Working at the Post Office

Photo by Alex Perz on Unsplash

I am not sure what year it was, at the end of high school, 1966, or my early post college year 1971, but I took the postal clerk exam, passed and went to work at the Roosevelt Station on the east side.

My brief USPS career started off badly (in a funny way) and ended badly (not so funny).

It was the USPS if I worked after 1970 or the USPO if before.

Until my employment, my experience with the post office was largely limited to dropping letters down the chute in 222 or hanging out with the postman in the lobby while he sorted the mail.  And there was also the Planetarium Station as the local post office was known, located at 127 West 83rd between Amsterdam and Columbus.  It still stands almost directly across from the firehouse my dad and I hung out in and a few doors down from “the new PS9” which wasn’t there when I was young.

Work at the Franklin Roosevelt station started out pretty funny.  I was to start the night shift (12-8) and like several other new employees I reported on the wrong midnight.  The shift supervisor basically said, “not to worry, it happens all the time.”  I didn’t have the problem again.

Lunch/dinner/breakfast was at four in the morning, middle of the shift, sort of mid-day.  That’s where I learned to play spades.  It is also where I found myself the only White person in the room.  That went well. I had willing spades instructors and it was all for fun.  You didn’t dare gamble in the post office.

I only lasted a month.  

One night I was walking down one of the aisles among the racks of mail sacks and was tripped and sent sprawling.  I felt this was an anti-semitic incident, although looking back, it could have been about race. I was young and dealt with it by not going back to work. 

Today I think I would fight back, heading straight for HR.  I wouldn’t have been making friends but doing the right thing isn’t always popular.

I can be reached at

And here’s the link to buy my book:

3 thoughts on “Working at the Post Office

  1. How about that–something else of the many things we best boyhood friends have in common. I ALSO worked at the post office, and it WAS right out of high school, summer of 1966. My assignment was the Main P.O. in Borough Park, Brooklyn. The evening shift, 6-Midnight. I made great money for college–$2.58/Hr., twice the minimum wage. I brought big sacks of mail to my station, where I sat and stuffed each piece into pigeonholes for each area of the country. I remember handling a lot of letters going to President Lyndon Johnson mostly, I suppose, protesting either the war or him personally. At Midnight I would take the train back to 86th and Lexington, then walk to 87th and York Ave., where we’d moved a year earlier. I’ve been advised that to do so today would be absolute insanity, but back then it was never a problem. It was an outstanding summer job; thanks for reminding me.


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