Thank A Mail Carrier Day
1. The first organized mail delivery began in 1775 and was called Constitutional Post.
2. Ben Franklin was the first Postmaster General.
3. April 3, 1860 was the day that the Pony Express began. The riders for the Pony Express had a motto “Neither rain, or snow, nor death of night, can keep us from our duty.” A more recent version of their slogan is “Through rain or snow, or sleet or hail, we’ll carry the mail. We will not fail.”
4. Zip codes started in 1963.
National Thank a Mail Carrier Day is always observed on February 4th but ironically, this year it falls on a Sunday. I hope mail carriers are NOT working on Sundays. Can I suggest showing your appreciation on Saturday, February 3rd just in case? For my family, we will definitely thank Ms. Kim, our mail carrier, but we will have to thank her on February 2nd because she is retiring! Ms. Kim has done so much for us that we consider her a friend instead of our mail carrier. Many of us will miss her so much. On one hand, we are so happy for her to retire because she will be able to enjoy life with her partner who has already retired and has been patiently waiting to have fun together. But we are pretty bummed because on the other hand, we know that we will never have a mail carrier as caring, nice, happy and great as Ms. Kim. She is the best.
Where I live, our mail carriers are the REAL deal. They actually carry the mail from house to house. They can't use their mail trucks to stop at each house when they deliver the mail because our mailboxes have no street access. Our mailboxes are located near our front doors. We can't have our mailboxes on the sidewalks next to the street because when it snows (sometimes 5 months a year) the streets are plowed and the snow needs to go somewhere. Our mail carriers are not even lucky enough to stand in front of those giant walls of locked mailboxes which serve as the community mailbox for 50 houses or 100 apartment/condos. There's no easy-out for our mail carriers - they walk from house to house six days a week. They are BAD ASS WARRIORS!
Ms. Kim walks her routes every day and deals with the wonderful elements of really cold winters and really hot summers but she is much more than a mail carrier to us. I quickly knew Ms. Kim was special because when we moved here in 2007, I would be on walks with my dog Bruin and he would spot her blocks away. He would choke himself to break free from my grip of his leash in order to run up to her. Ms. Kim would laugh and be so happy to see him. She would give him a treat even though she always left one when she dropped off our mail later in the day. She has an endless supply of dog treats. There were a few times that Ms. Kim paid (out of her own pocket) the extra postage if a sender was short because she just wanted us to receive our mail without the extra hassle. She remembers when we will be out of town and asks my neighbors to hold our mail until we get home because of course I forget to officially put our mail on hold. Ms. Kim always asks about our lives because she really cares. She writes thank you notes for every single thoughtful pinch I've ever given her - which is a lot because there have been plenty of holidays over the ten years we've been here. Just the other day, she was carrying a plastic bag. I asked her what was in it. She remembered it was my neighbor's 4th year anniversary of being cancer-free and was bringing her treats. I held back my tears. I know there are hundreds of thoughtful pinches stories about Ms. Kim because she is kind and generous. She is the best.
Mostly, I think I'll miss Ms. Kim a lot because my mom has come to look for her every day. Sure, my mom could still count on the water delivery guy, Xai (pronounced Sigh), but he only comes once every two weeks. The handyman or the appliances repair men come and go. Fortunately or unfortunately, they are only around when something needs fixing. Ms. Kim has been someone my mom counts on every day, she greets her, she worries about her, she cares about her. My mom will miss her and I think that is going to be tough for me to watch.
Many of you may not have a relationship with your mail carrier like we have. Maybe you can't even re-late to this national holiday because you're not around when the mail is delivered. But I wonder how many other postal workers would love their job as much as Ms. Kim if they had residents as wonderful as our neighborhood? I'm not bragging. I'm asking. If our communities thought about the people who serve us, especially mail carriers, would we all feel better about serving and being served? I wonder if showing gratefulness and thoughtfulness, no matter how small the gesture (for example making eye contact when you see them working), would change the whole dynamic. If every resident did something small to appreciate a mail carrier wouldn't that add up to equal one great big gesture? I'm pretty sure there would be many more happy mail carriers out there. Thank a mail carrier anytime, not just on February 4th.
*All Fun Facts are from Nationaldaycalendar.com.