Arizona postal worker says mail trucks get hot enough to cook steak

Photo: Whitestorm, tsz01 (iStock)

I only lived in Phoenix for two years, but that was long enough to know I couldn’t stand the heat, and I needed to get out of the kitchen. Oh, it’s a dry heat you say? Forgive me for ignoring the dew point when it’s 110 degrees at 2 in the morning and asphalt parking lots are liquifying into quicksand. Peggy Hill had it right.

The latest evidence of the Phoenix area’s absurd summer heat comes via an unnamed United States Postal Service worker, who illustrated the dangerous working conditions inside the non-air-conditioned mail vehicles by cooking a steak to an internal temperature of 142 degrees on the truck’s dashboard. Phoenix news station ABC-15 reports the employee sent photos of the cooking experiment to State Rep. Shawnna Bolick, who has contacted the American Postal Workers Union to demand safer summer working conditions. Rep. Bolick says the worker sent photos indicating the temperature inside the vehicle was regularly 128 degrees.

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That sounds not only miserable but, as the postal worker asserts, unsafe. Kudos to the employee, though, for not just sending photos of a thermometer but thinking creatively to get their point across.

For their part, the USPS told ABC-15: “We want to emphasize the Postal Service works to protect its employees all year through a strong health and safety program. This includes instructions on messaging through the handheld carrier scanners, frequent service talks on recognizing heat illnesses and taking shade or hydration, and street supervision that checks on carriers during the day.”

I know the postal saying goes “neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night,” but I didn’t assume that applied to temperatures that could apparently sear beef to a juicy just-below medium.

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About the author

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.