Royal: Live that Fantasy

For 3 weeks in December, I was royal. For real, I mean I was a princess….. shimmery outfit and special gloves..

I was ‘princess of parcels’ and I was the ‘queen of the codes’……

-post codes that is.

So I guess you could say I was…. sort of royal:  Sorting for the Royal Mail!

Every year the Royal Mail hires temporary workers to help sort mail so I signed up after I got a recruiting postcard, you guessed it, in the mail.  I and my posse of other temps worked at a massive warehouse south of the city. We got our special ‘hi-viz’  or high visibility vest to be worn at all times, we were led down to the basement the first day where most of the parcels are sorted during the holiday rush. It was the size of a football field.  Red parcel carts stuffed full as far as you could see. All of which needed to be emptied and sorted into post code (zip code) specific carts. Let the games begin!

Lets do this!

Lets do this!

endless parcel bins

endless parcel bins

By the end of the day we were like pros. We knew the post codes to most of the small towns in all of Aberdeenshire and beyond. Lawrencekirk? AB30. Ballindoloch? AB37. Packages of every conceivable size and shape, not to mention thousands upon thousands of Amazon boxes and envelopes being tossed -with care!- in all directions. It was actually pretty fun.

From Russia, with love?

From Russia, with love?

Since I am a big geography nerd, I ended up getting a fix from learning where all the tiny hamlets and villages of Scotland are and imagining visiting them someday. Then there were the occasional packages from far away places. By the way, my favorite Scottish town name of all? YELL. Yes. Yell. Its in the Shetland Islands way off the northcoast. This has to be the best-name-ever for a city.

By the way friends- never ever skimp on bubble wrap!  That crystal vase for your grandma or those Xbox games for your nephew will be compressed by dozens of other boxes and things on every side multiple times before it reaches its their door. So pack well peeps.

And whenever midlife calls,  just dial in your fantasy like I did, it’ll just keep gettin better. But you might get a bad case of ‘post-code envy’*.


‘live that fantasy’: lyrics by Lorde*

9 thoughts on “Royal: Live that Fantasy

  1. It sounds like it was a grand time. I would love to visit Scotland some time. My cousins all did about two years ago to visit spots our ancestors had lived. To be so close to water is a lovely thought. I miss my home where we lived right on the river. Not much water where we are now, But that’s life/.


  2. Great post, Mary. Reminds me of when my husband was a postie- such tales to tell. A surprising amount of weirdness happens in a sorting office!


  3. It’s fun to hear how the town names are pronounced compared to how they are spelled. Usually in my head I create a mnemonic to get by with road signs, etc. It just gets embarrassing if I have to actual say the word aloud since it ends up a jumbled mess.


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