Not that you couldn’t anticipate such a thing, but still:
Not long ago we told you about Ryan Bradford, a mailman and writer in sunny San Diego, California who photographed and blogged about all the snarling, chompy-ass dogs on his delivery route. Yes, well, he won’t have to worry about those dogs anymore.
Bradford’s received a hand-delivered letter from the U.S. Postal service charging him with “unacceptable conduct/failure to follow instructions.”
One of those “instructions,” apparently, was “Do not give interviews to the local alt-weekly.” Bradford defended the San Diego Citybeat piece, which he said he sat for on his lunch hour:
I actually thought it was a very well-written, flattering article that raised awareness of the mailman/dog relationship while highlighting some of the hardships that comes with the job—a true human interest story. I thought, at the very at least it put carriers in a good light for a change, rather than showing them as lawn-defecating, sexual offenders.
This seems innocuous enough. There’s got to be something more, and Bradford suggests what it might be:
But here’s the thing that really got me in trouble, explained by Area Manager Victor Martinez, who I know is enraged because he didn’t respond to my friend request. His “main problem” with me is the statement I said about “no incentive to deliver mail faster,” according to the investigative interview (conducted one week after I was let go).
Apparently, what reeeally ground their gourd, what reeeally ruffled their tail feathers, what reeeally burned their britches (and the main reason I was removed from my job, my livelihood) was a case of hurt feelings. Martinez’ “main problem” with me does not appear on the official NOTICE OF REMOVAL. He even went on to call me — and I kid you not — an “injustice to the postal service” … which is going on the cover of every book I write from now on.
Imagine his next job application. On the line for Reason For Leaving previous position: “Managerial butthurt.” Not quite as swift as mine — “mutual illness” — but very much on point.
As is this:
[Y]ou could hire me. But only if you’re not an insecure baby prone to going off the handles while defending your dying industry. In that case, don’t bother.
Determining the percentage of positions that will not be open to him on the basis of that statement is left as an exercise for the student.
And as a matter of policy, I accept no friend requests from co-workers; I ignored one, in fact, until the week after she quit.