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Hey everybody! I just wanted to let you know that yesterday, as planned, I did not get an iPhone.
Via Lifehacker a new way to play with google maps.
Now you can change the driving directions by grabbing the blue route line and dragging it to create a new destination point, which will in turn create a new route.
Here‘s how google maps tells me to travel from one point on R7 to another.
But the revised route is how I do it when I’m delivering the mail. The revisions were successfully entered on the map and directions list by simply clicking and dragging the small square that appears when hovering over the route.
About flippin’ time!
…won’t be so bad after all.
On the street with my mail today at 10am!
Left post office for the day before 1:30…
and today was marriage mail day!
Tomorrow it’s R7 again for me, but I’ll need to give Tina a fair amount of help on R3 as she’s flying blind. We need another day like today.
Just when I think the postality category needs to be folded into ‘miscellaneous,’ or ‘stop your nonsense,’ things start heating up at the PO.
Item: Mike, who carries R3 is in Disney World. He won’t be back until next week sometime.
Item: His sub, Ed, is taking a week and change off beginning Friday.
Item: Bill, who carries R4 is calling in sick every day now.* He tells his sub, Ann, that he’s taking it “day by day.”
Item: Doug, who carries R7 and whose sub I am is out the end of this week and the end of next week.
Item: Jim, who carries R5 and who I sub for regularly is also out all next week.
Item: Paul, a sub who you never hear mentioned in this blog because he never wants to work, is quitting.
This creates an interesting situation in which there are three available subs, three regular carriers scheduled to be out at the same time, and one other carrier who is ‘sick’ every day. In such a situation you get things like what happened yesterday when I had to do R5 (the largest route) and R9 (the smallest) because no one was available. And you also get things like what’s happening on Saturday, when both Mike and his sub are out. Tina (another sub) has to deliver R3, which is a nine hour route that she’s never touched: not trained on, doesn’t even know where it is. How is she going to do that? Beats me. I’m sure the other two subs will be helping her.
Next week should be much worse because it includes a holiday. No one thinks Bill is going to work the day after the holiday but right now there’s no way to cover all the routes if he calls out. What could very well happen is that R5, which doesn’t have an assigned sub, will be sitting open that day and Ann, Tina, and I will have to split the largest route in the post office on the day after a holiday.
Subs like us are part time employees who don’t get sick days or vacation time, but just try running the rural craft without them.
*Bill is eligible to retire. No one is sure why he’s not retiring. He was also in a car accident in which he sustained injuries that require therapy. This coincidence occurred about four days after his eligibility date.
The exploration of Chance and Process is core to my artistic practice. Akin to scientific experimentation and investigation, the results of my projects [although operating within carefully developed controls and parameters] are unpredictable and outside my control. It is the wind, postmen, the motion of a vehicle, or players of a game that unwittingly determine the outcome.
Upon reading that, you probably know how I stumbled upon him. Somewhere in my feedreader today was an item about a camera inside a package which photographed a journey through the postal system (in the UK). I was intrigued of course. And after exploring some of Knowles’ postal works, I moved on to trees, and cars, and bugs… oh my!
Some of his art reminded me of that attractors game I posted on a while back.
Their five reasons to lay off the bottle:
- It isn’t a good value (for me, this one is reason enough)
- It’s No healthier than tap water (which I’ve known ever since I worked in an ad agency and had to do the research on this stuff for a client. It was true then and it still is).
- Bottled water means garbage
- Bottled water means less attention to public systems (this one I’m not too sure about. Not that it matters, they had me at number one).
- The corporatization of water (Again, their case isn’t too compelling on this one, but I wouldn’t be surprised).
I’ve never liked bottled water, though occasionally I will buy some so I can reuse the plastic bottles. I fill them with top water and take them out on the route with me, over and over and over again.
The protagonist of this story is Ann. You remember Ann. She is the awesome fellow sub who saved my butt last week and earned a spot in my sermon.
Ann got royally pissed off today and filed a grievance for the first time in her five year postal career. What got her dander up? Seeing me this morning when she walked in, that’s what.
Let me explain.
It all started at 5:39 this morning when my phone rang. “Hello,” I choked.
“Good morning James.”
“Bill called out sick today so can you come in and do R4?”
“Yes,” I said, and thought about asking why Ann couldn’t do the route, since she’s the “sub of record” for R4. I didn’t ask though, figuring that maybe she rescheduled that date with her daughter from last week.
“You can? Great. See you soon,” said Rich.
I dragged myself to the post office where I was relieved to find a light volume day and the mail already being brought around. This was good since Thursday is marriage mail day. Marriage mail is a once a week shopping circular that gets married together with an advo card, the ones with the missing kid pictures on them, before being put in the customers’ boxes. Marriage mail is awful. It really slows you down. It’s nice when the volume is light on marriage mail day, because you can get to the street earlier.
Life was good, I was getting an unplanned full day of work, Ann was getting a free day to spend with her daughter, and the mail was light. Yes, I had to cancel the interview scheduled for today, but so what. I could reschedule that easily.
Ann arrived some time later to do her route, route 9, a very short one. She walked in, said good morning, and got to work on her route. It was only when one of the regular carriers asked about her plans for the day that she dropped the bomb.
“They never called me,” she said. Meaning that she didn’t know her primary route needed a sub. When she walked in, the first thing she saw was me, casing the mail that she should have been casing, and more importantly, earning the 17.50 per hour that should have been hers.
I’ve mentioned before that everything works on seniority at the post office. For a sub, the route you receive as your primary assignment is ‘yours’ when that regular carrier is out. No one else can be asked to work it unless you refuse it. The downside to this system is that if all the other qualified subs beneath you also refuse, you’re stuck with that route for the day. It’s a system that strives to be fair, and most of the time it works. Today it did not.
No one knows why I got the call, but I did. Ann did not. Anytime a supervisor subverts the seniority rule for any reason, a grievance can be filed. Ann, once her grievance is awarded, which it will be, will receive pay for R4 today. So will I since I actually delivered it. Grieved is an understatement. Ann was so angry she dropped the f-bomb, twice. I’ve never heard her say that even once before. I should note that she wasn’t mad at me, and she made that clear. Still, I felt like a dork,
Unfortunately, Ann’s troubles didn’t end with that. At some point she checked the sub schedule and saw that she has been assigned to route 5 (the monster, the one I always do on all the heavy days) on July 5th, the day after a holiday. R5 is unpleasant on easy days; it is downright evil on heavy days. The reason she got R5 that day? I”ve already been assigned to R7, which is my primary route, that day.
And yes, of course I offered to switch with Ann on July 5th. The last we spoke, she was still saying ‘no’ to my offer. Tomorrow I intend to speak with a supervisor (not Rich though, someone else), and see about getting Ann off the hook. It’s the least I can do.
This is better than a soap opera, no?
Like I don’t have enough stuff to do without Gwynne giving me homework. Oy!
2. I really do not like cats.
3. I need a shower. Trust me.*
4. My shoe size is 12.
5. My hands tingle all the time. It started about 10 years ago on my birthday. The tingling is caused by a “spot” on my c-spine. The neurologist thought it might be MS. Whatever it was/is, it has never progressed beyond those early symptoms. I don’t really even notice the tingling anymore.
6. Grape Nuts!
7. When I was in high school I learned French well enough that when we visited France, my fellow students were always sticking me in front of French speakers so I could translate. I don’t think I can speak a single sentence of French anymore.
*UPDATE (7:35pm serotonintime): This item is no longer relevant.
The tagging thing really doesn’t work for me, so I’m going to pass on that. But please, feel free to include yourself in this exercise.