SAN LEANDRO, Calif.—Mail carriers are often taken for granted. But this week, they are commended for their service.
Two mail carriers, former veterans, have joined the Million Mile Club today where they are being recognized for driving one million accident-free miles.
The distance equates to traveling to the moon and back twice, or circling the Earth 40 times.
The club’s requirement says mail carriers must have driven accident-free for at least 30 years or a million miles.
Two carriers were not present for the ceremony.
Erika Garro, manager of the post office operations, presented the awards. Jamil Tan, Safety Ambassador for the Bay-Valley Postal District, coordinated the event at the US Postal Service office in San Leandro on Thursday.
In light of Veteran’s Day, the event started by awarding five veteran employees. Two of them are million mile members who have been working with the postal service for over 50 years.
Charles Torre, grandfather of three, has been driving for 52 years. He says he loves his job.
“I have the energy to do it. I just enjoy the work,” said Torre.
He said his father was a letter carrier. As a child, he recalled what his father told him: “One day, the mailman is going to be recognized,” he said. “It just goes to show, if you work at a place long enough, you’re bound to get something.”
But no work is without its challenges.
“Getting up in the morning and defeating the not-want-to-go-to-work. But it’s a mindset.”
Charles Harris, a grandfather and great grandfather, has been working for 50 years.
“At the end of the day, I like making people happy, I like engaging people in my route. I think outside the box,” said Harris.
He also offered a piece of advice to those struggling with their job.
“My advice to them is to go inside themselves. And challenge themselves to do better and realize that you’re not perfect,” he said. “Try to come to work with an attitude, hey look, you know, you’re blessed. There are people far more people less fortunate than you are, so it’s a privilege and it’s an opportunity, not only to impact your life, but to be an example to someone else.”
Deborah Pulido has made many memories during her 32 years delivering the mail.
“I’ve seen children grow up into adults and married, so that makes me old, but you get a certain rapport with your customers,” she said. “That, to me, is rewarding.”
They all agree that being a cautious driver and constantly watching out for people are the keys to success.
They all love their job, so when they retire within the next few years, there will be no regrets.