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Oh, the life of a rural carrier!

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Tis the season for wrong addresses.

My friend deals with that a lot on the job, especially during the holidays. That's often a misconception some people have about carriers, assuming they can put any kind of address and get it to the person. If you're going to mail cards, don't forget to read the address carefully and make sure it's the correct one.

That's a piece of advice my friend offers as a rural carrier. Another thing? They can't get it out of their vehicles if there are dogs present. All dogs bite and that's just the golden rule with pets for rural carriers. Speaking of dogs, if you have them and you're expecting a package, make sure you put them inside or somewhere away from your carrier. It's not just to protect your carrier, but also you and your dog.

Here's another tip. If you move away, your mail doesn't automatically follow you to your new location, which my friend says is something people often get confused about. Be sure to have it forwarded by filling out a change of address form online or go to your local post office. Also,

if you are newly married, be sure to use your maiden name and your new name. If you own a business, you need to put in a forwarding order for that business, too.

You get the gist. Carriers deal with a lot in their jobs and what was mentioned is just from my friend's perspective as a rural carrier. They come to work in the dark and come home in the dark.

You don't know a person until you walk a mile in their shoes.

Two weeks before Christmas, a United States Postal Service truck pulled up in front of my garage to deliver a package. I thanked her for her service. She smiled at me and said, "I appreciate that. Thank you so much." I'm sure that meant a lot to her and I think it's something we should do more often for our postal carriers.

Before we're quick to insult or lose patience with the USPS, let's remember what they do for us on a daily basis. They deliver our packages. They brave the blazing heat in a metal truck with stacks of letters in the back. Some of them wear and tear their own vehicles every day just to get our mail to our mailboxes. They're not perfect people, just like the rest of us, but we need to respect them. Let's express appreciation to these individuals. They are definitely worth it.

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