Succesfull author, failed as postmaster
William Faulkner (1897-1962) is known mainly as a novelist, but for three years he was also postmaster at the post office of the University of Mississippi. Many are still wondering how Faulkner managed to keep that job for so long because, and practically everyone agrees on that, as a postmaster he wasn’t particularly good. He simply ignored customers at his window, he was sloppy (more than once the delivery of letters was delayed as he forgot to bring them to the train) and it is known that, on one occasion, he even threw away mail. Most of the time, Faulkner sat at his desk writing and sometimes he played a game of bridge or mahjong with his friends, which he had appointed as part-timers. Then, as it got so bad that the postal inspection started an investigation, Faulkner resigned. Later, the author would say the following about his ‘postal years’ : ‘I will probably have to deal with the whims of people with lots of money but I will never again have to pay attention to each and every idiot with two cent to buy a stamp.’
More on Faulkner at John B. Padgett’s Home Page.