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My hold down of R5, which as of this week passed three months, may be about to end. The postmaster this week told a couple of carriers (notably, he did not tell me, the guy who is actually covering the route) that the regular carrier will be returning to work very soon, probably before next Saturday.

I have become so acclimated to R5 that, though it’s still a pain in my butt, I can handle it without any trouble. It keeps the other subs up at night and puts them in a panic during the workday, but that’s only because they haven’t had to do it every day. I’ve got it down to a science and have developed some pretty good relationships with some of the customers (including one very friendly puppy named Toby), especially at the many businesses that comprise the first third of the route. Plus, the paychecks have been heavenly. This next one will be especially nice since I just finished working two weeks of six full days each.

Still, I hate the route. It’s way too big at 520+ stops, over 40 of which are businesses that generate a ton of mail. On Friday I returned from the route with 5 tubs of outgoing mail, a new record. The large development that represents more than half the route is a nightmare, and for every customer that I’ve hit it off with, there are two or three that are addicted to nastiness. Every time I do a different route, like today on R7, it’s like a mini vacation.

So I’m ambivalent about getting off of the hold down. And I’m wondering how many hours I’ll be able to get once it’s done.

Jim says:

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