My name is David Villagomez and I’m a letter carrier at Makiki Station in Honolulu. My route consists mostly of high-rise condominiums. Not all of them have elevators so I have to walk up lots of stairs to deliver packages, which helps me keep in shape.
The way I do my job has changed due to the coronavirus pandemic. My family is concerned about me, but I take precautions and wear a mask the entire day to protect myself and others. I also practice social distancing when interacting with customers.
I enjoy making sure my customers get the mail they are expecting on time and at the right address. That’s even more important during these times when customers are doing more online shopping. I’m seeing more packages containing sanitizers, canned goods and pet food.
My customers are appreciative of the work I do. Some give me homemade masks and others just say, “Thank you for your service.”
Things have changed even at home. Management at the building where I live has precautions to help stop the spread of the virus. For example, we need to wear a mask to enter the building and hand sanitizer is provided at the door. I try not to leave home unless I have to go to the store or to work.
I’ve worked for USPS for 33 years. Growing up in Saipan, I lived next door to the Post Office, but never thought of working there because we only had PO Boxes — no letter carriers — so I never saw people deliver the mail. While serving in the Army Reserve, my sergeant told me that the Postal Service was hiring and that veterans are encouraged to apply.
When I started, everything was manual. With automation, we’re now getting out of the office and on the road faster. We used to have more office time and less street time, and now it’s the other way around.
I’m one of 12 children. I have six sisters and five brothers. All but one still live in Saipan and we get together every two years. I have one daughter who’s 29 and lives in Japan with her mother.
My co-workers and I are like family. After we receive our morning stand-up talk, we like to do stretch exercises together to help get our day started. After work, we sometimes hang out, have a drink and catch up.
I enjoy working for the Postal Service. I tell people that if you do your job right, you’ll love it. Do it right and you’ll be all right.