I suspect the main thing about the story isn't how great it is to be a mailman, but how great it is to be good at people. I work from home and live in quite a nice community, but I only know a handful of people. This is basically because unless I have a common interest with someone I don't really have anything to say for myself. Clearly not something that afflicts Floyd!
I might start this up too.
Sometimes that really fucking hard. And I know I'm part of the problem. But if that's not what we're all working for, we might as well just give up now.
It's amazing how many times people will stop to say hello when a small child says hello to them. We got invited into someone's garden last weekend to feed their chickens.
Admittedly we live in a more rural area. Might not work so well on the mean streets of London.
People can downvote this all they like, I'm gone.
No. They were trying to empathize with your previous point that working and dealing with the public is an exceedingly difficult thing to do.
They could have picked a better video to do so, but they picked one that was a viral meme that was everywhere a few years ago. It went viral because of the terrible behavior of the person towards the mail carrier -- feminism is only mentioned because whoever reposted the video on YouTube for the umpteenth time decided to title the video with regards to the dialog that the person is spouting towards the mail carrier -- dialog which has to do with gender, stalking, etc.
I'm not qualified to diagnose the person in the video as a schizophrenic, so I didn't. I'm not calling her a feminist, because she didn't call herself that. Some guy who posted a YouTube video inserted that narrative about feminism, and you inserted the narrative about schizophrenia.
This could have been a video of a mail carrier receiving any kind of abuse from the public and the parents post who you replied to would have had the same message as they intended with this one -- mail carriers receive a lot of abuse from the public.
With all that said : I hope you stick around. There is good discourse here.
I really appreciated your comments and I think a lot of other people did too.
Stay. We definitely like at least 2/3rds of all your comments :-)
It does make me sad about living in a sterile mega city with no form of community with my neighbors. It makes me miss the days I used to live in a much smaller town, in my home land, where everyone knew each other, and we had shared festivals, feasts and fasts together.
Thanks for sharing the twitter thread.
Perhaps it's not the city that is causing the lack of community with neighbors?
It's not the suburbs that make community. It's engaging with your community and its institutions. In this story, the mail carrier. But you can engage with all manner of other institutions and start to be more apart of where you live.
Friendly help from a native English-speaker: I think you meant "reputation" rather than "opinion." :)
No sources, but I've seen this notion circulate in articles and other forums.
I feel much more connected to my location now. I have met my neighbors more than I ever did before buying a house, and have met many who have lived in the neighborhood for multiple generations.
I feel like it takes making yourself more permanent before connections with neighbors become real.
Also, it helps in a lot of unexpected places, like at work. Now I have a lot more in common with managers and above than when I was a single guy. I'm very convinced that part of my recent jump in career progression has been this additional connection. Suddenly everyone sees me as management material, for better or worse.
My family lives in Acworth an hour a way and there are chickens wandering people's yards. GA is a bit different in that regard.
This guy, probably, isn't valued because he delivers packages.
My guess is that he's valued because of his ability to connect with people, and his infectious happiness.
It seems like he is just a genuinely good guy who cares about these people and as you said, has the ability to connect with them on a level that most people don't.
Just kidding, kudos for him and some people are indeed gifted to make friends and connections intuitively.
On the other hand, there are jobs that make connecting to other people harder if not impossible. I used to work for Microsoft during the poignant stack rank time and it was utterly hard to build trust with anyone. I never played that game but competition was part of the culture and it ruined genuine relationships at any level.
I recognize there's value in having a postal system, but in practice almost everything I receive goes straight in the shredder. It's been taken over by spammers. It's another system that provides real value to a lot of people, but seems to only be financially sustainable because of advertising.
Where's the Plan for this Spam?
It was an accident but here is how I did it.
I had a temporary job back in early 2000's so I got a short term lease in a different city and opened a PO box at post office. Then I unexpectedly got called back and was slated to return but didn't and neglected to close the PO box and forward mail. I was a road warrior for next 5 or 6 years and seldom at permanent address, so I didn't bother putting in address change back to permanent residence. Instead I got an online mail service (I don't know if was this, but something like this https://www.postscanmail.com/) that opened and scanned mail and I'd read it in browser, download scans, and have important stuff physically forwarded to wherever I was at the time.
Finally that all ended and I got a real address and stopped the online mail receiving. For whatever reason something in that process completely stopped the junk mail to this day and it's wonderful.
As long as my job provides money (and thus food and shelter for her), I don't really care anymore :)
Grass is always greener.
People also tend to want their jobs to provide meaning to their lives. That is a luxury. For most people, a job is something you do to enable the rest of your life.
Neither was fun but they are very different to a 9 hour stint programming, when I worked physical jobs I could go home, have a shower and still had the energy to go out socialising where now when I get in I just want to veg with a book as I'm mentally spent.
Some of it might be to do with age but I switched careers in my mid-20's and it was the same at the start of my programming career.
It doesn't get easier, you just get better.
That's me. I think it's age but a job where I am more active and/or outside would help for sure. When I worked as mechanical engineer I often had to go to the workshop which already was a nice break from the desk. There were also physical things to handle which is good for the soul. Now I am always at the desk or meeting rooms and everything is abstract.
This desire is a coping mechanism. Because the latter view, that the job is just to pay for your life, makes you discover that it also robs you out of all of it. Even the 9-5 job is way more than 50% of your wake time, after accounting for commute and energy drain.
I got a kid on the way too, I need to reinvent myself.
Mainly the idea is not to let "purpose" be a logjam that stops you. Life will happen to you regardless. Lately I've been trying to free myself from the endless quest for (please use whiny voice, knit brow earnestly, hold upturned fists close in front of you, and wiggle them slightly while saying) meeeaning. It stymied me for a long time. But it has to be seen for the ego trip it is. It's a "get over yourself" moment. Rein in that fanciful and conceited ego that's always wondering what great and high purpose your magnificent and important soul was cut out for. All that pressure! Letting go of it is a bit of a death (ego death). But jeez what a relief. It frees you to do whatever you want, which ironically is the only way you might actually end up going on to do something worthwhile. (Worthwhile according to you.)
Wanting your life to be meaningful is still you, caring about your life, that's the ego part. You can skip the whole meaning thing if you want, and just start doing things. I dunno, it helped me unblock myself.
Work related tasks are 50%+ of you awake time so it's kind of hard to forget about it.
I could work 2 days a week while keeping my lifestyle but it's next to impossible to find a stable job allowing that schedule.
The problem with the new jobs at the postal service is that everyone gets brought in for the first ~ year as a temp of sorts.
The hiring process is full of nepotism as well. Also, unfair or not, veterans get hiring priority as well.
I get to do the geeky work I love, eat lunch with my wife and kids, and my commute is a flight of stairs.
I don't think I could ever go back into an office.
I'll stick to my bigger climate controlled cube filled with my loved ones.
I personally ended up in IT because "why not it pays well and I like computers", I wasn't the same person when I chose that path and now I'm actively trying to figure a reasonable way out.
> There are only a few who control themselves and their affairs by a guiding purpose; the rest do not proceed; they are merely swept along, like objects afloat in a river. And of these objects, some are held back by sluggish waters and are transported gently; others are torn along by a more violent current; some, which are nearest the bank, are left there as the current slackens; and others are carried out to sea by the onrush of the stream. Therefore, we should decide what we wish, and abide by the decision. - Seneca
I liked computers too, ever since my (divorced) dad showed me one. But why did I find them so interesting? Probably because I mostly played / occupied myself alone as a child, I read books while other children preferred "stupid" outdoor activities. We don't do what we're told, we follow whatever suits our personalities, at least if we have a choice.
> There are only a few who control themselves and their affairs by a guiding purpose;
This is more about goals in life, no?
I've got a problem with everyone and everyone has a problem with me.
You don't need to buy into the dogma, but some of the buddhist authors have developed great mental practices of dealing with fear, for instance. As an example author, I thoroughly recommend Thich Nhat Hanh.
Self-compassion also has great benefits in the business world, as you learn to understand and listen to your counterparts better, instead of being driven by a selfish agenda. This is, of course, just a by-product and not the main dish.
But yet here we are.
I live for my long holidays.
This is not about him being a postman or doing "real world" work - its about him prioritizing making time for the people that are part of his job.
Find those jobs.
It's lazy/wrong to think that it's the jobs fault that you don't have rich connections with those around you. If we want this we need to help be like this. We need to be the change we want to see :)
The pay isn’t great, but we do get opportunities to work with cutting edge tech because every change doesn’t need to be billed by the hour.
I assume many of you are software engineers. The job market is _great_ for us. Please take the time to find a job that you think matters for more than just acquiring money. There are plenty out there and they're probably struggling to hire too.
People making $12/hr: where are we going next! let's live life and quit our jobs and get a new one when we get back
A good friend of mine worked as a programmer, then CEO, now Consultant... but in his spare time he'd spend all his energy on community projects, organizing everything, from Kids Halloween Tours in a small german city when that was very uncommon, to Developer Usergroups, to Startup Events to Barcamps, to TEDxs and so much more small and large.
Without him my area simply wouldn't be the same and many people know.
All it takes is just someone willing things like this into existence, over and over again.
I grew up on a small family farm in Iowa. Along with farming my father also took a substitute job as a rural mail carrier mostly for health insurance.
I can't find a better word than fetishizing to describe how – what I would call city people – think and talk about the world I grew up in.
Talking about where I came from and reading how people respond to this makes me uncomfortable at times, and moreso it is incredibly difficult to actually communicate to people without context how life was because of their pre-existing impressions.
My father grew up on a farm and was part Cherokee. My mother is an immigrant. I grew up some kind of sense of community and spent most of my adult life not really finding that again.
I have a history of fostering phenomenal growth for online communities of a certain size which then often seem to collapse and become a shadow of their former selves after I leave. I think it has to do with me being able to foster a real sense of community and no one else seems able to sustain that in my absence.
I typically leave because of being treated abusively, basically. I'm never seem to be given credit for what I am doing for the community. People seem unable to recognize what I do and seem to have no idea how to relate to me in a positive, constructive manner when I am actively fostering a sense of community, which is something I seem to just have a knack for, having grown up with certain things.
So I think people just long for a sense of community and it very often comes out in weird ways.
That doesn't mean your discomfort is unjustified. It's completely justified.
I'm just making an observation about a phenomenon and hopefully that will be somehow useful or meaningful information for someone reading the comments here.
You can play around with the numbers here: https://networthify.com/calculator/earlyretirement
You have social security which is currently forecast to be funded 73% of current goals (not perfect but not 0 either), and 401(k) averages 7% return over decades, and you have massive quality of life improvements via technology thanks to boomers' collective work.
Don’t wait. My dad lost a lot of good times due to a medical issue.
In any other context the internet would be all "hurr durr, GM builds junk, muh indestructible Hilux because top gear". Goes to show you how much reputation and framing matters.
In hindsight the best available platform of the late 90s/early 90s for sheer reliability (in postal use) would have been a 1st gen Explorer only because the front suspension is better suited to handling potholes and driving over curbs all day and the 31spl 8.8 rear axle is complete overkill for the application (all other differences are minor/negligible IMO).
A very valid point, the ECU's etc around 1990 got a lot of the benefit of having a modern ECU with a fraction of the complexity and a lot of them where bulletproof in design.
Fascinating read on the history of computers in cars.
The irony here is that the author is a newspaper reporter/editor at the Atlanta Journal Constitution, and one of the most surprising things about this to me is how the AJC's website apparently didn't have this story in traditional article format. The only thing I see is a followup -- a recap of the original Twitter thread, with the update that Mr. Martin's GoFundMe went viral:
But when I think about it, I wonder if a traditional article (full of images) would have worked as well as the Twitter thread? I'm probably more tolerant of Twitter threads as a format than most people are, but this was one time in which the Twitter format – this includes the way we interact by scrolling through Twitter threads – really seemed to strengthen the material.
I'm going to continue to strive to be a good person, much like Floyd.