CCA Whisperer by Ramon Lawson

So you’ve been working here at the Livingston Station for about 2 weeks and the manager tells you that he wants to speak with you in the office. What do you do, what do you say? Many newly hired employees have no idea what there rights are. Well I’m here to help. I am Ramon Lawson, the CCA whisperer. I’ve been employed by the good ole’ postal service for about 10 years now. I started as a Part-time Flexible (PTF). I never had the opportunity to go through the ‘transitional employee’ (TE) or city carrier assistant (CCA) phase but that doesn’t mean I can’t relate to how you feel.

This career path is tough. Long hours, being disrespected, weather conditions, and the occasional dog make this a thankless job. It may seem hard at first but as time goes by and you start learning more and more you will come to find being a mailman is a great job to have. I’m here to help you make it to becoming a regular full-time city carrier.

Once a quarter I will be submitting an article to give you pointers on how to make the job a little easier. My first article is going to focus on your carrier duties. The job title you are assigned is “city carrier assistant.” Your main job is to carry mail. This means that you will actually have to carry mail and deliver it on your own. Unfortunately some people do not understand this. Carrying mail can be fun, rewarding, and worthwhile but only after you have mastered the craft. As new carriers you should focus more on mastering your craft and not as much on what “Johnny and Becky” are doing. I have seen many carriers come and go in my time here. The one common thing I notice among those who left is that they never figured out the craft of being a good mail carrier. It isn’t that hard to do. I will tell you how you can master your craft in 5 easy steps:

Step 1 - Come to work when you are scheduled. Not coming to work is the easiest way to not having this job.

Step 2 - Again I say come to work…you can’t learn how to do the job if you aren’t here. While your at work ask questions. Each station has a union steward. Find out who your steward is and go to them with any questions you have. They are there to help you.

Step 3 - Pay attention. You will be given lots of acronyms and numbers that you wont be able to memorize. Just nod your head and say ok, you will get it in time. It took me years to learn what a 1838C is.

Step 4 - Deliver all the mail you are given. Do not bring mail back unless told to do so by someone in management. If they do tell you to bring the mail back make sure you write it down (on ps form 1571) and have someone witness it for you if possible.

Step 5 - Smile, you will be getting a great big ole paycheck for all the hours you will be working.

During my first 6 years with the postal service I didn’t have any activities planned until after 630pm nightly. You will be tired, you will miss your family but its all worth it when you get to take that family vacation….in 3 years.

If you follow these 5 steps you will make it through your 90/120 day probationary period with no problems. Then the real fun can begin. Until next time…Peace, Love, and safe City Streets!!!