A day in the life of a postie
by Nick, the postman from Brighton.
At Banjo HQ, we’re huge fans of the brilliant postal workers who’ve been looking after our deliveries throughout lockdown. Which got us thinking… how much do we know about what the job involves and the people behind the big red bags?
In this guest blog, we get a sneak peek into a day in the life of a postie, Nick, from Brighton & Hove. (And check out our instagram for Nick’s answers to some tricky questions posed by our community!)
Up with the seagulls
My working day begins at 6.30am. It’s a bit of a rush, but at least I don’t have to compete for the bathroom at that time! I cycle to work, which is at the main sorting and delivery office in the centre of Brighton.
Brighton is usually quiet at that time (apart from the seagulls!) and the city is just starting to wake up. Once I arrive at the office, I spend the next few hours sorting the mail and parcels for delivery. I get out on delivery around 9am. By then most people are up and about and it’s very busy.
Ideal weather for posties
As a postal worker, you have no choice about being out in whatever the weather wants to throw at you! It can get a bit grim, especially if it is raining heavily, but also if it’s boiling hot too. The ideal posting weather is probably slightly sunny, a little cloud and a temperature of about 18 degrees. We don’t get much snow and ice in Brighton, but rain is the postman’s worst enemy as everything – clothes, mailbags, mail – gets wet. Having said that, in common with most postal workers in Brighton, I wear shorts every day!
I’ve been a postal worker for about 3 years, and I enjoy the freedom of being out and about in my city. I usually walk between 10-15 miles a day, so it is a job that keeps you naturally fit! Most people seem happy to see their postman and I usually get a smile and a greeting, and you get the feeling that it’s a job that people respect. Delivering in Brighton does have its challenges though. It is a very hilly city and a lot of houses have a lot of steps leading up to them, so it can be hard on the feet and knees!
Unfortunately, the memorable days are usually when something goes wrong. I remember a day when we left the van doors open and all the mail bags and parcels fell out into road as we drove along! I’ve been chased by a few dogs and bitten by a couple. But some nice things happen too. A few weeks ago, a little girl gave me a lovely picture that she had drawn. She thanked me for all the letters and parcels that had been delivered to her over lockdown. What I do love is meeting lots of different cats and dogs – the non-bitey ones!
Our workload more than doubles at Christmas. It usually starts in early November when all the shopping catalogues are sent, and then it builds from there. The middle two weeks of December are manic! There are less Christmas cards sent year on year, but more and more parcels seem to make up for it. Postmen get very excited about Christmas tips from their customers. If you want to make your postman happy, give him or her a tip at Christmas. Believe me, they deserve it!
The sounds of nature
The first few weeks of lockdown were very strange. The streets were eerily quiet, and you could walk down the busiest roads in Brighton and not worry about the traffic. I became very aware of the sounds of nature – birdsong and the rustling of grass and leaves in the wind that’s usually drowned out by human noise. Most people were at home and seeing the postman might have been the only human contact they had all day, so we got lots of waves, smiles and thank yous.
In praise of proper, paper post
Most of the letters we deliver now are business mail, but cards and personal letters are still important. It’s nice to deliver a handful of birthday cards and I usually hum Happy Birthday as I put them through the letterbox. More and more modern communication is done by email, text or through social media and mail volumes are declining every year. It will be a sad day when postcards, birthday cards or random letters are no longer sent or received, so please keep writing and sending!
A day in the life of a postie
Thanks to Nick, we now have a bit more insight into a day in the life of a busy postie. Don’t stop chatting to your postal worker and thanking them for the job they do- they certainly appreciate it! For more post fun, check out this week’s printables here.