https://www.somersetlive.co.uk/news/vic ... ry-2608668
Some days were better than others!
It is easy to take for granted the postman who drops off your letters and parcels each morning.
But they often face aggressive dogs, dismal weather and even the problem of finding somewhere to relieve themselves during a long shift.
One former Westcountry postman, who wished to remain anonymous, has revealed all about the challenges that come with the job.
He served in Bristol for four months while saving up to go travelling, Bristol Live reports.
These are some of his most memorable moments, from impenetrable intercom systems to generous chocolate-chuckers.Dog disaster
It’s true what they say about posties having run-ins with dogs.
Some dogs present their teeth through the letterbox, leading to the absurd situation of the postie putting a lovely postcard directly onto the dog's sharp gnashers.
One particularly vicious dog lived at a house near Bristol Zoo. He was a Spaniel – not normally a vicious breed, but this one was.
Doing my round one morning, I was as happy as Larry, having a nice walk and listening to an interesting podcast.
I’d forgotten about this particular dog, because I hadn’t seen him for a while - I was not at all ready for what happened.
As I went up the path to the house, he shot out of the door and growled at me. The dog looked like he wanted to kill me.
I ran back to the gate, and he chased after me. He clattered into my leg.
As he rebounded backwards, I managed to slip out. He started jumping against the gate, baring his teeth at me.
I wasn’t hurt but I was pretty shaken. I went next door, told the neighbour about my adventure and asked if they could take the post. They looked a bit confused but they said yes.
Of course, a big perk of the job is meeting and getting to know lovely dogs – some much lovelier than their owners.What happens if you get caught short?
Have you ever wondered how posties relieve themselves on a six or seven-hour round?
Some are lucky enough to have a public loo or nursing home on their route, and learn to schedule their wee for just the right time.
Others are not so lucky, and have to make do with a chilly stop between some bushes.
And some have been known to make use of a particularly accessible and well-hidden garden of an unwitting customer.
I was never caught short myself, but one of my colleagues told me he had a wee every day in the same garden.
‘It does look a bit weird’
One gated estate near Clifton Arcade had a swanky intercom. I rang the buzzer one day and the man picked up from his workplace.
He buzzed me in and told me to stick the post in his shed. But when I tried to leave, I realised he hadn’t kept the gate open.
I had no choice but to scale the eight-foot wall with a big bag of post - if you are seen doing that it does look a bit weird.
I probably should have gone to one of the other homes in the estate and explained the situation, but as a postman you are always very impatient and trying to get to the end of your route in good time.‘Just give me the parcel’
I only had two incidents of being shouted at.
One came after I apparently held a buzzer down too long.
The other was when I delivered a parcel to a woman who opened the door while on a business phone call. She was very stressed.
I asked for her surname so I could put it in my personal delivery assistant (PDA) machine.
She said: “Just give it to me.”
“No, I need your surname,” I replied.
“Just give me the parcel.”
“I just need your surname.”
“What do you want?”
“It is on the parcel.”
At that point I just took down the name from the parcel and got out.What is winter like for posties?
Dexterity is essential for flipping between post. In winter you have the choice between fingerless gloves and frozen fingers, or nice warm gloves and adding hours to your route.
Some of my colleagues insisted on wearing shorts all year because “you get warm on the round”.
I just think that's bonkers. I did anything I could to be a little bit warmer, which excluded wearing shorts.
The Christmas rush is freezing and exhausting, but the volume of post is amazing.
On a normal shift I’d have one trolley of post. On the couple of shifts before Christmas, I had to go back to the depot to get another trolley load. I had to work from 8.30am to 5pm, three hours later than usual.
Some experienced posties got £500 in tips at Christmas. Because I was so new – or maybe because I was pressing buzzers for too long – I only got one Christmas tip.
A woman in Clifton Park Road dropped some Celebrations chocolates down to me from her window, mainly Bounty, which I like.
They were accompanied by the words: “Merry Christmas, thank you for all you do.”
And that was more than enough.What does the Royal Mail say?
A Royal Mail spokeswoman said: “We expect the highest standards of behaviour from our people while out on deliveries and collections.
“Our postmen and women go the extra mile to deliver to around 30 million addresses in the UK, six days a week.
"Thanks to them, we are one of the UK’s most trusted and most respected brands.”