My name is Michael Hill and I’m a vehicle operations and maintenance assistant in Arlington, VA.
Our department is like AAA for the Postal Service. When a postal vehicle breaks down or gets a flat tire, we come to the rescue. If we can’t fix it, we get another vehicle for the carrier so he or she can keep moving and deliver the mail.
I start my day by shuttling vehicles in for service. We do quick diagnostics, then let the mechanics know what’s wrong. We handle flat tires, battery changes, headlights — little stuff that’s in between what drivers can handle and what the mechanics take care of.
In Arlington, we take care of around 265 delivery and administration vehicles.
When I first started in vehicle maintenance, a Postmaster told me the most important thing to do is to get to the carrier, figure out what’s wrong, and if necessary, get out a new vehicle because the first priority is to keep the carriers moving.
I joined the Postal Service in 1988 and have been in Arlington the entire time. I first served as a carrier for 20 years before switching over to custodial maintenance, then vehicle maintenance for the past five years.
Working at the Postal Service has provided me the stability to raise a family and make good money. I was able to earn a degree in culinary arts during my time at the Postal Service.
I’m married and I have a son, a daughter, two stepdaughters, nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, ranging in age from 3 to 26.
I love vacationing and cooking. I ran my own catering business for about eight years, and my wife and I ran the kitchen at our church, but I don’t cater as much as I used to.
My advice to employees using Postal Service vehicles is to treat them with care, as if they were your own vehicle, because they are so important to getting the mail to our customers.