Pluses and Minuses

There are bonuses and not-so-bonuses working for the United States Postal Service, more specifically, as a City Letter Carrier.  One of the bonuses is having Sundays off.  This really frees me up to serve the LORD on Sundays.  I know this isn’t the case with every job.  Many people work Sundays to accomodate their employers, or to make ends meet.  But many jobs have Sundays off along with Saturdays.  This is where, in comparison to those jobs, a City Letter Carrier position falls short.  I’ve got quite a few friends who have every Saturday and Sunday off, no exceptions.  For City Letter Carriers, there is Saturday mail delivery, so we have to work.
No matter how much seniority you have as a City Letter Carrier, you have a rotating day off.  Every six weeks you get a Saturday off, so sometimes you luck out.  But for the most part, City Letter Carriers work on Saturdays.  We have color coded calendars which show us throughout the year which day off we will get in our rotation.  So you can make plans.  But with many folks in our family and at our church making plans primarily based on a five day work week, many events get scheduled on Saturdays.  So I miss out on a good many things because of this.
There are some other pluses though.  The federal holidays are a plus.  There are some federal holidays that society in general gets off from their jobs as well.  A few notable ones are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independance Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.  Most everyone gets these holidays off even if you don’t work for the federal government.  Now here are a few that many others do NOT get off.  Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veteran’s Day.  For most jobs, factories, and workplaces, it’s business as usual.  So there are some little perks that many people don’t get that we do get.
However, it must be noted that only that particular day is the official holiday.  We work the day before and the day after for these holidays.  For instance, we work Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve.  Those are regular mail delivery days just like any other.  Many jobs will let out early or just be closed altogether for those days, but not us.  Another thing is Thanksgiving weekend.  Many factories just shut down for the whole weekend.  Thursday through Sunday off is the norm.  Not for us.  We get Thanksgiving Thursday off, then it’s right back at it on Friday. 
Now for another plus that was just observed.  Any time a past president dies there is an official day when all federal institutions are closed in observance of that president’s death (or life however you look at it).  When President Ford died at the end of 2006, January 2nd of 2007 was chosen as the day to observe his death.  There was no mail delivery on that day.  Now catch this.  We had Sunday off, then we had Monday off for the observance of New Year’s Day, then we had Tuesday off for the observance of Ford’s funeral.  This is the only way it could happen.  Three days off in a row without having to take any vacation days.  That’s a plus.
Some people want to joke around about how we got "all those days off", but there are some minuses as well.  Most of these people are getting three day weekends everytime there is a holiday of any sort.  But for us, it’s the rare exception.  And just a note, on any Monday holiday such as Martin Luther King Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day, if our regular Saturday off falls just before that, we can get forced in to work on our one Saturday which comes up every six weeks because of the holiday schedule.
There are pluses and minuses, but I praise the LORD for a good job.  He is the one who gave it to me on a silver platter and I’m grateful for it.  Like I wrote, I’m glad to be able to serve the LORD every Sunday at my church.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman
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