If anyone ever goes postal in Mountain View, there's very little chance it will be David Tse or John Chagoya.
Tse has been a mail carrier with the United States Postal Service for 31 years. "I love my job," says Tse. "I like my job so much I can't quit."
Chagoya is the mail carrier for Route 44. When he was hired 35 years ago, he did not expect to stick around. "I enjoy it. I was surprised, because I wasn't planning on staying with it, but I liked it so I stayed."
Driving a mail truck for more than 30 years builds up a lot of miles. Tse and Chagoya have been particularly good at that part of the job. As a result, both men will be honored Friday morning in San Francisco for driving an estimated one million miles each without having a preventable accident, will receive a plaque from the National Safety Council for their accomplishment, and will receive a lifetime membership in the Council's 'Million Mile Club.'
Tse drives about 15 miles a day during his eight hour shift. He also works a lot of overtime, racking up more miles. His primary route is in an area near Mountain View's Castro Street and West Middlefield Road.
About his driving? "I take my time. You are in a government vehicle. You are an example," he says. "Everybody is looking at you. Safety first. Common sense. Even though you know you might be in the right, don't insist."
Chagoya delivers to an area bordered by San Antonio Road, El Camino Real and California Street. He also drives about 15 miles each day.
"You get used to certain (customers) and you miss them when they move away," says Chagoya. "You know, certain habits of saying 'Good Morning' and certain ways of greeting you. If they're not there, you miss it."
Both talk about how lucky they are to be in jobs that endear a lot of love from their customers.
"I'm happy when people are expecting something important, and I deliver it," says Tse. "I feel good about it. I can not tell you how happy people are."
And what about all the mailing circulars that fill our mailboxes these days? "It used to be called junk mail, and nobody wanted it," says Tse. "Now, they're looking for it. It's this economy. They ask me 'Where are my ads?' They want the coupons."
As a safe driver being honored, Chagoya gave his daughter a tip when he taught her to how to drive. "A long time ago I got a ticket in my personal car," he says. "I didn't see a stop sign. So I took this California Safety class, and that's what I told my daughter. 'Take this class.' 'Cause it made me a better driver and made me feel better about my driving."
Though their days involve a lot of road time, each continues to drive their own vehicles when they get home. Tse is particularly emphatic about it with his wife.
"Oh I drive. She's kind of nervous. I do all the driving. I like to drive."
In addition to the two Mountain View carriers, two Los Altos postal employees - Jeffrey S. Osborne and Seung C. Chae - will be given the same honor at the Friday ceremony.
Drivers from San Francisco, Brisbane, Burlingame, Daly City, Half Moon Bay, Menlo Park, Pacifica, Palo Alto, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo and Sunnyvale will also be recognized.