I have changed the date on
this journal entry literally 5 times over the
past week as I
tried to write and was always interrupted
before I could get anything accomplished.
Life has changed yet again.
Independently, my GFORCE ladies started
talking with one another (without the others
knowing of the conversations going on) about
the idea of starting a morning exercise group
after the kids are dropped off for school.
(So 9am) Since I have a pretty well
stocked gym from all of my weight loss
failures, I offered up my house to do it in.
So far, we've worked out three days this week
for about an hour at a shot. The first
day, we did the Biggest Loser Workout DVD with
the low intensity cardio. The second
day, sore from the first day, we did Suzanne
Deason's Yoga For Weight Loss DVD all the way
through. Today, we did the Biggest Lower
Workout DVD on the Bootcamp level. It's
so much easier doing it with other people,
especially people I know rather than a class
of strangers. I actually look forward to
the workouts every day. My goal is to
lose 50 pounds by July and 100 pounds by New
Year's Day. That's around 2 pounds a
week, so it's not beyond the level of reason.
One day at a time. This way, I'm
guaranteed to get 4-5 days a week of good
exercise. I'm trying to do it and not
think too much about it as the days pile up
that I've gotten it done. I've already
lost my 2 pounds for this week, so that's nice
Tomorrow, we start our
monthly bingo nights to benefit the school.
The Fire Safe Council extended their nonprofit
status to us so that we're legal and we after
off and running. It looks like it's
shaping up to be a fun night. We plan to
have bingo the third Friday of every month.
Yesterday, as I drove up to
the post office, I had an incredible feeling
of finality that I did not expect to feel.
It did not feel organic to me. I did not
have any bad thoughts or negativity about the
job; I just felt done. It was like a
door closed audibly.
As I was going through the
motions of the job, sorting the mail and doing
the things I do almost every day, I could feel
with every movement, "This is the last time
I'll do this." I felt a great deal of
peace about that. The post master chewed
my ass because I didn't see a note that she'd
put a bin over, but she's a fairly angry,
hateful person a lot of the time in this weird
bi-polar way. A lot of the time, she's
fun and quick and smart and funny. About
20% of the time, she just goes apeshit out of
control over the least little thing. As
anyone who knows me knows, I don't do well
with unpredictable behavior. I have no
interest in my friends and the people around
me being boring, but I don't respond well to
someone just going all feral on me out of the
blue; especially if it's someone with whom
I've set up a reasonable trust.
Delivering the mail is
about as simplistic as you would imagine.
I can't say how it is elsewhere, but in my
post office and, to a greater scale, at Eric's
post office, it's a fairly tight and
uncomplicated system. The actual postal
employees (civil service folk) sort out the
big bins of mail that come in to the post
office into route bins (me/Eric) and PO Box
bins. They then sort the PO Box bins and
put them into the PO Boxes while we sort the
route bins into the mail cubbies, then rubber
band it up and take it out for delivery.
Like I said, pretty
simplistic. It's a matter of numbers and
names and getting everything in the right
hole. Just like every now and then a
cash register doesn't balance to the cent when
the restaurant closes, just like every now and
then, you file a file folder in the wrong
place...sometimes, there's a misthrow. A
misthrow is when you accidentally put an
envelope in the wrong cubby. It can
happen because you have a brain fart or
because the names/numbers are really similar
(I only have 50 boxes on my route, but I have
two Johnstons and two Wells') or because one
letter sticks to another and you pick up both
at the same time and don't realize it.
It happens. Since I started the job on
November 15th, I have had exactly 5 misthrows.
That is through handling literally thousands and
thousands of pieces of mail, especially
through the holiday season. Eric has
about 200 boxes and has misthrows as well.
Often, we will find mail in our route bins
that belong to the PO Boxes. Misthrows
happen. My post master, however, just
goes batshit ranting any time I make a
mistake. She doesn't just bring the
piece of mail over to me and tell me, "So and
so brought this in. It was put in their
box by mistake." That wouldn't bother me
at all. God knows I'm not perfect and I
am comfortable with the fact that I am going
to screw up sometimes. She, however,
goes into detail telling me how the patron was
"hysterical" over the misthrow (I, of course,
said, "Hysterical? They were hysterical
over getting a wrong piece of mail?
Really?") and how I have to be more careful
and how people DEPEND on getting the right
I am in the post office
anywhere from 1-2 hours doing my "casing" and
during that time, I invariably hear people
come to the front counter and casually tell
her, "This was put into my PO box by mistake."
She says, "Oh, sorry about that!" and it's
over. My few misthrows are treated as
As an independent
contractor, Eric does not work for the post
office or the post master, but for the postal
service directly. I, in turn, work for Eric...or
rather am an indentured servant to Eric. Whoda thought that after all the years of me
giving him the "You are not the boss of me"
that he'd suddenly be the boss of me?
So here is this
not-in-my-chain-of-command woman yelling at me
like I just took a shit in someone's mailbox.
If I try to defend myself, speaking calmly,
coolly, admitting, "OK, I made a mistake, it
happens to all of us...can we just move on
now?" then it just escalates her hysteria.
If I stand my ground and really come back on
her with the, "Look, back off, OK?" then it
gets even worse. It's weird to watch and
as irritating as it was, it was not a factor
in my knowing that my post office time was
over. These were actually two different
situations. Although I was once at a
time when people did not get a second chance
with me to lose their minds and scream me
down, I have since amended that to a "three
strikes" rule. I figure anyone is
entitled to go insane once or twice.
Three times is a pattern of behavior and oops!
I'm gone. This woman just had her 4th
strike because I let her go into extra innings
out of respect for the fact that I have to
work with her 5 days a week (I work with
another gal on Saturdays, who I just adore).
So on her 4th strike, she is officially
"outside my realm of influence."
Circle of Trust
hysterical post master
If your monitor screen has
a different resolution than mine, that above
graphic probably makes no sense at all.
Last night, I told Eric
about my feeling that I was done. I told
him I'd helped him through the holiday season
and now that things were slowing down and I'm
investing an hour a day (minimum) into
fitness, I'd like to stop doing the mail and
devote that time to my writing and to the
house. He looked like I'd plowed over
him with a tractor. He was surprised and
felt that my timing was bad because he is in
the process of straddling the two worlds,
working on a couple of construction projects
and delivering the mail and I guess adding the
extra 1-2 hours a day would overtax him, so
here I am. He was very understanding
about it and said that he felt he had not let
me know how much he appreciated what I did.
He has, of course, been very forthcoming with
the thanks and that wasn't really the issue.
I guess I just didn't realize that he was
depending on it.
So now my day looks like
5:45am - Get up and rouse
Delena to get ready for school, make her lunch
and wait for the bus with her.
6:15am - Delena leaves.
I either go back to sleep for another hour and
a half or do chores or check email.
Lately, it's been frantic dish washing, floor
mopping, turtle-pond cleaning, clothes
folding, etc. No one should do those
things before 7am.
8:00am - Announce to the
boys that it's time to get ready for school.
Make eggs, toast and coffee for Eric.
Get kids packed up and out the door.
8:30am - Eric leaves for
the post office.
8:45am - Boys get on the
9:00am - GFORCE ladies
arrive and we work out.
10:30am - GFORCE ladies
leave and I hurry and dress.
10:45am - I get to the Post
12:00-12:30 - I finish mail
route and come home
12:30 - 4pm - This is my
"free time" to go to town and get provisions,
do whatever household chores still need to be
done, pay bills, etc.
4pm - Kids are home.
Eric usually comes home some time between
5pm - Get kids
started on homework, begin making dinner.
6pm or so - Dinner
From this point on, the
night is a blur of putting out family fires,
still working on housework, cleaning up after
It's definitely an aggggh
especially since I've been sick as a dog for a
week now. It's some kind of sinus
infection, head cold, ears ringing/aching,
coughing-up-a-lung/bronchitis type thing.
Now, Scrubs has begun and
Eric and I have a date to watch it.
Which means I'll post this
during that sacred 6:15-8:00am window
God help me.
Didn't make the sacred
6:15-8:00am window. Delena woke up with
a fever, so I went back to sleep until 8am,
which was blissful. I actually slept
through the night, which was nice as well.
Andrea (the GFORCE lady who
faithfully comes to work out) and I did a Yoga
*burn* DVD today and really felt it after
about the 5-6 fluid sun salute. Burn was
definitely the right word for the title.
The entire workout from warm up to cool down
was only 30 minutes, which is the shortest
workout we've done so far. I can tell
you after only four days of workout this week
that wow, those extra 20 minutes or so really
make a difference. I'd always been told
that when it comes to fat burning and
conditioning, anything over 25 minutes was a
waste. I beg to differ. I am
definitely seeing better results with the
added time. I have already lost 3 pounds
this week and I'm a lot better toned, stronger
and more flexible after just 4 days.
I also can't say enough (having never done
it before now) about working out with a
friend. It makes all the difference in
the world. Admittedly, there is a bit of
competitiveness or I guess you could all it
automotivation between us. I'll want to
quit or drop a position and I'll look over and
see that Andrea is holding in there or better
yet, holding in there better than I am
and I will keep going. It's easy when
I'm on my own to just say, "OK, I suck, I'm
skipping this one," but with Andrea there
encouraging me and telling me I can do it, I
have definitely taken myself further than I
normally would. I'm so happy that she
has held with this and come ever day.
I'm going to miss it over the weekend.
After I finished writing
last night, I cried it all out to Eric, who
was wonderfully supportive and sympathetic.
God bless'im. That made it a lot easier.
I really am not bad at confrontation when it
needs to happen (although I still don't like
it), but that is when it's happening with
normal, rational people, not crazy, hysterical
people who are bringing baggage into the
situation that has nothing to do with me and
everything to do with their own mess.
After getting a good bit of rest and thinking
things through, when I went into the post
office today, I took a stack of business cards
I'd made on Eric's behalf (without his
knowledge, I might add) that say: Eric
Rasbold, Senior Rural Mail Carrier, Grizzly
Flats & Somerset, California and gave his cell
phone number and email address. I handed
them to the Postmaster and told her if anyone,
ANYone had a problem with how I do my job, to
hand them a card and tell them to contact
Eric. Since Eric takes absolutely no
shit off of absolutely no one, that is quite a
fortress in front of me and sissy or not, I'll
take it. His name is on the check, so he
can take the heat. She started trying to
give me some shit about how she is in charge
of the route and I told her that,
nevertheless, Eric is my supervisor and
absolutely any problems or praise is to go
through him. Period. We didn't
speak for the remainder of the hour I was
there (as far as I am concerned, any
conversation on her part can also go through
Eric - I'm done) and that was fine with me.
I got my work done a lot faster and was out of
I'll definitely continue to
be cordial, but refer to the above diagram
(askew if you have a different resolution) to
know how solid that circle of trust actually
Josh and his family are
coming up again this weekend and bingo is in 4
hours, so I should get crackin. The next
time you hear from me, with any luck, I'll be
another pound or two lighter and not peeing my
pants every time I have a hacking cough