Marjorie A. Buettner...



Our shared dilemma started on September 11 when we witnessed the unthinkable. We were on our first break--watching the horror unfold in front of our eyes; then the horror extended into the full of the day, full of the week, more than a month. All of us listened to our radio headphones while preparing the mail, while loading or sweeping the flat sorter machines, while going through the day as if we, too, were machines, machines that were silently breaking down. The terror unfolded in front of our eyes and ears and hearts. Suddenly, however, this terror has become personalized, especially since the Rochester prison (which houses the 1993 bomb-terrorist) received a suspicious substance in the mail. We counted back to the days we thought the package went through our mailroom and each of us silently wondered when the symptoms would begin; who would be next. We all took a collective sigh of relief when this substance was found not to be anthrax. Of course, all of us wondered why it took so long to figure out the obvious again; that is that the post offices were contaminated before the senate or media offices. It seems we, as postal employees, were essential yet expendable in the eyes of the government.

It has been a good day today, no one has come down with anthrax.

touching my co-worker's arm the spark of electricity between us


Copyright Marjorie Buettner, 2002