The Whistling Mailman

Screen Shot 2017-05-09 at 11.14.17 PMEvery fall, come November 20th-ish, our mailman begins whistling Christmas songs as he approaches the door.

Over the course of 10 1/2 other months, he never whistles. As in—never, ever, ever, ever. Not once. But when Christmas season arrives, he’s Mr. Music. But only near doors, where his whistling can be heard.

This drives the wife crazy.

We like the mailman. He’s a nice guy with a warm smile and a kind wave. His job, obviously, can be a rough one. Weather. Dogs. Crazy customers. Misplaced envelopes. Complaints. But the whistling … well, something about it rubs us the wrong way. It just seems overly deliberate and obvious; one degree to the left of, literally, singing, “Don’t forget to tip me …” instead of “Then one foggy Christmas eve …” I know … I know—’tis the season, and help a guy out, and blah … blah.

The whistling just seems sorta crappy.

Thoughts?

9 thoughts on “The Whistling Mailman”

  1. It’s against the law for federal employees to accept gifts or gratuities for services performed. No guilt on your part, Jeff!

    1. well Mailmen can receive tips, because the US postal service is not part of the federal government. while they perform a governmental function, they are actually a completely separate entity.

  2. Some people are just Into Christmas.
    I work with a guy that never sings or whistles. The past two weeks it is the same Christmas song over and over again.
    I have another friend that also only sings Christmas songs and nothing else. He only sings them at one time of the year………..the summer!
    It took me a while to figure it out. He is from Chile. Since he grew up with Christmas in the summer I think the season keys it for him.
    Christmas tends to make all sorts of people think they are Bing Crosby.

  3. I normally agree (or at least sympathize) with your observations on the larger culture in which we live, but I disagree with what I view as a profound cynicism. The letter carrier may be looking for a tip, or he may simply want to spread holiday cheer. He may have married during this time of year, and the weather reminds him of his love and commitment to his partner. He may have lost a loved one during the holiday season, and he chooses to remember that person by spreading cheer to those around him. My suggestions are pure conjecture, and it sounds like yours are as well. Instead of jumping to the conclusion that he wants something from you, consider the possibility that he wants to give something to you: happiness and joy.

  4. As you know, I can relate, Jeff. Like you said, it’s a tough job and he whistles to let us know he’s there in case we want to give a holiday tip. I still hear him whistle after giving him his gratuity, however, in the ensuing days. Of course, that could be for the other neighbors’ benefit.

  5. Why is it that tips are given/expected at the holidays to people for doing their jobs? Nobody tips me for replacing the paper in the printer when it is empty, or creating a particularly riveting excel report.
    I appreciate my mail (sometimes), but it will come whether or not my usual letter carrier brings it. Do the letter carriers tip the people who sort the mail before it ends up in their bags? What will happen to my mail if I don’t leave a tip? I never, ever see the carrier because I am at work when it is delivered, so I’m not even certain that the same person delivers it daily. I would be open to tipping my letter carriers if they went above and beyond – like not delivering flyers, or anything addressed to “Resident”.
    Maybe the letter carriers should tip us for giving them employment that pays them well, gives good benefits, lots of vacation days, and a good pension.

    I have lost track of all the people I am expected to tip, how much, and what for.

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