Goin' Postal follows a young woman named Jessica (Rhoda) who reluctantly applies for a position as a "casual" (temporary) employee at the USPS after being persuaded to do so for several by her Aunt Gertrude, who has worked as a USPS employee for "decades." The story begins with Jessica recounting the tedious and time-consuming application process involved in beginning a career at the USPS. Once she makes it in, she finds herself surrounded by a very colorful crowd of characters, each with their own unique backgrounds and crazy stories to tell. In the oppressive heat of the postal service's processing center, she works alongside coworkers young and old as she slowly learns the ropes of her job and the strange ways of the wild world of the USPS. She gets yelled at by her 50-something bisexual supervisor and finds herself yelling right back at him, which only makes him happy! She discovers there is a list of "next suspected shooters" on which the employees place bets until the event of a shooting, when the "loan sharks" of the processing center collect their dues and deal out the winnings. She learns of the variety of card games and gambling that goes on throughout the place and how there are even "business men" who collect and hawk everything from shoes to DVDS to the employees who work such long hours they rarely have time to actually go out and shop.
Among some of the craziest encounters in Jessica's/Rhoda's story are the findings of an alligator and a human head in the mail, an anthrax emergency, dirty bomb threats, a racist Nigerian manager and of course the regular drama between coworkers involving anything from cussing matches to practical jokes on each other's vehicles. However, amid all the rowdiness, Jessica discovers the true meaning of family as she realizes just how dedicated the postal workers are to having each other's backs through whatever emergency or challenge comes along. Although she often gets more than her share of frustration and exhaustingly long work hours, she keeps a stiff upper lip and deals with each situation as it comes the best she can--with a stubborn sense of humor and pluck.
The best part, of course, about Rhoda's witty tale is just how real all these adventures were. Her wild experiences working for the USPS have certainly given her some excellent content for this and her other novels. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish by this book and definitely recommend it to anybody, whether you're into nonfiction or not. Her hand at satire is both skilled and genuine, making for a tale that will tug at your heartstrings and give you a great laugh.
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