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By Elizabeth Tanner—
Through rain and shine, rural mail carrier Carol Tobias has been serving with the U.S. Postal Service for 30 years and one month.
“It’s been fun,” Tobias said. “I’ve really enjoyed it.”
However, on Friday, Sept. 25, Tobias hung up her keys, retiring from her extensive postal career.
“It’s been a challenge some days,” Tobias said, “but I’ve enjoyed serving the people.”
Beginning her postal career as a substitute mail carrier, Tobias has worked multiple area routes as well as has been a mail sorter before settling on her current fulltime route.
“I’ve worked night shifts, and I’ve worked Christmas,” Tobias said. “There were nights when the mail hampers were lined up outside of the door with mail to be worked, but we always got it done.”
As for her current route that she’s worked for the last four years, Tobias says it’s been her favorite.
“This was always my favorite route,” Tobias said. “It was the one I always wanted. I had to wait for it for 25 years, but I finally got it.”
As for why it’s her favorite, Tobias said she thinks the scenic country drives her route provides might have something to do with it.
“I’ve gotten to drive plenty of rough roads,” Tobias said. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being able to drive out in the country. There’re so many things to be seen – the wildlife, the weather, the wildflowers. It’s gorgeous.”
While Tobias enjoys her serene route, she says her work also keeps her on her toes with plenty of unique mail coming through the post office.
“This is not a boring job,” Tobias said. “You never know what you will have waiting for you when you walk through the door. Packages come in all kinds of odd shapes and sizes. One year, we had some grandparents send their grandkids these huge Easter eggs. I was thinking, ‘where am I going to put these in the car?’”
After retirement, Tobias says the one thing she will miss the most is her coworkers.
“I plan on coming down here to bug them,” Tobias said. “I’ve worked in a number of other offices, but none compare to this one. In this office, we’ve always goof around and tell jokes. Josh always sings – most anything you say he can come up with a song to fit it. He cracks us up. We always have a good time here. As long as you get your work done, why not have a little fun while you’re doing it? That’s one thing I’ve really enjoyed about this office – the people.”
And, the feeling is mutual. Her coworkers say they will miss her just as much, if not more.
“Carol has been a very dedicated worker,” Postmaster Mike Lange said. “She’s always been very punctual and very conscientious of her job. She’s been a pleasure to work with, and I wish her well in her retirement.”
While retirement is bittersweet for Tobias, she says she is proud of how far she has come in the last three decades, conquering unpredictable West Texas weather, rough backroads and a lot of mail.
“When I first started, I wondered if I could do this,” Tobias said, “but now, I can say I’ve done it.”