Out & About: Mail Carriers

Nine mail carriers serve Weston, delivering checks, bills, magazines, birthday and holiday cards, and advertisements to mailboxes six days a week. They also deliver packages from Amazon, UPS, FedEx, and DHL. During the holidays they deliver on Sundays and walk packages up to your front door. They cannot accept gifts, but a holiday "thank you" is always welcome.

We met Joan Williams, a mail carrier on route number 12 in Weston. She and her colleagues start work between 5:00 and 6:00 in the morning and begin by organizing mail for their routes in trays. Mail is sorted by the first address of a delivery route to the last. They then load trucks to get ready for delivery, normally hitting the road between 8:00 and 9:00.

Ms. Williams delivers mail to 374 homes. Her route includes one side of Weston Road, and covers the general vicinity of Old Mill and Ridge roads.

During the busy holiday season, Ms. Williams works nine to twelve-hour days, depending on volume. She lives in Stratford, and began working as a mail carrier in 1999. She was a single mom raising four children. Her eldest is now thirteen. (Photo: Weston mail carrier Joan Willams with acting postmaster Nilza Mercado.)

Ms. Williams started the job during the holiday season that year. A friend had told her about the job responsibilities and salary and benefits. She applied for the position online and passed Postal Exam No. 473 and the interview.

She usually completes her delivery route between 12:30 or 2:30. For several years she held down two jobs to make ends meet.

What she likes best about being a mail carrier is the salary, the benefits, and that she has the afternoon free to do other things. She said she finds people on her route very friendly. She welcomes a bottle of water during the hot summer months and finds the most challenging parts of her job are the winter months, which can also be stressful due to the heavier volume of mail and boxes.

The target this year was to make sure everyone in Weston gets their holiday deliveries by December 24. Carriers no doubt welcomed having Christmas day off to rest, recover, and spend time with their family and friends. They were back on the job delivering mail on Thursday.

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