I’m About To Go Postal (the real story)

Here’s the real news…


Something exciting happened today.  At 5:10pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (there is no daylight saving in Queensland) I completed my last exam of the semester.  I am officially on summer break.  YAY!!


But on Monday I start work.  BOO!! (Or YAY, depending on whether you are viewing it from a spare-time-to-cycle perspective or a money-for-food perspective)


Here is my world during semester.  My wife studies with a full-time subject load and also works 8-20 hours a week at a supermarket packing shelves.  I study a full-time subject load and work 5-15 hours a week delivering pizzas and training new delivery drivers. 


During summer break my wife is doing 2 university subjects plus still working up to 20 hours.  There is not the option for me to study over summer as my degree can not be accelerated.  Therefore, from now (18 Nov) until orientation week next year (13 Feb) I have spare time which up until today was filled with diligent study (or fragmented study and diligent blogging).  


A point.  There is always a point.  I rarely get to it quickly.


Back in September I bumped into a person I hadn’t seen for nearly 10 years.  His older brother was my wife’s boss at the video shop when I met her 15 years ago.  When the video shop closed down these two brothers went into business together.  We talked for quite a while about people and events those 10 years had thrown at each of us.  Enthusiastic farewells ensued, with promises to catch up again soon.


Here’s the point (including the origin of today’s title).


I’d been thinking about that conversation after we parted, and then I ran into him again a few days later.  Here’s an excerpt from conversation number 2:


Me:  "You guys get busy around Christmas, right?" 

Him:  "Yep." 

Me:  "Do you work extra hours or do you put on extra people?" 

Him:  "A bit of both.  We normally work with a crew of four, but for the four or five weeks leading up to Christmas we usually put on a couple of extras.  And everyone is doing ten to twelve hour days for the last week or so before Christmas day."

Me:  "I’m available until the middle February.  Can I have one of the extra positions?"

Him:  "I guess so.  I talk to Gary (brother) and call you later today."


Two hours later my mobile (cell) phone rang.  "Mick, it’s Gary.  Come down to the depot and fill in some forms.  We have to get federal police clearance for you before you can start."


Done.  Five weeks later my clearance arrived and I had a training shift this morning.  As I jumped in the van this morning it went something like this, "By the way, both of my employees want a bit of time off.  When it dies down in January do you want to stay on in a relief role while they take holidays?"  "Of course."  So I thought I was getting five weeks work and now it will be eleven.


What the hell am I doing?


I still haven’t really gotten to the point yet, have I?  You have been very patient and I am now going to disclose what I will be doing while the northern hemisphere freezes for the next 3 months. 




Yes, that’s right folks.  My wife’s former employer, and now my employer, has a parcel delivery contract with Australia Post.  As of Monday November 21st I will be a postal worker.  For the non-believers I have attached a photo of my work ID.  So if I develop a permanent frown or a nervous tick or a twitch or a desire to purchase a large calibre handgun, please ring my wife, my mother, my therapist and the police.  In that order.


Maybe I’ll lose some weight this summer after all. 


I’m guessing that running up and down people’s driveways carrying the crap Santa won’t haul constitutes exercise.  I was told to expect about 50 parcels per day next week increasing to about 200 per day for the last few days before Christmas.  That means that after four weeks practise, in the fifth week I will run about 2000 intervals of 10 seconds each.  That’s certainly a bit better than the half-a-sit-up-in-the-morning regime I have been following recently.

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18 Responses to I’m About To Go Postal (the real story)

  1. a says:

    with your vast knowledge, and your new job, i dub thee the ‘cliff clavin of oz’.

  2. a says:

    but seriously, congrats on the new job. hope you have a good summer.

  3. cosmogrl says:

    Mike—You rock! That was very entertaining! Congratulations on your new job and I hope that hauling all that santa reject crap helps you get the bod that you want. But we luv ya just like you are! Did you do well in all of your classes? I’m sure you’ll post an undate, but I’m wondering….. K–I’m out for now. —Wen 🙂

  4. Unknown says:

    Oh, Dear God! You’re now An Official Representative of The OzTrailYan Gubmint. Hey, try not to goose the Queen if she comes for a visit. Just kidding. Congrats on the job. Nothin’ like a little financial stability when you’re busy being a student.

  5. Big Guy on a Bicycle says:

    Wow, they actually let you maintain Ocularis Incognitus status on the ID, huh?Kidding, KIDDING! I’M KIDDING, FOLKS! Sheesh!

  6. Susie says:

    After this you will be ready for "Big Brown". My husband works for UPS and his packages increase like that after Thanksgiving right up to Christmas Eve. Good luck. You will be dog tired after the first couple of days. Get some good shoes!!!

  7. Unknown says:

    Cheers Nikared.BIG Mike–Take it easy running with those packages. We’ve heard about how proficient you are with your hands full.Botched

  8. Fat Cyclist says:

    i still can’t resolve what i know of BIG MIKE and a photo of him wearing a tie. it’s like the tie-wearing-MIKE is from a more respectable (but probably evil) universe or something.

  9. Ariane says:

    At least now when ship Oreos half-way around the world, you can get an employee discount.

  10. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    nikared – it would be a better summer if I didn’t have a job, but it would be a cold, hungry winter.cosmogrl33 – there’ll be a how-much-fun-are-exams style post in the next few days.Al – I spent 15 years working for "the" phone company before my elected representatives sold it off, so goosing the Queen is old hat to me.Big Guy – I had it written into my contract.svandiver – what are you doing checking the size of your husband’s package when he’s supposed to be working.Botched – I didn’t drop that cargo and I don’t plan on starting now.fatty – that was the pre mid-life crisis me. I lifted that photo straight off a flyer from when I was a home-loan manager.toad – sadly no, I’m an employee of a contractor.

  11. Laura says:

    You need to call it a quarteror a third life crisis… Mid would imply you are not going to make it to 76… Lets shot for at leasy 114…Pengs ( and her cat…)

  12. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    Pale Purple Penguin – as a physics major I must offer my scientific analysis of the term mid-life. The term itself implies that there must be other parts and as it is the mid part there must be an earlier part and a latter part. Let us assume these parts are equal in duration, if not quality. I have professed to currently exist in the mid portion. If I am about to leave this portion in favour of the latter period, I would have a life expectency of approximately 57 years. This finds scientific support in the fact that my father died at 62 and both of his parents died before they were 70.But if I am at the beginning of the mid portion then I could conceivably make it to 114. This option has as much scientific support through family history as the original. My mother at 68 has been medically assessed with the body of a 56 year old. Her father was almost 80 when he died and her mother was 99 (she was the only one of 5 siblings to not reach 100).Based on that brief family history I should live to between 57 and 114, unless I stand too close to Rocky and his Karmic Black Hole in a thunderstorm and take a hit from a lightning bolt meant for him.

  13. Laura says:

    Oh beloved member of a Frank Baum fairytale,So you want to get all technically scientific do you…According to Bauhaus Master Johannes Itten’s Treatise on the Elements of Color,By applying the twelve part circle as expounded in the Theory of Color Design, using Contrast 2 of Light-Dark, and Contract 6 of Saturation, with a constant in brightness, Lilac falls under the 3rd gradation of the secondary color of Violet in the cool monochromatic; with further influence from the dynamics of Spatial Effect of Color as reinforce by the Theory of Color Expression as apply by Contract 7 of Extention practiced in the manner of Gothe’s light values for the proportionalities of complementary pairs. After further reference in my collection of tomes on Color Theory, the Bauhaus, and art history, it is my conclussion the term purple technically is not a recinzed as a sciectific band of colo wave length. I should thus by methoid scientif be classifed as the 3rd cool gradation of voilet.or you can just call me peng.

  14. Stephen says:

    Penguin’s comment gave me a headache. Youre’ "going postal" is freakin’ me out a little bit. I started to reconsider what I’m gonna post here next, but then I figured Hey! I can run a helofalot faster than he can swim, probly, so wtf… So in resposne to the question you asked in your comment:I got your “half-caf, double de-caf, skinny-chino, mocha-grande, latte in a mug with a dash and a twist” right here mate (grabbing the crotch of my pants, giving it a tug or three).WTF! What is that, a cup of coffee, or an order for some kinda weenie nit wit weight-watchers breakfast? Cripes! You’re not too big an A-hole tho. In order to be awarded a MAJOR, world-class A-hole title, you have to get into that whole “soy” thing, or “non-fat” crap. Milk comes from a cow, NOT a frigging vegetable!!! And it comes with FAT in it! That’s where all the taste and goodness in it comes from, forcrisake! Jaysuuss Keeerriist on a pony! And I thought the USA had a lock on weenies. I thought they made’m tough down under. Just shows to go ya…(Clearing throat) Right! No worries, I’m fine now, tanjuberrymush.That just set me off a bit. I’ve stood behind these weenies so many times for so many years, waiting for the numnuts clerk who just started working there that day and whose eyes were glazing over, to get this a-holes 55 word order correct, while I missed my g@ddam bus so that I had to wait out in the friggin snow storm for another hour until the next one came and I had a popsicle and two snow cones where my genitals used to be, that it really sets me right off just thinkin about it. Grrrrrrr. No really – I’m fine now…thanks for asking.And Actually? I’m sure you’re a fine person, underneath that weenie exterior.OK, now where was I before I got on about the Starbuck’s thing? Oh Yeah…G’Day! Thanks for stopping by. Come again anytime. I’ll put up a pot of java. You can get coffee one of two ways at my house – Black… or… Black. My momma didn’t raise no girlie man.

  15. cosmogrl says:

    Progressive Pilgrim: wow–you’re an angry, angry person….

  16. Unknown says:

    Pïłġřïm — you are your usual funny, funny self and you fit right in to this group of black-banded bandidos.Mike — HUGS congrats on finishing up the semester. BIG sigh of relief, eh? I know you have done well.And BEWDY RIPPER, MATE on your new job! Uh… could you put a basket on your bike and ride it back and forth from the truck to the houses? LOLOL!! I echo the wish that you get good shoes for sure. Put out some bucks (AUD) for some really good walking shoes so that you don’t ruin your feet, knees, hip joints, etc.’ave a go, yer mug!Hugs,MuMo

  17. BIg Mike In Oz says:

    peng – I was going to do my PhD on string theory, but now I’ll have to do it on particle theory just so I don’t prove you wrong and get you all uptight again.Pilgrim – Relax, I’m going postal figuratively, not literally (yet). It’s not a real drink, I just came up with the name when a friend said she was a barista. And we are tough, you try saying that thing three times fast without biting the end off your tongue.cosmogrl33 – Sorry, you came in on the end of a conversation. Pilgrim is only as angry as nikared and I. I know you’re probably maxed out with favourites but trust me, go and have a look at his blog, particularly Pet Peeves and Holy Smokes out of the recent crop.MuMo – Your accent’s coming along nicely. Don’t worry, I got the shoes before I started day 1. They wanted me to have steel caps and I laughed at them, but I ended up getting them and I’m glad I did because I got a forklift over the toes within 10 minutes of arriving at work.

  18. cosmogrl says:

    OK—I’ll go check out his space–later. I was getting a little defensive there cause I thought he was being unkind to you. If you say it’s all in good fun then I believe you… *hugs* –Wen 🙂

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