Going Postal with Mr. Rice
When I started to work for the Atlanta Post Office in 1968 I worked through the night at the Parcel Post Annex off of Chattahoochee Blvd.
We had two supervisors. One of the supervisors’ last name was Rice and the other one was Beckum…. Or it may have been Beckom – who cares?
Rice was about ready to retire. He was short and had his gray hair cut in a flat top. Later I found out he had a drinking problem.
One morning about 4:30 or 5:00 he called all us to gather around him, which we did. He was sitting on a little stool. He told us he just received a call from the Main Post office that the head of operations was coming to pay us a “surprise” visit. He used his fingers to use to quote the “surprise”.
As he talked he took off one of his shoes and then his sock for that shoe and began rubbing his fingers between his toes.
He explained they were on their way now and they wanted to catch us being lax so they could go ahead a get rid of him. He said that he thought they wanted to catch him in one of the back rooms asleep and the people under him just goofing off.
He put his shoe and sock back on and took his other shoe and sock off and continued his talk and rubbing his other toes. He said, lets show them that we are hard workers… I forgot what he said but it was pep talk to get us energized.
He said life is short and we had to seize the moment.
It was about a 15 minute drive from the Main Post Office to the Parcel Post Annex where we were at.
The operation manager and his entourage walked in. Rice walked up to the operations manager and shook his hand and told him that his visit was a pleasant surprise. Then he shook the hands of the other men who came along.
Each time Rice shook a hand you could hear someone make a stuffed chuckle or a muffled giggle grunt.
Then I knew Mr. Rice was a jewel of a boss.