INSIDE SCOOP: What it takes to be Hervey Bay's newest postie
BEING a local postie is probably one of the most highly sought after jobs - and it's easy to see why.
I sat down to have a chat with veteran postal worker Shannon Martin at the Bryant St depot to find out just what it takes to fill the role, with Australia Post currently advertising a full-time position for one lucky candidate.
Shannon has been an Australia Post postie for 33 years, with 13 of those being based in Hervey Bay.
While there are numerous hazards that come with the job - like dogs, magpies and Hervey Bay's worst drivers - he said what he loves most is the people.
It was easy to see that the relaxed and easy going team of staff love to have a joke but they are also very passionate about their work.
"There's very few people here that are under 10 years and this my 33rd year and Pete is in his 35th year ... you have really good job security here.
"It's just the security. When I first got the job, that's what I was after. I was just starting a family, buying a house and that's what I wanted.
"You can do this for the rest of your life.
"They (Australia Post) give you all the support and help you need, and if you want to advance your career in post, you are able to do that. They will give you all the training you need. It's pretty good."
While nine out of the 12 posties have beards it's not a pre-requisite, Shannon said with a laugh.
But, you do have to have a current unrestricted motorcycle licence, pass a practical driving and riding skills assessment, be fit enough to lift up to 16kg of mail each day and meet the motorcycles' safe working load limit - which means you need to weigh 100kg or less while fully clothed.
Besides those requirements, Shannon said an outgoing personality is also important.
"You've got to be pretty easy going and a people person because you're dealing with a lot of people outside.
"If you are happy to adapt to change - because we regularly have changes within our work with technology - but if you are happy to put your hand up and give a hand - you'll be fine."
A typical day for Shannon will see him start in the depot just after 6am and spend about three hours preparing for one of his three assigned routes - which can take anywhere from four-to five hours to complete.
"I really enjoy my work. You spend three hours inside with other people and your next four to five hours you are working on your own.
"It's almost like being your own boss. You're responsible for your own action and work out there."
The only downside to the job is unfortunately out of the posties hands.
Shannon has been bitten by dogs five times, attacked on the hand by a magpie and had many near misses with drivers not paying attention.
Last year was one of the worst magpie seasons yet, with 20 of them being relocated.
"The biggest hazard is vehicles ... definitely! Drivers don't seem to pay too much attention to a little postie bike - and of course dogs and magpies.
"I've had to have quite a few tetanus shots.
"People just leave gates open and let their dogs wander, sometimes by accident but I don't think people realise how scary it is to be attacked by a dog.
"People also need to be mindful to restrain dogs when we knock on the door ... they only need a small gap to slip out of if we're passing the people the scanner."
An Australia Post spokesperson echoed Shannon's sentiments about the right person for the job benefiting from career growth and personal development in this role.
"Being a postie is a pretty unique role, which is why we're looking for someone who's friendly and considerate to our customers, and takes pride the work they do.
"Furthermore, as an equal opportunity employer, we are proud of the diverse backgrounds and experiences our people bring to their jobs every day, so we encourage all to apply."
Applications close on Febraury 8. For further information on selection criteria, visit www.auspost.com.au/jobs.