I Fired My Sister Today

mr zip

I Fired My Sister Today

Yes, I did. Fired her. She deserved it, too.

There I was, working away in one of the stories I service, calmly putting out the newest greeting cards, minding my own business. The quiet ‘ding’ on my phone informed me I had a new text message. I pulled my phone from my pocket and saw a message from my sister.

BTW. You are older than zip codes. They started in the early 60’s.

Now really, Susan Elizabeth! Was that necessary? Did you really need to text me just to tell me I’m old?

Of course, after my ‘Gee. THANKS!’ reply where I pretended to be offended and in a bit of a huff, I had to retort back and remind her that she’s right behind me.

A little later, as I was chuckling to myself, I had to turn around and text my mom and report that I’d fired my sister, and why. (Reporting…tattle-taleing…same difference.)

Mom replied:

Yes, don’t you remember? We still lived at 740.

740 is our street address when we lived in Glendora. We moved from there in 1969, when I was 11. The funny thing is, at that age I wasn’t sending a lot of letters. (A lot as in…none.) But to this day, I still remember Glendora’s zip code. 91740. Maybe because it had our house address in the zip.

But, I didn’t remember zip codes starting then. It seems that zip codes have always been around. (Even though, being a lover and collector of vintage post cards I know that this isn’t so.) Naturally I had to come home and Google some information about when zip codes came into being.

Darn. Don’t you just hate it when you have to admit that your younger sister is right? Again? This is the second time in the past two weeks. Enough already. I don’t really care for the taste of crow.

But right she was about the zip codes.

In 1943, the earliest zip code began as postal zones. The volume of mail was increasing, having approximately 20 million pieces per year being sent, sorted, and delivered. With so many young men going into the service, the post office was also staffed with many new, inexperienced postal clerks who were having trouble sorting the mail. The zone system was initiated with a one or two digit number being placed between the city and the state.

Between 1943 and 1962, the mail volume doubled. On July 1, 1963, the post office introduced the Zone Improvement Plan Code, now referred to as ZIP Codes. The new five digit codes corresponded to different zones. The entire country was divided into coded delivery areas, with the first two to three numbers designating the state.

Of course, this system soon became outdated too, and to improve efficiency, the ‘ZIP + four’ system was implemented. Fortunately we don’t have to include the + four digit appendage. This brain has enough trouble remembering my own current zip code – without the extra four digits. However, I think that 91740 – the zip code of my birth – will be permanently engraved in my memory, even though I don’t remember its inception.

My mom reported in a later text, that she recalls the new system very well. She says it was a pain. She remembers having to contact all the people she wrote to, to get their new-fangled zip code. And back in those days, it was a phone call – on the party line – or a handwritten letter. No quick text to find out. No hopping on the computer for a quick Google search.

The new-fangled system didn’t interrupt my world. I had bigger worries at that time. I started kindergarten two months after that. While my mom’s world was adapting to the new mail regulations, my world was adapting to its own changes. I had to go to…(shudder)…school. I had to learn how to socialize with other children. (That one didn’t go very well.) I had to learn my numbers and letters and start learning to read. (That one went better and I haven’t put down a book since.)

And if I ever forget that I’m older than ZIP Codes…never fear. I have a younger sister that will remind me. Yes, she’s still on the payroll. I still claim her as my sister. I never fired her.

After all – I have Google in my world now. I can easily find out what she’s older than! I see a few paybacks coming in her future.

zip code


33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 21:22:41

    Hi Trisha I can’t remember when zip codes, or post codes as we call them in Australia started but I think it was in the 70s. They are still older than me at the moment. LOL:) xx


  2. Debbie Harris
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 21:42:05

    Sisterly rivalry at its best!! I have one of those pesky younger sisters too, she loves to tell me I’m old, but she’s not that far behind me. Great story about zip codes, I had no idea! #mlstl


  3. Retirement Reflections
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 22:02:12

    Hi, Trisha – Our Canadian postal code system began in 1969 when I was 11. It’s funny, I had several penpals at that time, but I don’t remember the change coming in. Kids are often great adapters to change. Thought-provoking post!


  4. Natalie
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 22:26:01

    Hi Trisha – Interesting history of the zip codes. You have great memory of your street address and zip code.


  5. olderwisermoneymiser
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 22:35:57

    LOL-I have 3 sisters so I can totally relate! There’s times when I’ve wanted to fire them (and my brother, as well!) but I guess I’ll keep them. 🙂 #MLSTL


  6. Christine Field
    Sep 25, 2018 @ 23:11:29

    When did they start area codes? I grew up in Chicago and don’t remember having an area code as a child. And we had weird prefixes, My number was TR3-2669


  7. Janet Mary Cobb
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 01:42:18

    94572. Will never forget my first zipcode!


  8. Deb
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 01:47:42

    I was to young to remember zip code change,just a toddler..just think of that!😄 loved the firing of a sister… I think I fire my daughter more than my sister.😉


    • trishafaye
      Sep 26, 2018 @ 13:09:05

      LOL – Funny about firing your daughter more than sis. I used to get fired by mom too – until I moved to Texas and she’s still in California. Now I don’t get fired anymore.


  9. Sue
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 02:17:35

    My name is Susan Elizabeth too! Fun post😊


  10. leannelc
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 06:44:54

    Trisha you had me with the title of this post! I loved it – and I didn’t know that zip codes (or postcodes as we call them in Australia) had a start date – I thought they’d always been around – just Googled and found they started in Australia in 1967 so I’m older than ours too! #MLSTL and I’ve shared on my SM 🙂


    • trishafaye
      Sep 26, 2018 @ 13:05:48

      Funny thing – I texted my mom first and told her that ‘I fired my sister’ and said why. When I talked to my sister a few hours later, she’d already heard the news from mom LOL
      Glad I’m not the only one older than zip codes/postal codes!


  11. Victoria
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 11:55:25

    I remember as a kid we lived in zone 2. There is nothing like sisters. I have five but as they say I am the matriarch so I rule.


  12. John Holton
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 20:27:41

    I was 7 when ZIP Codes started, and I remember it very clearly. Maybe that’s just the kind of kid I was, I dunno…


  13. RetirementallyChallenged.com
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 21:50:46

    I don’t remember the start of zip codes (but I pre-date them, I assure you), but I do remember party lines and when our phone number started with “AC” (for Academy)as opposed to “22.” Ahh, the good old days.


    • trishafaye
      Sep 27, 2018 @ 02:11:38

      Yes! Ours started with ED5 I don’t remember the rest, just the starting part. I think ED for Edgewood, although I’d forgotten that part until you mentioned AC is short for Academy.


  14. Denyse W
    Sep 26, 2018 @ 23:51:47

    I used to think I had a great memory but this one stumps me. In Australia they introduced post codes – possibly in the early 1970s. However, as more and more new suburbs and areas were developed there was a quite a range of one post code covering many areas. This is the case where we live now.
    Fun topic!
    Denyse #mlstl


    • trishafaye
      Sep 27, 2018 @ 02:09:58

      Thanks Denyse. I had to share the story with two guys at work this morning. They informed me that they were born in 1951, so I’m just a youngster LOL


  15. sallylwess
    Sep 27, 2018 @ 03:20:46

    Fun post. I remember well when zip codes began. I was in college. I’m old.


  16. Mary Lou
    Sep 29, 2018 @ 17:03:42

    Yup! I’m older than zip codes ….. and I do remember my childhood home zip code ~ 07660. Reading this really jog my memory. I remember I had a penpal, Karla, but that’s all I remember. You really made this post interesting, fun and educational. I’ll be sharing on FB and Twitter for #MLSTL. Thanks Trisha!


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