Trials of a postal system

Day in the life of a postman: Two slices of bread and a toilet break between 12 hours of work

On Feb 7, SingPost was fined $100,000 for failing to meet delivery standards. To see what a postman goes through, The Straits Times followed Mr Rajab Abu Noh, who has been delivering mail for 43 years, as he goes about a usual workday.
Bulky items that cannot go into the letter box and registered mail take longer to deal with - especially when no one is home. Mr Rajab carting his mail (above) to his vehicle - but this is only half of his full load for the day, which won't fit into
Mr Rajab carting his mail to his vehicle - but this is only half of his full load for the day, which won't fit into the storage box on his three-wheeler scooter (above). He has to collect the rest later from a SingPost storeroom at an HDB block along his route.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Bulky items that cannot go into the letter box and registered mail take longer to deal with - especially when no one is home. Mr Rajab carting his mail (above) to his vehicle - but this is only half of his full load for the day, which won't fit into
Bulky items that cannot go into the letter box and registered mail take longer to deal with - especially when no one is home.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG
Bulky items that cannot go into the letter box and registered mail take longer to deal with - especially when no one is home. Mr Rajab carting his mail (above) to his vehicle - but this is only half of his full load for the day, which won't fit into
Mr Rajab and his colleagues gathering for a 9am meeting before they go out on their delivery rounds.ST PHOTO: CHONG JUN LIANG

That is the gruelling pace of a postman as The Sunday Times follows him on his rounds. SingPost delivers three million mail items daily, which works out to 3,000 pieces by each of the 1,000 postmen.

Mr Rajab Abu Noh has been a postman for 43 years. He started as a 22-year-old, weaving among kampung huts and farms on a motorbike, avoiding chickens.

Today, at the age of 65, he wields a smartphone and navigates high-rise buildings while dodging dogs.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on February 17, 2019, with the headline 'Two slices of bread and a toilet break between 12 hours of work'. Print Edition | Subscribe