The postal service's mounting losses are causing anxiety among carriers, and Odegard hears about it. "People are fearful of losing their jobs," he says.
Temporary and contract employees are the most vulnerable, but carriers with seniority are uneasy too. "What's safe?" Odegard wonders. "I feel more comfortable than a cat who's been here just a couple of years, but that doesn't mean they couldn't slash our wages, or affect how much health care we pay for."
Odegard pauses and reflects, "All I know is that here in Ann Arbor, we're delivering mail." He motions toward the letters and parcels that fill his truck. "And I've got a lot of mail to deliver."
328 houses filled with friends
On a summer Saturday afternoon several years ago, an unexpected event made Mike Bellaire realize how much of a fixture he's become in the Orchard Hills neighborhood.