Employee Assistance Program    (EAP)   
 
Article by KYRLCA President Jane Virgin
 
Our Little Office Goals and Woes
Our small post office is located in an older building with dated plumbing and thin walls. The break area is in the corner of the workroom with a modest table and one chair. Most of the parking area is public parking except for the location of the city carriers' LLVs. Am I complaining? Not hardly. I love
where I work but my entire career has been in this location. Some of the workforce have experienced larger office positions. Together, we have explored the pros and cons of our place to work. Although every office big or little faces unique challenges, we are willing to share some of ours in an effort to show how stress and joy can be found together and sometimes for the same reason. We believe in teamwork. The work area is very small and taking turns to get your equipment is mandatory. A total of eight people sharing the space makes it easy to form friendships. We know the
names of family members, birthdays, favorite vacation spots, pets, favorite sports, vehicles driven, diets, and habits. We celebrate births, wedding days, graduations, retirements and anniversaries. I can look over my right shoulder and see both city carriers casing mail. Two steps to the right and I can see both of the other rural carriers. The clerks can be easily seen doing their work. The postmaster's office is directly behind the city carriers' cases. People in the small lobby can be heard as if they were in the
same room with us. When coffee is brewing or the microwave is turned on, the whole office smells the aroma. We encourage one another to do a good job, be safe, develop productive work habits, and to enjoy being a part of the postal service. We want everyone to advance in their job opportunities. Some days one carrier has a heavier load than another. We feel their pain and know it probably will be us next. We do not question who is getting more or less work on any given day. This may not be true in some offices. Our desire is to do our work, finish and go home. So what is the downside you ask? Again, because we are small, we usually know when someone is
sick, hurting, grieving, or upset. Often we know when a family member is sick, having surgery, or there has been a loss of a loved one. It can be stressful to see the same person you share work space
struggling. All the rural carriers have privately owned vehicles to carry mail. It is not pleasant to hear when those vehicles break down or need replacing, When there is a shortage of substitute carriers, many times a carrier has to work when they really wanted to be off. CCA's and RCA's often do not
have opportunities for advancement as they perhaps would working in a larger office. Many have left because there were not enough hours to work or realized they needed full time work sooner than our small office could provide. Most of the time our goals outweigh our woes. The stress is sometimes replaced with laughter. We pull the load together as best we can.
Melanie Minteer,
EAP Consultant for the
Kentuckiana District