Friday, April 17, 2015

Thoughts on Time Card Masturbation - Are you Screwing Yourself with your Clock Rings?

By Mel Carriere

My last article here on the Tsunami did exceedingly, unexpectedly well, and I am deeply grateful to all of you who continue to support my humble efforts here on this site.  I stirred up a bit of controversy in that previous post, which is always good in the blog business.  My fervent prayer is to continue to piss off, offend, and annoy at least half of you in my search for those ultimate truths that will lead us to the Postal promised land.

One of the things that troubles me severely about some of my postal co-workers is how anxiously and enthusiastically they go about cutting their own throats, especially when it comes to making the correct clock rings that will keep their supervisors off their backs and protect their routes from being added to when route inspection time comes around.  It almost seems as if they enjoy being painfully violated by their own time cards, and then crying woefully and ruefully about it afterward when they find out they are getting another ten or fifteen minute add.

A high percentage of letter carriers, I am convinced, are decidedly sadomasochistic in their outlook on life.  I don't know whether they dress up in leather and play with whips and chains when they are off the clock; that's none of my business and I don't stand in judgment like Moses up there, but when they do this while wearing a postal uniform it certainly seems like they can't wait to get home before enjoying a good self-inflicted thrashing.

The problem is that letter carriers seem to have a deathly, highly superstitious fear of street time.  The numbers 721 are the equivalent of 666 in the minds of many, and they run from them like they would flee from old Beelzebub himself.  The very second that the LLV pulls into the parking lot they are racing to the clock to punch 722, as if these particular digits had a talismanic, protective influence over their lives.

I don't understand why they feel this way. I suppose we could engage in a bit of numerology or alchemy to figure out the negative mystical properties of 721, but there are plenty of other blogs you could turn to for this kind of arcane advice.  You can't say they do it to keep the supervisors happy, because the bewitched necromancer DOIS machine doesn't like office time either.  It demands only 5 minutes (8 clicks) of PM office time and unleashes an unbreakable curse up to the 7th generation upon letter carriers who disobey this stricture.  The union isn't coaching them to do this either.  Office time has strict 18 and 8 standards associated with it.  On the other hand, there are no street standards.  The Union wants us all to go slow on the street.  Slothfulness on the street results in route cuts, which means more routes and more letter carriers being promoted to regular.

The thing is, you really don't have to go slow on the street.  You can maintain an honest pace and still get it right.  There is no cheating involved, if you are worried about your conscience.  All you have to do is to stop f***ing yourself with your time card, and this process is really pretty easy.  A few suggestions:

  • If you are loading DPS or parcels, make sure you are on street time.  These are legitimate street functions.  In the same vein, while you are unloading your vehicle be careful to remain on street time.  You can't get in trouble for this; during route inspections your Inspector has you on street time for these activities.
  • If you carry a pivot or overtime on another route, don't include the travel time you spent getting there and back when you are doing your clock rings.  The travel time stays on your route.  You only change routes for the time you actually spent delivering the OT or pivot.  ODL carriers frequently create problems for themselves because of this. I knew a fellow who used to always give the other route his travel time when he was doing his rings, and you couldn't talk him out of it.  As a result he got stuck with an impossibly long route, because the street time for his route was lower than what it should have been and management kept adding ten or fifteen minutes on every adjustment.
  • This same sort of self induced time card copulation is seen with carriers who think they are really screwing management by deliberately going slow in the office and not making standards.  The person they are really screwing is themselves; because at route adjustment time their route can be adjusted to standards.  I knew a carrier with an extremely long route on the street who got an add because he was not making 18 and 8.
In summation, the point I am trying to make is that street time is good, office time is bad.  But if erotic self stimulation with a foreign object is your thing, visit a local sex shop.  They have a wide selection of hygienic devices carefully encased in protective plastic for your safe self gratification.  Don't use your time card - that thing is nasty.  You don't know how many dozens of unwanted, perhaps unwashed hands touch it every day as it sits there on the rack by the time clock.

The Postal Tsunami is a powerful wave propelled by copious quantities of Starbuck's coffee, which is not cheap.  I have nothing to do with ad selection here, but unless these ads completely annoy or offend you I would appreciate if you could check out what my sponsors to the right and down below have to say.  Thanks for your support.

Photo of Postal Moses leading us to the Postal Promised Land from:Charlton Heston as Moses in the 1956 movie The Ten Commandments Photograph: Allstar/Cinetext

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