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CCA Confessions - Letter Carrier Revelations made Public

Updated on July 16, 2014
Postmaster General and High Postal Priest Pat Donahoe is prepared to hear your confession. Are you ready to receive your postal penance?
Postmaster General and High Postal Priest Pat Donahoe is prepared to hear your confession. Are you ready to receive your postal penance? | Source

Father Pat Donahoe of Our Lady of Perpetual Privation, the world's largest postal parish, dons his stole and makes his way to the confessional, where every Saturday at three PM he is forced to perform the wearisome work of hearing the confessions of the most humble members of his postal flock. Father Pat does not believe in working on Saturdays, so this duty particularly rankles him. Yet somebody has to hear the confessions of the CCAs, the newest members of the fold and the most troubled. They are not exactly disgruntled, because thankfully they are too tried to be really disgruntled, but lately they have been showing up by the droves and they have an awful lot to talk about.

Father Donahoe sighs wearily as he views the confessional line, which circles around the back of the building and out into the street, where it disappears into a fuzzy blur several blocks down. While other priests fill out their weeks doing baptisms and weddings, where sometimes they get to imbibe something besides the same stale sacramental wine, Father Donahoe's time is spent juggling Congressional hearings, wrangling with the Unions, closing post offices and firing postal clerks so he can give their living wage jobs to minimum wage employees at Staples. It's already been a tough week, and from the looks of that line it isn't going to get any better.

Father Donahoe slumps into the chair behind the screen just as the first CCA meekly enters into the confessional booth. As he adjusts his stole Father Pat begins to hear snoring drift in through the small window, which makes him perk up immediately.

"Hey wake up over there!" Father Pat shouts as he raps his knuckles sharply against the confessional screen. "Tell me you sins and let's get this over with!"

"Oh, sorry Father," the penitent says groggily as he struggles his way back into consciousness. "It's just that I haven't had a day off in 39 days. You've got me working Monday through Saturday and now Sundays too. I'm worn out."

"Don't complain, be happy you've got a job!" Father Pat reproaches him sternly, "and a darn good paying one too! Just for that you get extra penance."

The tired CCA groans and then strains his ears to try to recognize the unfamiliar voice on the other side of the screen. "Hey wait a minute. Where's Father Rolando? I thought he was doing confession today."

By Father Rolando the CCA is referring to Fredric Rolando, who doubles as head of the National Association of Letter Carriers Union. In Father Pat's view Father Rolando is a completely rogue priest, and the two often lock horns theologically. For instance, whereas Father Donahoe routinely preaches in his sermons that the world was made in five days and then rested, or shut down completely on the sixth, Father Rolando clings to the old fashioned doctrine that the world was made in six days and then rested on the seventh. This has been a nasty point of contention between the two priests, and Father Pat's ire raises as he hears his rival's name being voiced here, in the privacy of his own confessional.

"Why do you need Father Rolando?" Father Pat barks harshly through the screen.

The CCA hesitates a moment, sensing the building wrath in Father Pat's voice, and then slowly begins to speak. "Well, it's just that, no offense Father but Father Rolando's penance is a lot easier. In fact, he doesn't give any penance whatsoever, but tells me I haven't sinned but have been sinned against. I won't say by who. He sends me home to take a nap."

"Hmmph!" roars the Father. "Well that figures. I don't know where he is, I think I saw him waving a Six-day delivery sign in front of some post office as I was driving in. But just for that your penance is six extra Sundays delivering Amazon packages. Now come on, tell me your sins. I haven't got all day."

So as this first humble CCA digs up his list of woes from the tired recesses of his postal memory, prepared to be floored, folks! Here for the first time the sanctity and privacy of the postal confessional has been violated and you are going to be exposed to the cruel reality of life as a CCA letter carrier in the United States Postal Service. The red light in the booth is on, the priest is in, and what you are about to read is a sampling of true life postal confessions, as paraphrased from the comments sections of my other CCA related hubs.

Is your infantile Supervisor riding your back too?
Is your infantile Supervisor riding your back too? | Source

Crazed Carrier

The afternoon in the confessional booth drags by drearily for Father Donahoe. It is as if he is stuck on some twisted Einsteinian spaceship and there is some sort of warped relativistic time effect going on here in the confessional. Every blessed CCA story is the same - an endless litany of pain, woe, and exhaustion. Worst of all, his butt is starting to grown tired in the chair. The Father squirms uncomfortably, then secretly scratches himself in a place that holy men usually don't get scratched. At that point another CCA walks in.

"Tell me your sins," Father Donahoe drones.

"My name is Crazed Carrier," the CCA responds as he kneels down.

"I didn't ask you name," says the Father. He's heard every name in the international baby registry today and doesn't really care. "Just tell me your sins."

"Yes, Father," begins CCA Crazed Carrier, and the tone of his voice matches his moniker. The young man sounds positively unhinged. "Father, I'm guilty of the sin of sucking up."

Father Donahoe's eyebrows raise a bit. Here's one he hasn't heard before. He had no idea there was a sin called "Sucking up." He never read about that one in Dante's instructional manual on sinning. Although the Father is surprised, he makes no reply because he doesn't want to encourage this young man to talk anymore than is necessary.

"I've been a CCA for only a few months, Father, and I've seen such madness," Crazed Carrier begins. "I thought if I went in with a good, positive attitude I could really make a difference, but all of my efforts haven't had any effect at all. It's just that I don't think I'm dealing with normal human beings in the post office. The character of the staff at my station runs the spectrum from profoundly kind to possible undiagnosed sociopathy."

Crazed Carrier sighs and continues. "I did my best to cope with my bosses and co-workers. I never call my supervisors on the phone no matter what the emergency is. I've done so much thinking on my feet that stubbing my toe might cause me brain damage."

"I've showered my co-workers with all kinds of treats and dishes. I try to impress my supervisor every day by going above and beyond the call of duty. And what do I get for it? I get piled onto. I feel like an NFL running back at the bottom of a dog pile of 340 pound defensive linemen. The more mail I take, the more mail they give me. I gave up lunch a long time ago. My supervisors send me out to help all the useless old farts in my station every day. I don't know what to do, Father. My body is completely thrashed."

Father Donahoe rubs his hands together gleefully. This one if definitely crazy, all right, positively insane for thinking that his supervisor would actually reward him for his hard work or that his co-workers, being the animals in the zoo that they are, would truly appreciate the food he brought for them. What a deluded suck-up indeed. Definitely management material.

But Father Donahoe knows better than to compliment the young man. Why start a trend that will be problematic to continue? "Well, your sin is not as bad as it sounds," he says, "but sin is still sin. Your penance is a hundred Hail Marys and to bring me a dozen donuts. Next."

Leave your guns at the confessional door, please.
Leave your guns at the confessional door, please. | Source

Josey Mailman Wales

"I'm guilty of the sin of self-delusion, Father," CCA Josey Mailman Wales confesses as he unstraps his gun belt and leaves his six shooters on the floor by the door of the confessional. "I deluded myself into thinking that I could actually make a career out of this job, and it just ain't happening."

Father Donahoe's eyes sparkle merrily, but only for a moment before he goes back to being pissed off again. The Padre knows that self-delusion can be put to good use if harnessed properly. He personally has promised promotion to thousands of 204b management candidates over the course of his career, then watched them squirm anxiously and work 15 hour days in the vain, self-deluded hope that this event would really occur.

"I used to be a THE (Transitional Employee), Father," Josey Wales continues, "and was willing to take a pay cut from $22 to $16 an hour because I bought into the promise that this would put me on the path to a career position."

"In spite of my high hopes, the USPS has turned out to be by far the most corrupt, mismanaged and incompetent place I have ever made the mistake of working for. I have been on the streets carrying mail at 9:30 PM. It's always crisis management."

"It was stupid of me to believe the lies, Father. If stupidity is a sin then there, I guess I'll have to confess another one. Our office had roughly 8 full time positions that were available for the CCAs to be placed in and converted to career status. Only two CCAs were converted. All of the other slots are filled and it's at least another 3-4 years before the next retirement. That leaves me with the prospect of being a non-career employee for 9 years before having the opportunity to be converted."

"I believe this is absolutely shameful on the part of the USPS. I will simply not do this for another 3 to 4 years. No Way! Way too much stress, no family time, cutting hours, incredibly incompetent managers that you have to work for and the plain ole simple stupidity of the USPS. It is a BLACK CLOUD!"

"The managers are the worst trained people I have ever seen. A CCA will be sold out for anything to make sure managers rear-ends are covered when they make one of their never-ending mistakes."

Father Pat's postal rosary beads make a distracting clacking sound as he runs through his personal litany of postal saints: Tom Davis III, George Bush, Darrell Issa...then he realizes that CCA Josey Wales has finished speaking and is expecting some sort of response from behind the screen.

"What can I say son?" the Father speaks, doing his best to try and sound soothing, when secretly on the inside he can barely hold back the laughter. "You've been lied to. That in and of itself is not so bad, in fact it's a necessary part of doing postal business. You'll understand someday."

The Father strokes his chin thoughtfully. He just can't let this young man off the hook, can he? That would set a bad example for the rest of the CCAs flowing out the door. "Okay, for penance I want you to say the act of Postal Contrition 50 times, and tomorrow I'm giving you 50 CODs to collect on, for which I'm going to make sure all of the customers are home, they don't have the correct amount to pay on them and not a single one will speak English. And oh yeah, I want you to do it all in 8 hours. Next."


When the polar vortex strikes can you carry the load, or will you display "signs of weakness?"
When the polar vortex strikes can you carry the load, or will you display "signs of weakness?" | Source

CCA Mike

CCA Mike begins his confession as Father Pat stifles back a yawn. He's heard every CCA sob story in the book now, and there's nothing CCA Mike can say that will particularly stir his soul.

"Forgive me Father for I have sinned." Mike begins, his voice heavy with contrition.

"Yadda Yadda Yadda," answers Father Pat. "Let's get this over with. What's your sin?"

"I'm afraid I'm showing signs of weakness, Father," confesses CCA Mike. "I felt for a while last week like I just couldn't get the job done. Yesterday I had to carry an entire route then 45 minutes on another route. I also had to deliver express mail in the morning and do a 300 piece pickup, all of this in the snow. I really had to push it to be back by 5:30 for fear that I would be fired for "performance issues" like that girl last week."

"I'm falling into real despair, Father. All of the extra things I had to do were because the regulars that were supposed to do them said that delivering in the dark and the snow is an unsafe practice. I don't understand why there are two different sets of standards for two different groups of people. The regulars get paid more, so why is it they get away with doing less? It doesn't seem fair."

"One other minor detail, Father," continues CCA Mike, "is that I have been battling cancer for the past year. I've got stage 4 metastatic melanoma. Thank goodness I've got a night job that has health benefits, unlike the post office, or I'd really be up against it. Anyhow, Monday through Friday I have to go to radiation therapy at 5:15 PM. My postal supervisor says I should have no problem getting there, even though on paper its practically mathematically impossible with all of the extra duties they pile onto me. But I do it by running and skipping lunch, even though my doctors tell me this is not advisable while on chemo and radiation therapy."

"When the cancer was discovered I had surgery on my spine that took me out for a little while but what choice did I have but to rush back to work? The post office doesn't give me any sick time or disability benefits, and I have a daughter to support, Father. When I was out with the surgery I accumulated some credit card debt, and was unable to put oil in my home for two weeks this winter. My daughter got a nasty cold because of it."

Having exhausted his laundry list of worries and woes, CCA Mike shifts a little bit on his bent knees and waits for Father Pat to deliver some kind of words of wisdom that might at least put his soul at ease, even though his broken down body is way beyond help.

"You've got to suck it up, buttercup," Father Pat declares as he makes the sign of the cross through the screen. "Now say your act of contrition, and as penance I give you 100 Our Fathers and 100 extra parcels with a broken scanner which means you have to enter all the numbers manually. Next."

Father Pat looks at his watch. CCA confessions are over as far as he is concerned and he has to scoot, even though the line outside has only gotten longer, if anything. All of that endless belly aching can wait; he's got a tee-off time with some Congressmen who want to talk about the Post Office Highway Maintenance funding thing. He'll have the CCAs filling potholes too by this time next week.

Dignity and Respect?

In your opinion, when compared to employees in other organizations, are Postal City Carrier Assistants (CCAs) treated with sufficient dignity and respect?

See results

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      You are too funny. You had me hooked from the opening paragraph, the sign of very good writing. Well done my friend. You now have one more hour to add to that 10,000 goal.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you my friend, a compliment from you means a lot. I'm glad I could entertain you.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Mel Carriere - a very enjoyable read as always. I have a great deal of respect for our Postal Workers and would hope it is not as bad as you describe in your hubs.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Me too, @Old Poolman. I am hoping these are the rare, extreme cases, but the more I communicate with letter carriers across the country the more I discover that the same dreary working conditions exist everywhere for these CCAs. Thanks for dropping in!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      My new mail carrier is a hotty!! What should I do with my musings and daydreams of her? I know I should get a day job to distance myself, but I just sit in my rocker outside waiting for her. Can you help me Mel?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      My advice is to enjoy it while you can. The cute ones don't last - she will have an easy management desk job soon.

      Thanks for dropping in. I hope this helped!

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 2 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      My career from 1978 to 2005 was as a mail order used book dealer. I depended every day on the US postal service. It was always reliable. And at the post office, the staff was always friendly and helpful. It rankles me to read about postal workers getting shafted.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      What the higher ups don't acknowledge is that the post office survives due to the positive customer service experience the American letter carrier delivers. I really appreciate you dropping in with your nice words!

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Lol! You are too funny! Sadly, they are slowly shutting down our postal services here in Canada and poor guys were being laid off.

      I am one old school. Despite the latest technology, I still prefer to get and see my actual mail, not the virtual one. There's just something exciting about it.

      By the way, I'd like to meet Father Pat Donahoe and personally hand him a box of donuts. :)

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Father Donahoe's confessional is always open to bearers of donuts, all others by appointment 6 months in advance.

      I wonder how much your postage rates in Canada are going to skyrocket with privatization? It's strange how we here in the good old capitalist almighty dollar USA are hanging on to our public postal service while more socialist leaning countries like Great Britain and Canada are losing theirs.

      Anyhow, thanks a lot for dropping in with your great comment!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      I believe we in the US really don't know how much it costs to mail a letter. We know how much we pay for the stamps, but have no idea how much it costs us to reimburse the Postal Service for their annual losses using taxpayer money.

      Like with any government run agency the USPS is not exactly operated like a real business. They don't have to worry about losing money because we pay to make up all the money they lose.

      Congress would not allow them to stop Saturday service. I have to wonder why that is? I wonder how many people even care if they only had mail delivery every other day or even just a couple times a week?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      The myth that you are proliferating here is that the postal service receives taxpayer money, which they do not. Like any other business such as FedEx or UPS, sometimes they may borrow from a bank or other financial institution but they pay it back using postal funds that come from the business of selling postage on letters and packages. The postal service runs exactly like any private business in this regard, except that at times private businesses such as GM, Chrysler and large banks have received enormous bailouts from the taxpayers.

      On the other hand, throughout history Congress has dipped its hands into the postal treasury to take out money, most notably recently via the PAEA act which has removed a financially devastating 49 billion dollars to date and almost destroyed the Postal Service. Now Cingressmen have their greedy eyes on the postal coffers again and want to steal 2 billion a year for highway funding.

      Once again I reiterate that the postal service operates independently and does not take money from taxpayers, unlike corporations that bleed the taxpaying public dry. Thank you for commenting.

    • breakfastpop profile image

      breakfastpop 2 years ago

      I wonder what is worse, terrible working conditions or no job at all. It may come to that.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I decline to support the notion often force fed down the throats of Americans that we should just be thankful we have a job and keep our mouths shut. This is what they used to tell the sweatshop mill workers of the turn of the century when they were paying them pennies per day to work long hours in horrid working conditions, and many in this country would be happy to see a return to those glory days.

      American workers are the backbone of industry and deserve a fair share and to be treated with dignity and respect. There are of course many great geniuses whose innovations have helped build this country, but a lot of them died poor. On the other hand some of our notable Captains of Industry past, future and present became obscenely wealthy through theft of other people's ideas and by buying out politicians - of both parties. This is not a partisan issue.

      As usual I appreciate you dropping in and contributing to the discussion.

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Mel, thanks for straightening me out on that. Most americans think as I did that we taxpayers are forced to reimburse the USPS for their losses every year.

      Perhaps you could write a hub dispelling this myth?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I think that is an excellent idea. I was wondering what to do for my next project and now you have given me some inspiration. Thanks for the return visit!

    • profile image

      Old Poolman 2 years ago

      Looking forward to reading that hub.

    • Dana Tate profile image

      Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

      This was a very enjoyable read. You know I notice every time our mail is delivered my lil doggy goes crazy with his barking. And then you hear all the dogs barking as the mail carrier goes from door to door. My aunt says she thinks it has something to do with the uniform. I'm sure it is very annoying for the postal worker though.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      You get used to it. You might be surprised that a lot of dogs love us. I am really glad you liked it. Thanks for dropping in!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is another great hub containing your usual combination of creativity, humor and facts, Mel. As is often the case, too, the humor actually represents a serious problem. I feel so sorry for the postal workers who experience what you describe.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      AliciaC you have no idea how gratifying your comment is because up until now everyone is saying what a hoot, what a knee slapper but you are the first one who commented that they got the message. At least I succeeded with one reader. Thanks so much for your contribution.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      I love the way you wrote this as a story, but still relay the facts that are real. I hope not every postal worker faces these problems; however, even one having to face it is one too many. I read through the comments and your responses and it brings up a question or two. Is the UPS a private or government entity? If it's private, why does the government interfere?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      It is what is known as quasi private. It is intended to function as an independent business and it operates completely with its own funds, but Congress frequently passes laws that interfere with its ability to do business and compete with rival businesses. Thanks for coming by, I always enjoy your visits.

    • profile image

      sheilamyers 2 years ago

      Mel: Thanks for the answer. Now all I have to say is the government needs to butt out. If the post office was run entirely as a private business I think it might do much better. The government is always goofing things up for everyone.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Yes, but we must keep the "service" in postal service. What I am hearing from customers is that people are becoming increasingly dissatisfied with our rival UPS as they cut customer service corners to try to squeeze out a few more pennies for the stockholders. There has to be a healthy balance. I always appreciate your return visits, thank you so much.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 2 years ago from SW England

      Brilliant, Mel! An entertaining hub, full of character and humour. I know nothing about the US postal service but it doesn't sound that different from ours.

      Thanks for entertaining me on this Sunday evening.

      Ann

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      I am always glad to entertain. I appreciate you dropping by and leaving such a terrific comment.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      You are too good at what you do and I so enjoyed reading this hub.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you my friend. You always make me feel good with your nice words. I appreciate you dropping by!

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Yes, the regulars sure do get away with everything, but there will always be the lower class to take care of them. Good work, Mel, and entertaining read.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Deb I am glad you enjoyed it. You spent your time in the postal trenches so you know the drill. Thanks for dropping in!

    • profile image

      Super-viser 2 years ago

      As a CCA, exploring the darker side of the post office. I now think it's time to do more than vent.

      We need to effect change.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      The way to do that is support your Union,, even if you feel like they have sold you out, and to write letters like crazy to lawmakers and candidates. Thanks for dropping in!

    • profile image

      RWC CCA 2 years ago

      Thanks for the laugh, Mel. I needed it. I just finished a 10 day consecutive shift, ever since the Amazon Sunday delivery took effect last week. I've had it. Thus, I have an interview next week for the PSE sales and distribution clerk position. Do you know anything about the position? Wish me luck.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Good luck. I don't know much about PSE except that the hours are very inconsistent and your schedule will be all over the place. But at least you'll be inside during the winter. Thanks for dropping in.

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      Interesting and funny Mel but i do think you enjoy your postal work very much to dedicate such writings to it. Poor Father , lol all these confessions must have caught his poor ears aflamed. I work monday to Friday and i am sooo drained i can just imagine how awfully exhausted you are....

      Thanks for making the postal service a fun read.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

      Thank you Lady Fiddler. Fortunately I am a regular and not a CCA, so I get days off and plenty of vacation. But these poor kid CCAs really get abused. Thanks for dropping in!

    • profile image

      TE/CCA 21 months ago

      I am myself a former TE and CCA now. You are right about it all. I was abused as a TE and now a CCA, but I have definitely given back what I have received. I was told many times I have to finish that route in eight hours which I barely did that day. Now, the regular career does the route in eight hours every single day for many years. I did the route in eight hours, but had to pee in a bottle the LLV because I had no time to go to the restroom. I get even angrier knowing once I returned the 204B(supervisor) joke about me giving undertime. Now, I never help those regulars or supervisors cause I never got any help while I learned all the routes in the office. Its funny how some people here think its funny what you talk about Mel, since they don't know about the life of a CCA or TE. Some even joke about the treatment.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 21 months ago from San Diego California

      Sorry about your bad treatment. Personally I never abused the TEs or CCAs, but I know there are some who do. What else can I say? I wish you the best of luck in the future.

    • profile image

      15 months ago

      Worst business I ever worked for. There is a backwards system there that don't make sense. Older workers who get paid more should do more and help the new workers but it's the new workers helping out older ones who don't do much. Older workers suck up pay so they have to cut then new hireds pay. They should not be in business and I hope to make it happen.

    • Mel Carriere profile image
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      Mel Carriere 15 months ago from San Diego California

      There are flaws in he system p, but everyone starts at the bottom and pays their dues. Not all of us old timers are lazy, as you seem to suggest. I've helped CCAs on many occasions. I don't how you could bring the post office down single handedly but it would be a shame, because in spite of the dreary picture painted here it is still a tremendous organization that does good things for America. I suggest you get over thinking that everything is going to be fair all the time and just focus on doing your job and cashing your paycheck. Thanks for reading.

    • profile image

      CrazedCarrierA 11 months ago

      Wow. I never thought that my comments would be included in one of your hubs, Mel. For what it's worth, I'm not the same carrier that I was.

      It took a while for me to figure it out, but my old station was a special sort of hell. Why? A big part of the problem was the lack of union representation. There is a steward, but he never shows up for work, and when carriers do bring issues to his attention he blows them off. Nice, eh?There have been no grievances for years, I learned. So, management runs rampant.

      We CCAS were left to fend for ourselves. I'm a reader like you, and, after a particularly unpleasant incident with management, I started doing some research. I discovered the many resources on our union's website. Goodness me, but I learned so much. I learned about CCA rights, meager though they are. It astonished me that the carrier manual hadn't been updated since 1998, but I made use of it. I also have a copy of the contract.

      Soon enough, I was quoting articles and regulations in arguments. After a while, management backed off. Other CCAS and even old-timers started to come to me for advice. Imagine it: 30-year city carriers coming to a CCA with contract questions. That's how sad it was.

      To make matters worse, the carriers were far from united. There was a group of non-union members who were none too pleased about an upstart CCA in their midst. Their leader was a nasty piece of work who liked to play fast and loose with the rules, but he was protected because he only broke the rules that don't bother management, i.e., working off the clock, route-burning, etc. I was threatened at times.

      During these events I was promoted to full time. Yay. However, I soon found myself fighting a war on 3 fronts with management, the scabs (non-union members), and even with the useless steward. That was simply too much. I transferred as soon as the opportunity arose.

      How is life in California these days?

    • Mel Carriere profile image
      Author

      Mel Carriere 11 months ago from San Diego California

      California is cool, Crazed, Temps in the 60s here in San Diego. Sounds like you should have run against this no show steward and dethroned him. Our office has a recently converted regular as a CCA, and she does a great job. I work in an old fart office too and we are happy to let her do it.

      I always allow comments on my articles because they add a lot of value to them. Drop in and leave a note anytime. Good luck, congratulations on making regular! And thanks for your contribution to this article!

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