Big Bad Bully Ballsy Bill
Bill used to be a postal clerk. He always had a smile on his face. People instantly liked him. He was well over six foot and muscular. I think he worked out.
He was a very bold person… saying things you wouldn’t believe he said, but yep, he did. I saw him more than once be talking to a person he met… the person new person would take an immediate like to Bill because he big warm friendly smile. Then, suddenly in the middle of the other guy’s sentence Bill would say, “Do you think you can whip my ass?”
If it was a female he was talking to he would always be very flirty and suggestive, no matter how old or married she was. He always flirted with Barbara, the assistant station manager**, being very suggestive and plain out telling her he could satisfied her better than her sorry husband could. She always giggled and took it as a complement.
One time our sorting cases were behind a partition. On the other side of the partition were the window clerks serving the customers. Once we heard a baby crying and crying. Bill hollered out, “Shut that damn baby up!!!”
Our supervisor Art was standing close. Art was very quiet and disappeared when there was about to be trouble. – as this time, he quickly strolled off and out of sight.
Bill called Art, Art the Aardvark… because aardvarks stick their hand in the sand looking for ants and Art in a way, stuck his head in the sand.
The lady with the baby complained to the station manager and the station manager came storming up demanding who made such a loud insulting remark. Bill openly said he did.
The station manager, could have fired him for that, and have fired people for less. Bill was a very non-error fast mail sorter. He more or less told him not to do it again, if he knew what was good for him.
Then we reported to work at midnight. One night I met Bill and another clerk Charles at a bar* a couple blocks away for a drink before work. We had our drinks and talked about people at work. Two men near us somehow joined in on the conversation. I think Bill asked one of them what did they think about something, which invited them in. I knew it was coming… I could see the wicked look in Bill’s face. I just about knew he was going to say, “Do you think you can whip my ass?”
But he fooled me. He pointed at me and said, “Do you think you can whip his ass? He thinks you are an ass-hole.”
In so many words I jumped up and said I didn’t say that.
Bill laughed and said, “Ed, you are so predictable, I knew you would say that, admit what you said like a man.”
The man stood up and was handing his watch to his friend. Then Bill said, “Take it easy man, that was a joke. Why would he say that? I would say that first anyway – you look like an ass-hole.”
I was glad the pressure was off me, but it looked like there still might be a fight. Bill stood up by him, about a head taller, Bill seem to swell as he talked. The guy said he didn’t want any trouble…. And we all went back drinking and we left rather quickly.
Of course at work Bill told everybody I was trying to pick a fight with some redneck.
One time in December when the mail was heavy Bill was cutting up with some carriers when he should have been working and the postmaster saw it. He told the supervisor Art to say something to Bill. I think because the postmaster was standing there, Art actually said something to Bill. Bill got back to work but fussed at Art for days for being a nick-picker.
At our Christmas dinner when people covered dishes Bill brought a great looking cake his wife had made. We all picked a little of everything. When Art took a slice of Bill’s cake Bill hopped up and told him to put it back, he didn’t say he could have any of his cake. Shyly, Art put it back. Then as people walked by Bill would tell them not to take that piece Art had his hands all over it.
After a couple of years of clerking Bill got bored and requested to transfer over to be a rural route carrier. After the learning curve period he got to be the fastest carrier at the branch. He would quickly case up his route and leave, deliver the mail and comeback to the branch and was going home before most of the carrier even had their vehicles loaded to go out on their route.
A rural route carrier is paid differently than a city carrier. City carriers get paid by the hour. Rural route carriers get paid a certain amount for each day, whether it takes him or her 2 hours or 12 hours a day to do his job. I think December is an exception, they probably get paid for hours over 8 hours in the prime mailing month.
Bill’s wife had a baby and he decided he needed a part time job. He got a job repossessing cars. And he had a ball doing it. He would repossess cars in the middle of the night…. He came in most mornings telling of the adventures on his new job. He always ended his episode with, “bunch of losers.”
Then he got the idea that all the clerks and carriers were a bunch of losers – we were in dead-end jobs. Every morning when he in and holler out, “Good morning you bunch of losers!”
Bill was almost paranoid about being identified with groups he thought were losers. One time going to dump, which is next to the county farm prison, is a bus stop. At the bus stop were several people, some probably just released back into the free world. One was a tall guy who, at a glance, looked like Bill… came short hairstyle. The next day when I saw Bill I told him I thought I saw him standing at a bus top on County Farm Road.
“God No!!!” he said. Only a bunch of losers would stand at that bus stop. “Hell no! If I didn’t have a car I would walk before standing around with a bunch of losers!”
So, for a week or so I got some mileage out of that – asking him what he was in for, was they nice to him, he didn’t bend over for the soap in the shower did he? Did people smoke at the bus stop (another thing he was critical of people for), etc.
Bill decided he needed more money than he could earn part time as a repo man. He met up with the right people who put up the money for him to a mountain resort cabins project.
He bought huge amounts of acreage in the north Georgia Mountains, clear the land, buy double-wide trailers and build a deck and a A-frame roof around them and the purpose was to have cabins available for rent.
After that he was spending more time on that job than his full time job. He resigned from the post office.
Bill quit the postal service and went whole-hog into his business adventure. I hope he did will, I haven’t heard about him since.
When Bill quit of course they had to replace him. Bill’s route was one of largest with the most mail traffic, so he was a high pay route. Several people wanted that route. My friend Joe had enough seniority and he got it. Which was a good paying route until the next route count.
Once or twice a year counters come and count each route. The counters are clerks, carriers, supervisors, and retired personnel volunteers. They count each piece of mail, measure each parcel, count the number of stops, measure the miles driven, and so on. Everything is taken into consideration. Even measure each parcel and weigh it. Each item depending on what it is represents so many units of time. Like, for instance a certified letter would take more time than a regular letter, you have to go to the door and get someone to sign for it.. a heavier large parcel would take more time than a small parcel. And during that week, I suppose everything is averaged out, which should represent the carrier’s work the other weeks of the year.
In the case of city carriers the routes are adjusted by adding to or taking off, which sometimes creates new routes.
In the case of rural routes sometimes the size of the routes are adjusted but more times than not the pay is adjusted.
After they counted Joe’s new route (Bill’s ex-route) they adjusted his pay by giving him about a $10,000 pay cut.
In the past week or so we have been surfing Google for a cabin in the north Georgia mountains to rent. And that reminded me of Bill.
I remember every time Bill’s route was counted suddenly quiet a few people begin getting big parcels and certified letters, all mailed with the same return address…. Hmmmm.
Joe now had been retired a couple of years. Not too long ago I ran into at a yard sale my one of my neighbor’s had. We were discussing how come they cut the pay on his route from Bill’s count to his count. Joe told me one of the things Bill did was list every one who lived on a corner as two addresses, one for each street of the corner. That probably showed he had about 15 to 20% more customers than he actually had.
*This doesn’t have anything to do with the story, but the bar was owned by an ex-postal carrier we knew. His wife owned a beauty salon. Their claim to fame was that their underage daughter was videoed in bed with Rob Lowe in a hotel in Atlanta.
** This doesn’t have anything to do with the story either. Barbara was pretty and aggressive. The main qualifications to be a post mistress. In just a couple of years she was promoted to a postmaster’s job in a little southwestern Georgia town. Within two years after that she died of cancer.