It’s in the mail (9:21 a.m.)

Published 4:57 pm Tuesday, February 24, 2009

As Adam Moyes loads up his mail truck at 9 a.m., his slim body shivers in the crisp morning. However, cold weather is better than the heat, as far as postal carriers are concerned.

“The heat’s worse than the cold. I can get warm, but you can’t cool off in those trucks,” Moyes said.

Although he’s at the mercy of Mother Nature, Moyes said being outside is one of the perks of his job.

“I just like being out in the community with people,” he said. “You have freedom out there. You get out there; you do a lot of walking.”

Moyes, 30, has worked for the U.S. Postal Service for almost four years. He worked his way up from a temporary job to the regular carrier position he holds now. His route is 19 miles long, and it starts right down the street from the post office. He drives his truck around the corner and gets out, mail in hand, to start the endless parade of houses and mailboxes.

Although postal carriers are given pepper spray to ward off troublesome pets, Moyes said he’s never dealt with the stereotypical attack dogs while delivering mail. The most that’s happened is an overly friendly mutt leaving mud on his shirt — and since then, that dog has been off the streets.

Although the postal service is an essential part of American life, Moyes admitted that the poor state of the economy has taken its toll.

“A lot of businesses aren’t doing bulk mailing anymore. A lot of people have been laid off,” he said. “When people get online and pay their bills, I say, ‘No, buy a stamp.’”

Moyes will be out until about 4 p.m. delivering mail. He’ll drop his mail truck off, get in his car and drive the 35 miles home. The next morning, he’ll get up early enough to drive in and be at work by 7:30.

It’s not the easiest job, but it gives him what he needs — stability and a way to provide for his two children.

“I didn’t graduate college, and this has good pay, good benefits,” he said.