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On the Job: Mail handler focuses on service

Detroit Mail Handler Michael Mendez stands near equipment
Detroit Mail Handler Michael Mendez helps USPS serve customers by keeping the mail moving.

My name is Michael Mendez, and I’m a mail handler at the Detroit Network Distribution Center. I help keep the mail moving so USPS can deliver excellent service to its customers.

I start my workday at 7:30 a.m. During the course of the day, I process packages, print and scan placards used to sort mail, and operate equipment.

Customers are my motivation. I never see them, but I know my work contributes to customers wanting to come back to the Postal Service. I feel that if I don’t do my job, the customer is going to go somewhere else.

Before I joined USPS, I was a musician. I played the drums. I lived in my mom’s house on a street where three brothers and their cousin had a band called Catalyst. They didn’t have a drummer, so I started playing with them. The cousin went on to become famous: He’s now known as Jack White of the White Stripes.

My postal career began in 1985 when my mom brought home an application and said, “Get a job!” I was hired as a casual employee, then became full time in 1986. My mother and sister both worked for USPS for a time. They went on to do other things, but I stayed.

I’ve gained a lot of friends through the Postal Service. I’ve bought a home. I’ve raised a family. My wife Laura and I have been married 18 years. We have a 7-year-old son, Michael Jr.

I’m proud to be a postal employee, but I always tease my mom and tell her, “I was supposed to be a famous musician and you ruined that.”

“On the Job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.

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