How you feel about the Postal Service depends on whether they brought you a check or bills today. But these couriers keep their appointed rounds no matter what they are delivering. And they deliver 154 billion pieces of mail every year! On an individual level, you might know your postal carrier’s name, but probably not a lot about his or her job. For example,
1. YOUR MAILBOX IS HOME TO HIDDEN DANGER.
Cliches are clichés for a reason, and most postal workers will admit to having some concern over unfriendly dogs on their route. But a smaller, equally painful danger remains under-publicized. According to Kenny, a carrier in the Midwest, reaching into a mailbox to deposit your letters can sometimes be hazardous to his health. “Wasps like to get into mailboxes,” he says. “Especially if they have an outgoing mail slot. They build a nest in there. I’ve been stung quite a few times.”
2. THEIR SATCHEL HAS A HIDDEN PURPOSE.
The shoulder-slung sack of mail on a carrier’s shoulder isn’t just to tote credit card offers. During carrier orientation, workers are taught that the satchel is their first line of defense against aggressive dogs. (They can also use parcels to parry attacks.) “There’s a whole training program on it,” Kenny says. “You try to keep it between you and the dog.” Carriers are also issued pepper spray. “I hate to use it, but sometimes you have to,” Kenny admits. He estimates he’s been bit nine or 10 times. “I’ve never needed stitches, but I’ve known carriers who have.”
Read a dozen other secrets about your mail carrier’s job at mental_floss.