When Andrew Ferguson left school at the age of 15 to work at the post office he never dreamt he’d be working for Australia Post decades later.
Mr Ferguson recently celebrated 40 years of service to the company, which didn’t include two years of casual employment when he was a teenager.
The Warrnambool Post Shop postal manager has worked with various communication modes from telegrams to the internet.
Mr Ferguson started working in the postal industry in Coleraine, where he grew up. He left school at the age of 15 to take up a casual position delivering telegrams and letters.
“Someone knew I was looking for a job (so I could leave school),” Mr Ferguson said. “A friend came and saw me. I didn’t do it as a long-term thing. I was only a casual. I was also going out to sheering sheds and carting hay and that sort of stuff which we all did in those days.”
He worked there for two years before gaining full-time employment and was sent to Melbourne to attend postal clerk school. He completed six month’s training to learn about the retail side of the business, working at the GPO on the corner of Bourke and Elizabeth streets for a few years as a postal clerk before returning to the country.
Mr Ferguson worked at Casterton Post Office for 13 years, before making the move to the south-west. “A job came up at Timboon for an area manager and they had trouble getting someone to go down there. He rang me and I said ‘yeah I’ll go’. I wouldn’t have thought of being a manager in those days but they couldn’t get anyone so he sort of fast-tracked me which was good.
He’s worked in Warrnambool for the past 22 years. “Timboon was privatised and I didn’t want to buy it. The (Koroit Street) post shop was opening up and they couldn’t get a manager. They asked me to do it and I said ‘yeah I’ll do it’. So I came over."
“Everything’s digitised and changing every day. There’s heaps of variety. People don’t realise, they think we just sell stamps but we do that much nowadays.
“I like meeting new customers and talking to people. That’s what it’s all about building relationships with customers.”