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Sep 23
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Blues on Wheels

A writer becomes a carrier for the United States Postal Service out of a long-held love for the mail. What she discovers are screams, threats, lies, labor violations, and dog attacks.

After taking a personality test online and another exam consisting mostly of questions evaluating the sharpness of my memory, I was granted a five-minute interview and hired as a city carrier assistant (CCA) for the United States Postal Service.

The CCA position, akin to a contract letter-carrier, was created in 2013 to save the USPS money and shift higher-paid transitional employees (TEs) into lower-paying jobs. Or, as one district supervisor screamed at me: “YOU EXIST TO REDUCE OVERTIME.” TEs, who were making over $20 an hour—with no benefits, no retirement, and no path to becoming a “regular”—had a short window to either take a $5 per hour pay cut and become a CCA, with the promise of making regular in the vaguely defined near future, or quit.

I was hired at $15.30 an hour, a winning wage considering the president of a local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers union revealed that without the collective bargaining process, the USPS would be paying us $10 an hour.

During our 40 hours of in-classroom training, which included a well-taught defensive driving course, we learned that leaves are as... Continue Reading

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Today’s Headlines

Sep 23
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