Sociology

Terms that Illicit Violence should not be used Lightly on going Postal



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Finally, after all of the events from a few years back, it seems like it might be okay to be a postal worker again. Honestly, I deliver mail in a relatively unsavory neighborhood, and I have always been more worried about being "gone postal upon" by a citizen than one of my co-workers. Nevertheless, that phrase has left its mark upon the landscape, and in the post office itself it seems as if there is no turning back.

Everybody remembers the old civil service test: it was mostly memory, with a smattering of math and following directions tossed in for GP. As I understand it, the latest version of the postal exam has some of the same, but it is weighted heavily toward a new "psychological profile" section. I'm glad that wasn't part of the test when I took it. I have a tendancy for thinking outside of the box, and I'm not very good at lying in order to get a job. So much for that. Back to the good ol' days when "going postal" was all the rage.

There's nothing quite so thrilling as hearing, "Better hide, here comes the mailman" three or four times a day, and ten or so years ago that was pretty normal. Or should I say abnormal? Think of the ignorance behind such a statement. I remember one cold day when I was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and rung a door bell to enter a business. On the way out, as the door closed, I heard somebody say, "Gee, the mailman looked like the unabomber today. You don't think..." I paused for a few seconds as the door slammed and rang the bell again. When somebody answered it I said, "Tell the moron who said that BS that I think the mail is bomb free." Somebody in the background apologized, but it didn't really matter. At that point, I could have said "take this job and shove it" and then walked away a happy man.

There was another time when my ex-wife's best friend made a comment about my job that I'd rather not repeat, and I just looked at her and told her to "Go to hell." It caused a fight later that evening with the usual "Everybody says that! It's not a big deal" refrain, but people with brains in their heads DO NOT make ignorant comments, and IT IS a big deal. Thankfully, that whole ordeal seems to be behind us. It's amazing that a half-dozen incidents in a company that employs 800,000 workers would take a nation by storm, but now that "Going Postal" seems to be in the dead letter bin, let's keep it there.

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