Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I've told a few tales about previous places of employment here on this blog. There were The Feedstore Chronicles which I am now turning into a memoir. The were the stories about my stint as a shopping mall Santa. A few more about my days as a high school football reeree..

But I've not written much about my adventures at current and longest lasting employer, The United States Postal Service. I'm a big believer in that old saying, You don't crap where you eat but given that I don't have another topic in mind and this story is not derogatory in nature I feel safe in telling it.

This may come as a shock to y'all but I can be a bit of a smart ass when need be, and around the Ol' PO that need often arises. Here is my favorite tale illustrating that point.

Once was the time when I bought a newspaper every morning before work. Given the fact that the Amarillo Paper is small I would fold up the pages and carry the paper in the back pocket. Of course the paper would stick out a good bit as it resembled a flattened tube.

Being that I was in the maintenance department and not the sortation or delivery side my job comes with a certain amount of ... shall we say downtime. We are Gov't workers you see and it wouldn't do to injure ourselves by running from one project to the next.

At this particular point of my postal career, my immediate supervisor was a guy I'll call Slick Willie. Now Slick Willie fancied himself as a the end all be all of the male species. A ladies man extraordinaire. In his mind he put the cock in cock a doodle dandy. Never mind the fact he wore polyester suits and had a pompadour hair-do three decades out of fashion.

Slick Willie liked to make himself feel important by asserting his position of power of his minions, me included. Sure he was the boss, but given the strength of our union and the built in checks and balances, he didn't have near the power or control that he thought he possessed.

Nevertheless one day Slick Willie summonsed me to his office for an official reprimand. The following is our conversation up to the point he threw me out of his office.

Slick Willie -- Travis, you need to stop carrying that paper in your back pocket.
Me -- Why?
Slick Willie -- It looks bad. It looks like you are going to read it.
Me -- I am going to read it. Why else would I buy a copy every morning?
Slick Willie -- No, I mean it looks like you are always going to break. Like you are going to read it right now.
Me -- What about all the smokers. They carry their cigarettes with them. Does it look like they are going to break?
Slick Willie -- Kenny (Kenny was the Slick Willie's boss. The Maintenance Manager) smokes so I can't say anything about that.
Me- So you can't get after the smokers for carrying the cigarettes because Kenny smokes, but you are chastising me for carrying me paper?

Slick Willie leaned back in his chair and smugly nodded.
Me -- What? Kenny can't read.

That's when Slick Willie threw me out of his office, but he never said another word about the folded up paper in my back pocket.


G. B. Miller said...

Dude, you're man after my own heart.

This lowly state worker bows down at the feet of the almighty federal worker, and says, "I'm not worthy to be in the presence of pure geniuse."

Many thanks for the evening chuckle.

It was priceless.

Cloudia said...


Were you REALY a "ree ree?"



Comfort Spiral

Eric said...

Oh man, Travis. I feel your pain, trust me. I'm a lowly little network admin for our fair city, but I see just as much "fun" stuff as your story implies. Ain't it great being a govt worker? Eh, sometimes....no

Thanks for the laugh :)

Lyzzydee said...

Brilliant!! reminds me of a time I had to give evidence at court and a smart arse solicitir backed himself right into a corner. I had witnessed an incident of damage at night. The solicitor asked me if I could see clearly out of the window, I said yes I could, so he said 'does your vehicle have windows at night?' I couldn't resist and told him it had windows during the day as well!!!!

Natasha Fondren said...

LOL! That's something. I can't imagine having co-workers. I'm so glad I don't, LOL.

Chris Eldin said...

LOL!!! But your Santa stories are da bomb too! I hope you post more this coming season!!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

Good one! Plus I learned a great new expression from your post -- to put the cock in cock-a-doodle-doo! LOL!

Charles Gramlich said...

I might have thought of the same thing, but an hour or two later after much more thought on the issue.

the walking man said...

As a former municipal worker AND a union steward I have had many similar conversations. O the Joy.

Monnik said...

Ha! I'm a smartass at work too. Someday it's going to bite me in that smart ass of mine.

Texanne said...

I don't know how you get away with this stuff, Travis, but my hat's off to you. When I was a government worker, smarting off too much could get you thrown into the brig.

Wait. We had no union. Damn!

cindystubbs said...

You should write a book!!
Hey I always wondered "going Postal" means going crazy, does that mean the postal sevice is nuts?

dee said...

dat right dere's funny ...i don't care who u r...

Phats said...

haha you told him! that's great.

Have a great Thanksgiving Travis!

David Cranmer said...

Good for you in getting back. So many smokers I know started because they said they wanted a longer break like everyone else.

And please, more PO stories.

Lana Gramlich said...

Bwah ha! You go boy!

writtenwyrdd said...

As a fellow gummint employee, I have heard or had very similar run ins with management. However I am not capable of such wonderful and to-the-point sarcasm. I just get in more trouble.