Hell of a First Day!

First Day on the Job

I started working for the Postal Service in 1970. I was part of an experiment called the Management Associate Program which brought in outside folks with an MBA to go through a trainee program. My first assignment was in the Queens Village Station at the Jamaica Queens Post Office.

The station had a large retail operation and 45 carrier routes, along with a manger and two supervisors. I completed the necessary paperwork and reported to the station on a Wednesday. All I knew about the postal service is that you drop mail in a collection box and mail would show up at your home mail box.

Much to my surprise the manager told me he was retiring on Saturday, one supervisor was going on vacation on Saturday and the other was going in for an operation on Saturday. I asked who would be running the show and the answer I received was, "you."

When I reported on Saturday I was responsible for all three management assignments and knew nothing about the job. The first problem was with the carrier routes. About 40% of the routes didn’t have a carrier in front of the case. The shop steward came over to me and asked if I knew what I was doing. He said most of the community would not get mail. I told him I had no idea what to do, and asked if he knew.

The steward quickly got all the carriers together and divided up the routes for casing and delivery and off they went. Next problem was the office closeout. The clerks asked me if I knew how to fill out the paperwork and take care of the money. Same answer, I didn’t have a clue. The clerks proceeded to take care of everything.

After two weeks of the craft employees running the office, I received a call from the main office telling me Queens Village station was the most productive office and furthest below the budget of the 19 stations in the last two weeks. They wanted to know what I did. I still didn’t have a clue, but told them about the dedication of the craft employees and perhaps we should try a self managed unit model. I was then told to report to the MPLSM on tour 3 at the main office.

It was a hell of a way to begin a 30 year career.

DATE PUBLISHED: 2012-08-28 12:29:01
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