Monday morning just minutes before I began my much awaited 24-hour pass from the monumental mass of Christmas cards and packages, the union steward
came running across the dock shouting, " George Bush issued an Executive
Order granting all federal employees a day off on December 24, 2007, except
postal employees…except postal employees…EXCEPT POSTAL EMPLOYEES."
The ominous sound of those words rang in my ears like a death knell. This will
be for them a PAID day off in conjunction with the weekend on the front and
Christmas Day following on Tuesday, so OTHER federal employees can spend
more time with their families.
What about my family I muttered as my blood began to boil and my blood pressure
skyrocketed off the charts??? All I could think of was: Saturday, 18,748 steps; Sunday, 20,470 steps; Monday, only 11,863 steps (no long hauls running), but
I pushed hundreds of huge containers of mail out of the way so the small town
truck drivers and the shift following mine wouldn’t complain about everything being
so disorganized. This is the job of mailhandlers, but my supervisor is shorthanded
tonight, so I risk more pain on top of my allready achey head and neck, sore feet and legs, burning knees and ankles—just to keep everyone else happy.
Then, there’s the family thing. Being the breadwinner my three sons learned
early on that their mother might have to work the Eve before any and
every holiday ever since I went to work for this outfit nearly 20 years ago. In
our neighborhood, I was known as “The Phantom Mother.” To this day they
spend Thanksgiving and Christmas together exclusive of Mom. My folks are
aging rapidly as they spend their 59th year together in a Florida retirement
community. They and my sisters don’t even bother inviting me to come
anymore, because they know I won’t be able to get away.
Ok, Ok, I know, get out of the Pity Party and Be Grateful! Grateful the heartless
beast hasn’t ordered me to dispatch mail trucks in Iraq…yet.