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Giving back to the community as a public employee

Physical activity has always been present in Eduardo Piotto’s life. A Santo Andris, Sao Paulo, native, he has been working as a mailman in Richmond, BC for six years. In a typical workday, Piotto delivers an average of 50 parcels and hundreds of letters to the 370 addresses on his daily route.

Eduardo Piotto holds a Kinesiology degree and used to work as a personal trainer in Brazil before immigrating to Quebec in 2003. Upon arrival in Canada, he went back to school and worked as a massage therapist for three years in Quebec City.

In 2006 he moved to Vancouver with his wife, who works as a flight attendant and was transferred to the city. Here he had to learn a new language, English, and look for another career.

The biggest obstacle was the lack of recognition of his massage therapist credentials from Quebec. British Columbia didn’t recognize them, so Piotto would have to go back to school once again for three years to be able to work in his field here. That was when he secured a job as mailman with Canada Post and since then he wakes up early every morning “to serve the community“, as he puts it.

Photo by Lucas Socio

Brazilian Vibe – Why did you choose a career as mailman?

Eduardo Piotto – I didn’t want to go back to school so I looked for a job in the public sector. One of the options was to work as a bus driver, the other, was to be a mailman. Since I really enjoy the outdoors, I chose to be a mailman.

BV – What do you like the most about your job?

EP – I really enjoy working outdoors, never behind a desk. I like to talk to my customers. I am very proud to work in the public sector and to serve the community. I was received by Canada as an immigrant, and today I am Canadian, so in return I do this service to the community. I am very proud of my profession.

BV – Have you ever been bitten by a dog?

EP –Not yet, but I am sure it will happen some day! Every mailman carries pepper spray to protect us against dogs. I had to use it one time.

BV –A What do you least like about your job?

EP -A I spend four hours of my day on the street delivering letters, so when it rains it’s really complicated. I have to wear a raincoat and be careful not to get the letters wet. This is the least enjoyable part of my job.

BV -A Do you use email or prefer to write a letter?

EP -A I still write letters but also use email, it’s more convenient. However, it’s a lot nicer to get a letter in the mail than an email in your inbox. It’s more exciting to mail a copy of Brazilian Vibe to someone than to send a link.

BV –A Canada Post has recently announced that it will end home delivery and install community mailboxes instead. How did you react to the news?

EP –A We will have to adjust and keep going, it’s the future, we can’t deny it, but online shopping is growing. The number of parcels has been rising substantially and we are still going to be delivering parcels. After the news broke I feel like the customers are showing more kindness towards us. They understand that it’s a privilege to receive a letter at home. This change caught everyone by surprise.

Photo by Lucas Socio

BV – WhatA is the training like?

EP -A I had two weeks of training in the classroom and then a week at the sorting station and shadowing a mailman for a few days. Sometimes we would do a walking route and other times with the truck.

BV -A Do you have the same route everyday?

EP -A In the first three years, before I secured a permanent position, I worked on call. A mailman can have his own route or cover for others. I am like a soccer player on the bench; I am always ready to cover someone’s route when they are on vacation or on leave. Right now I am filling in for a colleague who is on a medical leave for six months, but I always work in Richmond.

BV –A What has changed in your life since you started this job?

EP –A After 10 years living in Canada I finally feel like I belong to a group. We have Christmas partiesA together, barbecues in the summer¦ I have no reason to change jobs.

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