Over six hundred thousand people work for the US Postal Service. Many are among the nine million Vietnam-era veterans who returned to a nation indifferent, or even openly hostile, to their experiences.
Garland D. Lewis Sr. was one of these veterans. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he returned to Denver, Colorado, proud of his service. It appeared that no one else was until he was offered a position with the USPS in 1980.
He found that, despite a toxic culture and adverse conditions, it was one of the few organizations offering a middle-class lifestyle to African Americans and a chance at the American dream for veterans. His plan was to put the time in, stay focused on his duties, and retire. He soon realized how unrealistic demands and abusive management practices could push employees to their limits, leading to tragedy.
As he examines the incidents that led to the coining of the phrase "going postal," he doesn't focus on the who of the situation but the why. Why so many mental breakdowns in the USPS? What kind of culture fostered frustration and anger? Lewis's look at "going postal" is an examination of the USPS and American culture.
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About the Author
Garland D. Lewis Sr. served in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. After receiving two honorable discharges, he joined the US Postal Service. His memoir, The Truth Behind Going Postal, chronicles his many struggles within the organization.
Lewis has been married for more than thirty years. He and his wife have two children and four grandchildren. Lewis lives in Colorado and is an active member of several veterans' service organizations. He retired from the USPS in 2013.