I remember when my uncle got a mirror window for the office that overlooked his grocery store. Looking up at it from the store aisles you would only see a reflection but if you were in the office you could survey the whole store. I’m sure it helped prevent shoplifting but it was an intrusion for us stock boys, never knowing if he was up there looking down at us.
When we lived in the city we had the same mailman for twenty years. He was a Neil Young fan and he’d let us check the new releases he bought. Since we worked out of the house he would use our bathroom. The ladies at Elite Bakery on Humboldt would give him free cookies and Leo’s, next door to them at the time, gave him their gooey brownies with chocolate frosting. Sometimes he would share those with us.
We always had him pegged as a Viet Nam vet but he kept his personal life private. He was stuffing something. He would run when he got off work which seemed insane considering he already walked twenty miles a day. He drove a sports car and we would occasionally see him about town.
At some point the Post Office, in an attempt to keep up with UPS, began streamlining. The mail carriers were each given a scanner and they had to continually check in by scanning the drop boxes when they picked up a load. They couldn’t just do their route in a hurry and go home. Their delivery truck had its own bar code and whenever they scanned a location they would have to scan their truck so some bean counter could put the data altogether. If the higher-ups felt he could handle more customers his route would get bigger. We heard about every one of these intrusions and hoped he wouldn’t go postal on us.
No worker likes being watched every minute but the police have abused that privilege. There is an unmarked cop hang-out/clubhouse over by the bay with a “No Body Camera” sign on the door. I get it but I’m not gonna be flying any blue striped American flag.