This is the picture I used that someone else took. I've been trying to do a self-portrait as I walk by mean-looking dogs, but, it just didn't work (You don't want to hang around mean dogs for that long)! People don't think about how dangerous the job of a mail carrier is. Not only do we battle ice, thunderstorms (I had lightning strike a tree two houses away from me once...had to sit down and take a break I was shaking so bad), and other forces of nature, but we have other dangers, as well. We have to constantly be on the watch for dogs (they can bite our fingers if we push mail a little too far through a slot, they can be running loose on the street, they can be more protective if "their" children are out playing with them, they can be visiting dogs at a house where usually no dogs are, etc.). We have to be very defensive drivers because people get frustrated getting behind us as we are stopped at a curbside mailbox and they try and zoom past us...sometimes with traffic coming right at them from the opposite direction). Some of us deliver mail in bad parts of the city. One guy I know who delivered to the worst part of the town I work at said everyday he saw bad stuff happening...shootings he witnessed, drugged out people running by naked (!), etc. We have had people steal things from our vehicles and, just within the last year someone actually stole one of our vehicles! Where I am in this picture...there is an alley on the other side and about 5 years ago, a female carrier was attacked by a male who tried to rip her pants off. She used her dog spray to spray his face and gave him a good kick and got away before he did anything really bad, but it was scary to hear about. And, don't forget about the workers we lost to the anthrax letters. :-( Oh, and let's not even mention all the workroom stress and the shootings that the post office is infamous for!