Friday, November 6, 2015

Cool Your Engines - Postal Accident Hat Tricks

By Mel Carriere 

In a hockey hat trick, where three goals are scored by the same player, in certain towns the adoring fans pummel the ice with dead octopi.  I can't imagine anybody lugging around a squishing, smelling octopus corpse in his coat pocket, on the astronomical long shot that a player will get three pucks in the net on the same night, only then to have one's favorite hockey jacket thrown out by a nose curling wife upon arriving home smelling like an aquarium, but it happens.

In the Postal Service there are hat tricks too.  I know a guy who missed three MSP scans in one day.  He was pelted with an octopus by his supervisor when he got back to the office.  A CCA misdelivered three parcels, for the same block, which generated three separate angry phone calls to the post office, causing it to rain octopi dozens of miles from the ocean.

Some postal hat tricks are of a more serious nature that don't involve any elaborate cephalopod celebrations. Our station is on the verge of one such ignoble triple distinction, but it feels more like strike three you are out than hey, we appreciate you so much we are going to shower you with soggy dead marine animals.

Just a week ago we were on the nice instead of the naughty list, but man how quickly that turned around at the drop of a hat, or at the drop of an eight legged, ink squirting lump of tentacles, if you prefer.  Our office had gone ninety days or so without any accidents at all, not so much as a paper cut or broken fingernail.  We were right on the verge of being awarded a big bagel party in appreciation, a sumptuous banquet  that may or not have included some octopus flavored bread spread.  Then the cruel caprices of the Postal gods changed, and they decided we needed to be punished for our accident free hubris and denied the divine manna of life sustaining baked gluten balls.

Two thunderbolts were cast down quickly from Postal Olympus.  Last week one of them struck appropriately during a freak San Diego rainstorm, when one of our carriers slipped stepping out of his vehicle and tore his hamstring.  He is undergoing physical therapy and will be out several weeks.  

This was a blow to those of us salivating with visions of free bagels dancing in our heads, which the tightwad supervisors are now going to deny, in spite of 90 days of perfection.  But it gets even worse than bagel deprivation.

On Wednesday, while delivering a package upstairs in an apartment complex, one of our carriers comitted the Postal cardinal sin of leaving his vehicle running.  This is sort of inexcusable, almost impossible to justify and equally difficult to throw down the "hey nobody told me" card on.  Two or three times a week we get one of those eye rolling, yawn stifling, here we go with the same old s*** again stand up talks where they tell us specifically not to do this. Sometimes they include pictures for the attention deficit types.

It seems like they shouldn't even have to tell us this.  It seems like every five year old since kindergarten was invented has seen Mommy take the keys out of the car before she walks them to the door.  Unsupervised keys in an auto ignition are just dangerous.  Kindergarteners understand instinctively that horrible things can happen with untended keys, like the world might spin off its axis.  Grown adult postal employees, however, either forget this or are too stressed to care, despite daily dire warnings.

The untended LLV slipped out of Park and hit a car.  The result is that this unfortunate carrier is on emergency placement, "pending termination."  He will get his job back, but it could be weeks, or even months, and in the meantime I don't think he has a lot of spare cash in the bank.

I just realized this is starting to sound like one of those same eye rolling stand up talks I hate to suffer through, to the point they give me severe mental fatigue, and you probably feel the same.  So let's go back to the former titillating discussion of marine invertebrates and threesomes, and how they interact.

Our safety captain tells us postal accidents happen in threes, so if this is true we are already two thirds of the way to a postal hat trick.  Instead of partaking of the blessing of bagels, if we have one more accident we will be served up some flying octopi.

I sure hope the octopus hat trick doesn't fall on my plate.  They're kind of hard to chew, and they can leave you constipated for weeks.

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  1. Sorry to hear of the unfortunate carrier on emergency placement. Is it just me, or do LLVs seem to have a higher rate of "slipping out of park" than your average vehicle?

    And just bagels?
    Those neanderthals...

    1. Somehow or another the guy got his job back Robert. He must not have been a problem child, because if they had it in for him he would have been out months. You're right about how they slip out of Park. That has happened to me. Thanks for reading.

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