Postal Service

Today’s news says that 35,000 USPS jobs are on the line. This makes me sad, partly for the very real impact these losses will have on families and employees across the nation, partly for the inevitability of economic trouble and its ensuing trauma, and partly for an idealist I once met at the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

I had hiked up for a windblown photo of the bridge and happened upon an older gentleman wearing tattered tennis shoes and carrying an old windbreaker contentedly settled on a bench with a view of the bay far below. I joined him to rest my feet, mistaking him for a local eccentric. It turned out that he was a visiting postal worker, testing the waters of Bay Area academics (he was beginning dental school a few decades late.) We chatted about his work in the postal service and how he enjoyed seeing the mail come from faraway places to his town in Florida. He last encouraged me to keep pursuing my goals and to never take for granted the fact that I lived in the Bay Area :)

I wonder if he’s still working for the USPC. I wonder if his job is one of the ones being cut. I wonder if he’s still hoping to be a dentist and if he remembers meeting me.

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