Thursday, April 12, 2007

I quit my job!

Toner ink - $40
Fancy Resume paper and envelopes - $20
Hiking shoes - $200
Custom Orthotics - $400
Driving lessons and rental - $200
Pants - $30
Massage to attempt to relieve back tension - $80
Wool Socks - $10
Busfare downtown for training $60
= $1040 invested in attaining this job, which is more than I've put into attaining any other job.

And yet, today, I formally quit my job. The past three days have been miserable. The footwalk routes I could deal with. Getting lost isn't such a pain when you're delivering on foot. But it's the mobile routes, the ones with 70+ large parcels, plus 1.5 hours worth of footwalk, plus driving bundles for two other routes, and clearing a couple red-letter boxes, then dropping off all the carded parcels at the retail postal outlet, that kill me. These mobile routes involve driving a large diesel truck and a good sense of direction, which I don't have. One of these days I would've hit somebody while desperately scanning office buildings for addresses.

Added to my bad spatial abilities is the fact that my position is the position with the second highest rate of accidents in Canada (the first highest being longshore workers). I haven't had any serious injuries yet, but I've had tons of little ones and I can see the potential everywhere for large ones. In the last hour of my work I scraped my finger on something and it was gushing blood, but I didn't even know I was bleeding until later, as I have cuts and scrapes all over my hands that feel similar.

They tell you the load will never surpass 35 lbs but that's definitely untrue. My back has never ever caused me problems, but it started hurting one day as I carried a load up a steep hill. It's fine now, but do I really want to risk my health for a $45,000/ yr unionized income? No, health is more important than any income. My cuts and scrapes are insignificant but I hear of all the retirees needing physio and having chronic pain, and getting attacked by dogs, and slipping and falling and cracking their skulls. Not to mention, I haven't even been eating lunch or dinner, so I often have been eating nothing between the hours of 7 am and 7 pm. There just hasn't been time to stop for breaks.

Next, I am not physically strong enough to do mobile routes (at least, not without tacking on about 6 hours of overtime, which management detests and will make your life a living hell for taking). I don't know why they hired me knowing the weight, size and amount of parcels.. I'm a skinny girl.. people are always telling me to eat more. The kind of route I am assigned to needs a big muscular guy. People in public, in elevators and office buildings would stop and stare or shake their heads with pity because I look so out of place hauling around boxes as big as shopping carts, dropping stuff everywhere, and banging into things. Speaking of the public, I started envying happy, well-dressed, clean people as I toiled away with dirty hands and a sweaty scowl.

And my idea of being a happy permanent fixture in peoples' days, and idea of building a sense of community in an individualist, faceless and wary society is shot, because a) I'm not on the same route every day and b) a lot of the public harps on mail carriers, using them as a scapegoat for not recieving their welfare checks on time, etc. The dolly used to carry heavy loads is so heavy itself, I can barely carry it out of the truck without hurting myself! I talked to both supervisors and the superintendent to ensure there was no other option regarding switching my route. The two nice ones told me that a) the workload is only going to get worse, so I should look out for my health first and that b) there was no way to avoid doing mobile routes for the next few months or years, as everything is assigned by seniority, and it would take over a year to bid on a permanent route.

The next reason I quit is because the main supervisor and route that I have, as I mentioned before, are known throughout all of Burnaby and Vancouver as being the worst. With no seniority, you take the worst routes in the station, and the one I've been doing this week used to be all contracted out to an independent parcel delivery service. That's why there are so many parcels. This one supervisor who has been in charge of me this week is the biggest bitchcow villainess I've ever met. I heard about her in training, and at other depots before I even met her.

Take all the evil villainesses in every Disney movie out there, and roll them into one big ball, add a dose of Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's nest, and voila. She is the type that purposely ignores you when you walk by her, and is always right, even when she is wrong. She has a face of steel and the only time I ever saw the corners of her mouth twitch upwards was when I told her I was thinking about quitting, this morning. Who knows, maybe deep down inside there's a nice person in there, but she sure hides it at the expense of making a whole depot lose its morale.

All in all though, I think I could even deal with the bitchy supervisor (and countless bitchy old workers) if I was just doing a footwalk. I did like the fresh air, and some of the beautiful lawns and gardens, and not having to interact with many people in a customer-service way. I liked sorting and pulling the mail; it was kind of fun in a comforting, routine-ish way. And many people at the depot really went out of their way to help me out and answer questions.

I wish the job had been accurately advertised as a 'mobile courier' or 'parcel delivery' position, rather than 'mail carrier,' because then I wouldn't even have sent in my resume. I almost didn't go in to work today but I had some delivery notice cards to drop off so I decided to give it one last shot. They paired me up with someone to follow me around the whole day to give me hints and tips, and I took notes. But even with all the help I was still miserable doing the parcel delivery. So I feel pretty good about having survived a month of being a postie. Now on to job applications again, which I'm becoming pretty expert at. I know there's something better for me out there..


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congraturation on your right decision!! Having fun at work is one of most important factors in finding a job.

Good luck..

Korean Reader

9:58 PM  
Blogger s said...

Thanks, I agree. I just inspected my body for damage for the first time last night, and I counted 14 bruises on my arms and legs, 9 cuts on my hands, and one blister on my toe that I've had ever since I started work. It dies down on weekends and flares up again when working.

That is definitely not my idea of fun. =)

7:08 AM  
Blogger Michelle said...

The company I work for is always looking for good people. It's in North Van and we sell paper. Let me know if you want more info.

7:02 PM  
Blogger deepthoughts said...

good god. i'm just glad you quit before you 'went postal' as they say. i'm beginning to have a new appreciation for that phrase after reading that post.

4:22 PM  

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