Despite pressure from the USPS to retire, that wasn’t an option for Frank Facio, a 29 -year San Diego, CA Postal Employee and Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) machine clerk:
It is a challenge for every postal employee to run mail-processing machines safely and efficiently on a daily basis. For San Diego Area Local member Frank Facio, that task is more difficult.
That’s because Facio, who operates a Delivery Bar Code Sorter (DBCS) machine at the Margaret Sellers Processing & Distribution Center, is blind.
“Many people ask how I can work at the Postal Service, being blind,” Facio said. “I always answer with a joke: My job is licking stamps.”
Facio was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa at age 17. When he began working as a Letter Sorting Machine operator in 1982, he still had his vision, but it was diminishing rapidly.
Despite pressure from the USPS to retire, that wasn’t an option for Facio.With help from his local union reps, Facio was taken back on the workroom floor, and was shown the DBCS.
“As soon as I saw the machine, I was thinking, ‘What do I need to do to modify this equipment to make it work for me,’” Facio said. “I knew immediately, this was going to be my job.”
Finally, with some machine modifications Facio’s DBCS and the racks that holds the mail trays were brailled – he was
speeding through the mail. He said his goal was to process more than 200,000 pieces of mail on Tour 2 – a feat he and his partner accomplished, processing 226,000 pieces one shift, and then proving it was not a fluke by processing 204,000 pieces the next day.
“No one thought I could do this job,” Facio said, “but it was a big achievement for me. I proved that I could do this job – with no sight and a dog on the floor – just as well as anyone, and my numbers showed it.”
source: The American Postal Worker Magazine
The transition from sight to blindness has been helped by Frank Facio’s positive attitude about the challenges he faces. Undaunted, he and his guide dog, Gina, make the daily trek to work at the Carmel Valley Post Office.
When he first got his job at the post office in Phoenix, Facio already had RP, but he was still able to read addresses on letters. But over time, his work began to slow down, and he had switch departments.
But after transferring to San Diego, he found a home behind the stackers, where he’s been since 1997. This is where Facio finds his rhythm.
Instead of getting depressed or feeling sorry for himself, Facio was determined to lead a normal life and make adjustments along the way.