Shatia Davis (pictured above), seven years in the Postal Service, lives in Far Rockaway, Queens.
How has it been lately?
Really hard. I do have two kids at home. One is a newborn; she just turned 8 months. My other daughter is 5. I work six days a week, 12 hours a day. By the time I get home, it’s late. Then I have to do everything I have to do and come back the next day. I’m scared. My daughter has asthma. I know a lot of people that have passed away from the virus. I just wish it would go away. I wish people would use their masks. The amount of packages going out is crazy, but I’d rather people order online than go to the stores.
How many a day?
Three hundred. It used to be about 140 a day. I’m out there delivering sofas, couches. In Jamaica Estates, some families have six kids and are getting 15 packages a day. I deliver to a lot of senior-citizen buildings, too. Those packages are basically all from QVC.
What is your favorite part of the job?
Well, I’m the No. 1 trainer in the nation. It makes me proud to help people become better postal workers. And the second-best trainer in the nation is my best and dearest friend. She’s like a sister to me. I’m retiring in two days, so now she’ll be the No. 1.
What is your route?
Route 40, which I’ve been on since 1987. I’m actually the senior carrier now. Took 21 years of getting bumped up as guys retired. What it means is nothing, I’ll tell you the truth.
How long is your day?
Long: 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.; 500 deliveries. But I love my customers. I just literally love them. There’s one elderly woman, my heart. I get her a sausage and egg with no cheese on a roll every day. Another woman, she lost her sister to COVID. I left her a flower on her step. We have to encourage one another.
Do you talk to the people on your route?
I do. They give me water and snacks, and I chat with them a bit. My kids call me nonstop while I’m out on my route. My son, who’s 3, says, “Mommy, what are you doing? I miss you.” My daughter says, “Mommy, can you go to the corner store and buy me some headphones?”
*This article appears in the June 8, 2020, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!