Thursday, May 17, 2012

My Short Postal Career

Rabbit at USPS/Tukwila
A couple of months back, I responded to a flyer at the Post Office recruiting for PSEs, or Postal Service Employees. The primary qualification seemed to be the ability to keypunch and a willingness to work part time, both of which were fine with me. I took a couple of objective tests, passed an interview, a police check and a drug test, and was accepted into the orientation class starting last Monday.
Two days of Post Office orientation were quite enlightening, and I would be happy to work with the organization, I am sure. There followed a couple of days of training in the unit that dealt with mail that could nt be delivered as addressed. For the most part, we added forwarding labels, but often mail would have to be returned to sender or disposed of in a variety of ways. The work was fast-paced but not physically difficult, and the people were nice to work with.
However, the hours I would work were 2:30 pm to 11 pm. This required both a complete shift of diurnal cycle (I typuically rise around 6) and directly conflicted with my wife's daily cycle (she works a regular 8-to-5). I gave it a try but it was not good for health, either physical health or marital. I regretfully email HR and telephoned my supervisor's boss; they were both quite decdent about it and understanding.
It's unfortunate that it didn't work out, but these things happen. I have learned over time that            while I can jam in any sort of work there is if I need it badly enough, but there's no sense wrecking my life just for a paycheck; I can always find another way to support myself. This was a good experiment, because I would never have known if it would have worked for me if I had not tried, but it was also good to bail out as soon as I was sure it wasn't working, so that I could move on to something that worked better, and also so the work unit could find a replacement.
I'll remember some of the characters I met at the USPS! But the only ones of which I have photos are the rabbits in the parking lot. I was told that they moved in to avoid the coyotes; it's a fenced lot so they seem to have a measure of protection!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Running the Meter Backwards....

Electric Meter Spinning Backwards!
...it's a lot of fun to watch the electric meter spin backwards, thanks to our new photovoltaic array. We won't be getting full credit for the power we generate until the utility installs a special gadget for recording that, but for the moment, it's just nice to see that even with the clothes washer running, we are not only drawing zero power but being billed for zero power.
I'll have more photos of the process soon, but for the moment, I have to say that the entire process has been very positive. It has been made possible by a number of things coming together, of which perhaps the key is financing through a credit union. The wash of new funds coming from people who have moved money out of banks has to be invested in the community, and what more prudent investment than saving and producing environmentally smart power?

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