I’m not against this, because finally they were doing a job that they were qualified to do.

I don’t think we need signs on every bush, tree and telephone post, but it is nice to be able to look someone in the chest and say “Hi there Linda! Pretty cold out eh?”

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