Need opinions on new job

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by darla405, Mar 21, 2006.

  1. darla405

    darla405 New Member

    I have fibromyalgia, but it does not keep me from working. I have recently started a new job as a mail carrier substitute (I also work as a bookkeeper on the other days so I am working 6 days/week).

    I haven't noticed any pain/stiffness/swelling with the mail carrier job until last week when I had to work 6 days in a row. By Thursday night, my hands were falling asleep at night and the next day, they were swollen and very achy and Sunday, they were hurting pretty bad. I'm assuming it's from handling the mail (I drive 108 miles and have 486 boxes) This is Tuesday, and I have some discomfort still.

    I was planning on this mail carrier job to lead into something full-time because of the good pay/benefits. Now I'm beginning to wonder if I could handle it full-time. My husband says maybe it's just the fact that maybe I'm not used to it yet.

    Any opinions are appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Darla
  2. kaiasmom

    kaiasmom New Member

    Hello Darla,

    Sorry to hear you are hurting so much. I know about the hand pain, swelling, numbness, etc, and it stinks!! Makes it very hard to do much of anything.

    As far as doing the mail carrier thing full time, only you can know if your body can handle it. If it were me, I don't think I would be able to do it. I am lucky to have a desk job, and even that is very hard on my body. I can't imagine if I actually had to do anything physical for work!

    Good luck!

    Leanne
  3. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    How long does it take you to complete your route? How long does it take to sort the mail in the morning?

    The last time I was in the post office, I noticed that they were accepting applications for rural mail carriers. Since it would be mostly sitting in a car, I thought maybe it would be something I could do. It is certainly the best paying job I could get in this rural area where I am now living.

    Since I do not hav FM, I don't thing I would have as much problem with pain as you are. I have driven my Mom no medical appointments as much as 1.5 hours away, so I think I could handle the driving part of it. I would have to be very carelful that if I did start get get fatigued and brain fogged, I would quit before I became a public menace.
  4. eeyoreblue02

    eeyoreblue02 Member

    As a former postal worker, now medically retired, (I did not deliver, worked behind the scenes) I can tell you that there is a very high perentage of injured postal workers. The job is extremely hard on your body. There are a lot of people suffering from tendonitis, thoracic outlet syndrome, carpal tunnel syndrome, cubital tunnel syndrome, migraines, many different back problems and the list goes on.

    All the postal jokes we hear about the workers going crazy, let me tell you, it is management. I can see how someone would be driven to some of the crazy acts we hear about.

    There is also a very high percentage of divorce, depression and respiratory problems with postal workers. The mail is probably the germiest thing you'll ever touch next to money. Working with mail is filthy work.

    If I sound like a disgruntled postal worker, sorry. I guess I am. It's just that I wanted to warn you.

    On the bright side, if you get hurt and the post office accepts the blame, they really will take care of you.

    Linda
  5. darla405

    darla405 New Member

    LittleBlueStem,
    Casing and sorting the mail takes about 2 hours; the actual driving part takes about 7 hours. I have one of the longest routes in the state of Kentucky at 108 miles, so in your area it might not be so long. I also drive a left-hand drive vehicle which probably adds to the pain and discomfort; a lot of carriers have the right-hand drive vehicles, which I'll probably have to get if I end up full-time someday.
  6. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Can I ask another question?

    How fexible is the USPS about time off? My parents both have a lot of medical appointments. My Mom doesn't even have a driver's license. My Dad can't drive if he is have certain procedures. I have been doing a lot of driving for them. Could I get time off to continue doing that. (By 'a lot', I mean a few days a month and it should get less.)
  7. eeyoreblue02

    eeyoreblue02 Member

    It would really depend on your job and your supervisor. The post office does honor FMLA and you should be able to get that in order to keep from losing your job due to absences. If you were working in a full-time position and there was someone who could fill in for you when you needed to be off, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Linda
  8. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    With a little luck, the fill-in person would be happy for the extra time/pay.
  9. eeyoreblue02

    eeyoreblue02 Member

    The post office has many different levels of employment. Some have no benefits at all. Are looking at becoming an RCA, PTF, PTR or FTR?

    PTR and FTR (part-time regular, full-time regular) are where the benefits are.

    PTF (part-time flex) is a misleading title. Most part-time flex employees work more than 40 hours a week. They have most of the benefits of full-time workers.

    RCA (rural carrier associate) is someone who delivers the mail with no benefits.

    There are many more positions, but thought these might cover what you're looking at.

    Hope this helps,

    Linda
  10. LittleBluestem

    LittleBluestem New Member

    Thanks for the additional information. I will have to check the details, but I think it may be RCA.