Royal Mail

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Gary P

00:00:02 My name is Gary P. I’m a postman and I work at South West 1 Delivery office. I’ve been working for Royal Mail for ten years now, since I left school. The best things about being a postman, I think, are the early mornings, getting home early, and you’re outside with the public, talking to people, chatting away and that. It’s a good job to have.

00:00:23 I get up for work about three fifteen in the morning, quarter past three in the morning, start at half five, half five is on a sorting and work, sorting until about half seven in the morning, then have a half hour break, meal relief, and then back down, tie up my walk, get out on delivery and deliver the mail. I do actually enjoy the walking every day. It saves me money on the gym membership, anyway. I’ve cancelled my gym now, so I don’t need to bother with that. It keeps me fit out there.

00:00:49 I’ve been scratched by a cat twice, putting my finger through the letterbox. As soon as your finger is through the letterbox, bang, down on your hand like that. That happened twice at the same address. I had to go to the managers and inform them. They put it in the accident book and all that, and they wrote to them, and the person had to end up getting a box put on the side of the wall… their wall for the mail so that no one would go through their letterbox again.

00:01:10 I didn’t like school at the time. Looking back on it now, I did enjoy it, but at the time I didn’t enjoy it too much. To tell you the truth, I wanted to out of there and just get working at the end of it. But I actually wanted to be a train driver at first when I was at school but it never really came to fruition. My father was a postman so he got me into it really. I was sixteen when I left school, and my first job as a postman was as a postal cadet. I started as a cadet from the age of sixteen to eighteen. As a cadet, it was basically the same work as the postmen were doing but it was on a shorter time and working less days.

00:01:44 After being a cadet for two years, I put in for a transfer to a delivery office, and it took about three months to come through but eventually I got my transfer to the delivery office and since then I’ve been working at South West 1 delivery office, actually out on the streets delivering the mail. Because my father was a postman, I knew exactly what it was all about. I knew what I was coming into and that. It sounded like a good job to get into at the time. My eldest brother was a postman for about fifteen years as well down at South Lambeth delivery office. My other brother, too, was a postman for about two years after he left school as well, so it’s a bit of a family business.

00:02:16 Definitely, my dad has been a big role model and inspired me in the job and that through doing it for forty years, got me involved in it. My PE teacher, Mr Sutton, was a big influence in my life. He used to run the school football team as well. I thought about playing football when I was younger but realised I weren’t good enough once I got to about sixteen, and that ended there. Mr Sutton, my PE teacher when I was at school, was a big influence on me.

00:02:40 I’ve actually just applied for a management… to go into management within the Post Office, so hopefully within the next couple of months I’ll hear back from that and I can progress within the business. I’d have to… First of all, I’d have to do an interview to become a manager, and then I’d be put on a six week training course I think they said it was, and then once I’ve done that it would be straight into it and just picking up things as you go along. You start as an acting manager and then after a couple of years you can put in for a fulltime management job.

00:03:09 Most of my friends aren’t actually postmen. I’ve got a lot of good mates in here now where I’ve been working here ten years, but none of my actual friends that I’ve grown up with have gone into the post. A couple of them have always thought about it, seen me, seen how happy I am in the job and thought about it, but no one has ever actually gone through with it.

00:03:26 In my leisure time, I play a lot of football. I go and watch football. I go and watch Chelsea, my favourite team. I go down Chelsea quite a lot, listen to music. I’ve actually just started to learn how to play the guitar, so that’s taking up a bit of time at the minute. My dream would be to be in a rock and roll band. Two or three of my mates have already started learning how to play the guitar. One has been doing it for about two years now. He has got really good at the minute. So hopefully… We need a lead singer, but other than that we’re laughing at the minute.

00:03:54 End

Gary P is a Postman. His father and brothers have all been postmen too. “The best things about being a postman, I think, are the early mornings, getting home early, and you’re outside with the public, talking to people”.

More information about Postal workers, mail sorters, messengers and couriers

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

71%  male 
29%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Workers in this unit group collect, receive, sort and deliver mail, documents, correspondence or messages, either between or within establishments.
There are no formal academic entry requirements. A medical examination may be required. Entrants complete short induction courses followed by a programme of off- and on-the-job training. NVQs/ SVQs in Mail Operations are available at Levels 1 and 2.
  • Collects mail from post boxes, receives parcels, and collects correspondence, documents and other material from individuals, offices or other establishments;
  • Sorts mail, parcels and other incoming and outgoing material for delivery, and maintains records of material received and despatched;
  • Delivers mail, parcels, correspondence and other materials to specified or agreed routes and schedules;
  • Completes delivery forms, collects charges, and issues receipts for the collection and delivery of registered or recorded mail and other items.
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Employment status

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