persona non sequitur

a review of media by a slightly jaded baby boomer.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IN THE POSTAL ZONE: GOING POSTAL: Working with dead people.

He was found dead on a toilet, locked inside a stall.

The word of mouth that came back from the medical examiner that when found, he had been dead three days.

At first, no one noticed. Hugh was pudgy and large and when the heart attack took him while sitting in the toilet stall, it hit quickly and the body girth and weight held him upright. His mother called after the weekend had passed when she did not hear from him. “He goes out,” she said, “sometimes… he tells me.”

It was an out of the way bathroom jammed into a corner and designed badly but because of regulations, it had to be there. It was small tight right angles and divisions of badly designed stalls, vaguely fitting together properly. The janitors and the maintenance were requested to remove the stall walls, but refused, because of the request. The stretcher could not fit into the room. The corpse of the 300 pound man had to be first removed with a hand truck. Body tipped forward, pants pulled up, edged out, moved onto a stretcher.

Hugh’s death presented a problem. The managers of the War Room had to field calls from the newspaper, and direct questions were politely declined.

It was claimed that a message was written on the stall when Hugh’s body was removed. On the door it read, close to the bottom. “A new circle of hell.”

One supervisor was given some grief for referring to the morbidly obese in the post office as "Fork lifts", in reference to what would be needed to lift them to an ambulance.


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