Family Life

Oral Histories

Jacqueline Moore

Jacqueline Moore talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Jacqueline Moore: I have a daughter, who was at a crazy age and I had to work at nights so—but we sort of had an understanding (laughs). Um, she graduated from school the year I went into—high school—the year I went into the Post Office, in fact that was why I tried to get into the Post Office because I actually had a son and daughter both of them were coming out of high school at the same time [claps], and I said I had to get a better job so I went to-I went into the Postal Office a year before she graduated. I didn’t like not being home at night but, uh, we managed. But working at night, it-it’s not very good, especially if you don’t have anybody to really watch your children, but as I said she was a grown daughter, and I think I really needed to be home more with her when she was 16 (laughs) than I did when she was ten, you know, because I would’ve had somebody there, but we did okay, we did okay. But a lot of people I know had trouble, or, they would get their husbands, would work day so they could be home with the children at night, it’s not the easiest job in the world I have and have a family, but I also had the weekends off so I can be around with him when she wasn’t in school. But we did okay. I-I was very lucky, I’m one of the lucky ones. I’m one of the lucky ones. If you want a hardship story, I don’t have any to give to you—really.

Judy Beard

Judy Beard talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Judy Beard: Basically the jobs for women in the postal service is you know, we see them in the window when we mail our letters, they’re window clerks, they’re clerks that work inside the building sorting the mail. And we work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the postal service and that was kinda awkward for me as well, because who would want to work on Christmas day? Or who would to work on Easter Sunday? When would you get to spend time with your family? But the postal service, because they sort the mail 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and I was working in a plant, our schedules was often working 9 days straight without a day off, and that was a norm. That was part of our schedule. And working Sundays and not spending time with our families, and even today you know working in the postal service, it’s a 7 day operation in the plants. In the stations it’s a little different where they sell the stamps. But in the plants they’re working 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. So it was hard for you to tell your family that no, you had to work on Christmas day or no, I have to work on New Year’s Eve. It’s just very hard. Now I worked afternoons because I went to school in the daytime. At one point in my career I worked midnights for about 2 months and that was real difficult for me, because I wasn’t accustomed to staying up all night & sleeping during the day. And I guess you know that becomes a routine part of some people’s lives, where they could adjust, but I couldn’t adjust to it.

Marge Oehlke

Marge Oehlke talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Marge Oehlke: During the first few years as a postal employee I was a single mom, and employment in the Postal Service, it not only afforded me a good salary to support myself and my children but it also provided great healthcare benefits for their well-being.

Dianne Williams

Dianne Williams talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Dianne Williams: Well I was married when I came into the postal service, and I worked nights. Almost everybody who comes in the door at that time went to nights, because it was like the senior, senior employees who had the day job. So it was a foregone conclusion that if you came in you were going to nights, you were going to work something like 3 to 11:30 or midnight to 7 in the morning. And that’s kind of rough on a family life and I had 3 kids and I think it really puts a strain on family life too.

Monica Walker

Monica Walker talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Monica Walker: I don’t spend much time with my family at all. I tell everybody that the post office, and I tell all the carriers, that we are family, because we spend more time at the post office than we actually do at home. So you don’t get to spend a lot of time with the family. And you spend 10-12 hours a day at the postal service. My family has been very supportive. They understand. Three of my kinds have been brought up since I been here.

Joyce Olivera

Joyce Olivera talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Joyce Olivera: It was a lifesaver for me: I had, uh, four kids and, um, when I got a divorce, uh, it was-it was my job. It was all there was. So, uh, the kids, um, were all in school at that point. So, it was-without the Postal Service, I don’t know what I would have done. Uh, as I said, I love the job, like the people and the people contact. So, um, if I had it to do over again, I would do it all again, but I would start at a much younger age. Or, I could’of stayed longer, or course.

Kathy Yager

Kathy Yager talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Kathy Yager: I became a postmaster in a level fourth class office, which meant that I worked six and a half days- I’m sorry- five and a half days. But, the reason I liked that job was because I had been working seven days. So, that gave me Sundays off to be with my small children.

Linda Rumney

Linda Rumney talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Linda Rumney: Because of the Postal Service I’ve raised two wonderful young ladies that are just the joy of my life. And, if it weren’t for the Postal Service I-uh-who knows what my life would be now? And my life would not be nearly as rewarding as it is now. And, and, also, it’s not just-not just the job, it’s the sense of self esteem that kinda this-this position gives you. You-you feel like you are somebody and it-there’s so many different tasks involved in my job, I’m in a smaller office- it’s a level fifteen- but, there’s so many things that I do and interact with the customers and I’m a manager and, um, and I do-I do a great job.

Mary Johnson

Mary Johnson talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Mary Johnson: A, um, obstacle at times. It’s been a little difficult making that transition from working a regular eight hour-you know-an hour day versus, you know, we do a mandatory ten, but usually we average about twelve to fourteen hours a day depending on what assignment or what our case load is. Um-which is-you know, at the end of the day I don’t get to just go home and sit down and relax. I have to go home and prepare meals and take care of my kids and do laundry and clean the house and all your household chores. So, it makes for a really long day. But, um, it’s been a little bit of an adjustment. But, uh, it’s nothing that can’t be overcome. It’s balanced out by the rewarding work that you do and the great opportunity that this job has offered. So, uh, I think there’s a little bit of a sacrifice. You know, nothing that’s not undoable.

Wendy Kelly

Wendy Kelly talks about the impact of the postal service on her home life.

Wendy Kelly: Well, because of the hours- it’s a twenty four hour, seven day a week job- uh, you never knew what tour you were going to be on. So, there were times when your family, um, would have to be second. It couldn’t be first because you needed the money. You had to work. So, uh, I had-my husband worked, but we still needed that, uh, additional income. My daughter always went to a private school. So, it did affect the relationship that we had, uh, for a while, until I was given a permanent assignment, where I worked during the day. So, now that’s not an issue because my daughter’s twenty nine. I’m a widow, so now it’s okay whatever tour I work.