Translated by Herbert Meck
In our new series, club visitors tell us about their everyday work. Today, Ines tells us about her work as a mail carrier in Munich.
1. What do you do for a living? How long have you been doing this job? I am a postwoman by profession and I have been doing this job for about 2 years. 2. How did you get into this profession?
The reason why I chose this profession was a colleague of mine. I used to work with this colleague as an outpatient care assistant and then she started working at the post office. She then told me that she liked the job at the post office more because you get a higher wage and you are out in the fresh air, which I really liked. In the end, I decided to work at
the post office because I didn’t really like my job as a nursing assistant and I wanted to try something new. Physical work is also close to my heart.
3. What does your normal working day look like?
It all starts with sorting the mail. In winter we start work at 6:45 am and in summer at 7:15 am. We are inside the post office for the first two to three hours. Each staff member has a suitable box where all the letters and parcels for their district go. At the beginning, all the parcels and letters are not already sorted by district, no, everything is mixed together. Our task is to find the letters that belong to our district. You have to be careful if someone has moved and now has a new address. Once you’ve done all the sorting, you get your bike
and go out to distribute the letters. You can sometimes get stressed if the residents are not at home and the neighbours don’t want to accept the parcel. Then it takes a bit longer and sometimes you can’t finish your district on time.
4. What other tasks do you have to do at work that are not normally associated with your profession?
People know that the postmen and women work outside, but I don’t think many people think about how exhausting it is to work in the rain and snow. I never thought about it before. I only became aware of it when I started working at the post office myself.
What many people who get angry when their parcel arrives late don’t know is that we have to visit a lot of houses in a short period of time. And sometimes it can just take longer because we are only human and we need breaks from riding our bikes all the time and running up and down stairs. In the end it is a bit sad or demotivating when the residents are only annoyed about the late delivery or don’t say thank you.
5. What do you like best about your job?
I really like the fact that I work outside in the fresh air.
I like that I work alone and independently. I think I perform better when I don’t have the feeling of always being controlled. It makes me more relaxed. When I work alone, I also get to make all the decisions myself and don’t have to find a compromise, which would be the case in a team. When I am alone, it means that I am not allowed to work
irresponsibly. I am already aware of my work duties.
I also really enjoy getting in touch with my clients. Many people are very happy when they see a postman, especially when they get the parcel they have been waiting for. Also, when you work in a district for a longer time, you know each other better and even by name, you always greet each other. I really like the little things like that.
6. What do you find exhausting in your job?
What stresses me out about my job is that we simply have to do too many tasks in very little time. Munich is also very big and so are its districts. What I personally find very stressful is that there are a lot of “Steighäuser” in Munich. You have to go up every single floor and leave your mail in front of every door. Before Munich, I worked in Constance on Lake Constance. There, the post boxes were simply in front of the Steighaus and you didn’t have to go inside at all.
Even though I basically like working in the fresh air, it is exhausting when you have to work in snow, rain and very hot weather.
7. Do you think you earn well and sufficiently for your work?
I am generally satisfied with my salary. I know that in Slovenia, my home country, I would earn much less for the same job. A postman also earns more than the minimum wage in Germany, so I personally can’t complain about that. Of course, it’s always nice to earn more, but it’s enough for me at the moment.
8. Would you change your job if you had the opportunity?
I would love to change jobs if I had the chance. The reason is that as a postwoman you simply have too much work to do in too short a time. In the end, you always have to work overtime because the mail has to be delivered at some point. If not today, you have to work overtime tomorrow.
9. What do you want for your professional life in the future?
My wish for my future is to finally find a job that makes me happy. Where I go in the morning with pleasure and passion. I don’t want to work just for the money. I think working with animals would be a lot of fun and I’m trying to find a job there too. But it’s also ok if I find another job that will make me happy. I am still looking.