Day In The Life
Could You Be a RPO Clerk?
Potential RPO clerks faced a number of challenges before they could win the job. In addition to being tested on a regular basis on the speed and accuracy of their mail sorting skills, clerks studied up on questions they might face when applying for the job. A.F. Page of Kansas City, MO was one of the publishers who sold preparatory questions and answers to clerks. These quiz books were based on the Post Office Department’s “Postal Laws and Regulations” publications and included questions in a variety of areas that clerks might be expected to know.
The questions below are taken from Page’s Q&A book of 1917.
For each question, select the letter which corresponds to the best answer:
- What are the restrictions on a clerk leaving his home during his lay-off period?
a) Not allowed without notifying the Division Superintendent or Chief Clerk of his exact whereabouts.
b) There are no restrictions during lay-off period.
c) Clerks are not allowed to leave their home during lay-off periods.
d) Allowed as long as clerk does not leave the county.
- What are the instructions about incorrectly showing or erasing date of postmark?
a) Permitted on all but registered mail.
b) Permitted only if original postmark is in pencil.
c) None, this is not mentioned in the instructions.
d) Prohibited. To do so may subject offender to dismissal.
- What are the instructions about wearing badges?
a) Every RP clerk must wear his badge on the outside of the outer garment, over left breast, while on duty.
b) RPO Clerks may wear their badges at their discretion.
c) Only permanent RPO clerks must wear their badges.
d) Every RP clerk must wear his badge on the outside of the outer garment, over left breast, while on and off duty.
- Are there restrictions on the use of intoxicating liquor?
a) Beer may be used by clerks on duty during lunch or dinner breaks.
b) Intoxicating liquors may be used by clerks on duty as long as they are not in the RPO car.
c) Shall not be used by clerks on duty, and excessive use of same off duty will subject one to dismissal from the service.
d) Shall not be used by clerks on duty. There are no restrictions for off duty clerks.
- Are clerks exempt from arrest on civil process while on duty?
b) Only when actually holding pieces of mail.
- Who are transfer clerks?
a) RPO clerks transferring mail from one railway line to another.
b) RPO clerks assigned to duty at important junctions.
c) RPO clerks responsible for transferring mail from the RPO car to post offices along routes.
d) RPO clerks assigned to transfer mail from loading docks to RPO cars.
- Are postal employees exempt from militia duty?
- What are the instructions about signal to be given when train approaches mail crane?
a) Engineer shall give notice by whistle or other signal.
b) RPO clerk shall give notice by whistle or other signal.
c) Engineer shall stop the train.
d) Postmaster will flag down the train.
- What kind of ink shall be used for canceling stamps?
a) Black, gray or blue
b) Black only
c) Red only
- Are postal employees exempt from jury duty?
- What is the meaning of the term “nixie”?
a) A package that falls off a RPO car.
b) Engineer fails to give notice when train approaches mail crane.
c) Matter is incorrectly, illegibly, or insufficiently addressed.
d) Letters addressed to locations north of the Mason-Dixon line.
- How shall registered mail be placed in catcher pouch that is to be hung on crane?
a) First before locking, so that it will rest at the bottom of the pouch.
b) In a separate mail catcher pouch marked “Registered.”
c) Registered mail may not be placed in catcher pouch. RPO clerk must alert engineer to stop at any post office receiving registered mail for hand-to-hand exchange.
d) Last before locking, so that it will rest at the mouth of the pouch.
- What is the limit of weight in catcher pouch?
a) 65 pounds
b) 35 pounds
c) 75 pounds
d) 20 pounds
- What constitutes the examination requirements of clerks and substitutes?
a) Officials schemes, train connections and US citizenship test.
b) Officials schemes, train connections, book of instructions, and any other orders that relate to the service.
c) Examination requirements vary from division to division.
d) Officials schemes and book of instructions.
- What is the limit of weight that may be placed in a sack?
a) 75 pounds
b) 125 pounds
c) 100 pounds
d) 50 pounds
- What payment will be made when clerk is killed on duty?