East Bridgewater mail carrier retires after 31 years

By Shannon Gallagher
The Enterprise
Posted Oct 31, 2017 at 6:19 PM Updated Oct 31, 2017 at 7:27 PM

On Tuesday Sheryl Markowicz pulled closed each of the 526 mailbox along her East Bridgewater route for the last time and said, “I’m saying goodbye to each mailbox.”

EAST BRIDGEWATER – When Sheryl Markowicz first began delivering mail in 1984, she did it from the passenger seat of her own vehicle, stretching across to reach the pedals and steer with one hand while her other hand pulled open each mailbox along her route.

“It was very difficult because I’m short, I’m only 5-feet tall,” Markowicz said. “My husband cut a little two-by-four to put on my brake pedal so I could touch it with my toe.”

Now, 31 years later, from her official U.S. Postal Service mail truck, Markowicz pulled closed each of the 526 mailbox along her East Bridgewater route for the last time on Tuesday.

“I’m saying goodbye to each mailbox,” Markowicz said as she navigated her mail route for the final time.

After 31 years, East Bridgewater mail carrier retires from job

Markowicz retired Tuesday from her job as a mail carrier for the town of East Bridgewater after 31 years of service. Her daughter surprised her at the post office with a dozen red roses and colleagues celebrated with a brief gathering in her honor before she headed off to deliver the day’s mail.

“I’ve always wondered what my last day would feel like,” Markowicz said. “It’s been better than I thought… I’m just floating on air.”

Since joining the fleet as a substitute mail carrier in 1984, Markowicz has taken just one sick day.

In her 31 years, there’s been just three days that the residents on Markowicz’s route didn’t receive their mail on time – when all mail carriers were called back to the post office mid-day because severe weather had made their job impossible.

A resident of East Bridgewater herself, Markowicz said she has enjoyed bringing mail to her own community.

“It’s great to be in your own town,” Markowicz said. “I’ve done the whole entire town at one point in my life… It’s a very close-knit community. It really is.”

One of Markowicz’s favorite parts of the job has been taking the time to get to know the residents of East Bridgewater.

“I get to know the people,” Markowicz said. “It’s been a real personal experience, it really has. Because you get to know them, you share your joys, you share your sorrows and I’m going to miss that.”

Markowicz said she’s watched young families grow up over the years and formed lasting relationships with some friends along her route.

“You know what’s really the greatest thing about it,” Markowicz said, “is when I started in 1984, the kids used to come out to the mailbox get the mail from the mail lady. Now I’m the mail lady to their children. So it’s been like a family experience.”

Markowicz said she’s hopeful her time as a mail carrier in town has brought a little joy to the community.

“I hope I brought a little kindness and a little love,” Markowicz said. “I took care of their mail and I took care of it as if it was my own.”

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Resolution 46: Support Postal Financial Services and Postal Banking AFL-CIO Convention

October 24, 2017

WHEREAS, the U.S. Post Office operated the Postal Savings System from 1911 through 1967 and, at its peak, had $3.4 billion in deposits; and

WHEREAS, the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) of the Postal Service issued a report recommending that the Postal Service provide basic financial services to the 68 million American adults throughout rural and urban America who don’t have bank accounts or who have limited access to bank services; and

WHEREAS, “legal loan sharks” prey on the underserved by trapping them in a cycle of payday loans, check-cashing fees, and interest that costs families an average of $2,400 per year when their entire annual family incomes average just $25,000; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Postal Service operates more than 33,000 retail locations nationwide, 59 percent of which are located in bank deserts, which are zip codes with either zero banks or only one bank branch; and

WHEREAS, the U.S. Postal Service has a mandate to serve all Americans, regardless of geography, at uniform price and quality; and has a skilled workforce which processed more than 378,000 money orders per day in 2014; therefore, the Postal Service has the infrastructure to provide the desperately needed services; and

WHEREAS, the OIG stated that the Postal Service could generate $8.9 billion per year in new revenue by providing financial services, while at the same time protecting good-paying jobs; and

WHEREAS, the Postal Service is consistently rated one of the most trusted institutions and enjoys a high level of confidence from the public; and

WHEREAS, only 27 percent of Americans have confidence in banks, according to a Gallup Poll that was taken even before the full extent of the Wells Fargo fraudulent account and insurance scandal was revealed; and

WHEREAS, postal banking is one of the pillars of Wall Street reform called for by the AFL-CIO-backed “Take on Wall Street” campaign;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the AFL-CIO endorses and supports the “Campaign for Postal Banking,” including the ongoing efforts to compel the Postal Service to provide basic financial services such as paycheck cashing and electronic funds transfer, as a step toward establishing nonprofit, public postal banking.

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Strong Unions, Stronger Communities

When working people have the freedom to come together in strong unions, entire communities benefit. Unions give everyday working people the power in numbers they need to make their communities safer and stronger, and they are critical to fixing an economy rigged in favor of the rich and powerful.

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