Written on back - January 1983

My grandmother Payne's house the day after it was burned by at least two arsonists. Just another reminder of all the bad things that happened to me in 1983

1983 Mail and Pouch Center, U.S. Department of State

During eight months in 1983 I worked in Newington, Virginia for the U.S. State Department, Office of Communications. 

I lived in Burke, Virginia at 6124 Pubelo Court.


The Diplomatic Mail and Pouch Center was moved to Sterling, Va. In October 2001 a contract worker, DAVID R. HOSE, was infected with anthrax at the Diplomatic Mail and Pouch Center. In March 2009 a Federal Judge dismissed DAVID R. HOSE's case against the U.S. State Department for that incident. The plaintiff from Winchester Virginia, alleges that his exposure resulted from the federal governmentís negligent handling of its anthrax supply and its failure to protect adequately State Department mail room workers after learning that anthrax-laced letters were traveling through the nationís postal network. I worked what was known as the Wednesday line, the heaviest and most demanding line with exception to maybe the Friday line that was the Middle East embassy mail. The Wednesday line included all of Pakistan, Afghanistan and parts of Northern Africa. Places that once were far off places that someone might like to travel too, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi were among my embassy mail line that loaded into a semi-trailer and was taken to the airport on every Wednesday where it would be flown to far off places by a Diplomatic Courier. This being the same center where my supervisor brought a .45 caliber in to shoot a rat and employees enjoyed beer on the loading dock on hot evenings, where sophisticated x-ray equipment had never been used. I filed a grievance but not against my supervisor bringing a gun and firing it in a government facility or against other employees drinking on the job, but against the unhealthy conditions in which I was required to work and the inability of any employee to operate the sophisticated x-ray machines. Friends, this was during the bombing of the Embassy and the subsequent Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. The State Department finally decided that it was unwise to let me remain with them for the entire contract NTE 03/1984 and ABOLISHED my job.

 John W. S. Channell told me when I took the job that I would be considered for Diplomatic Courier and if I wanted an administrative position after being hired full time.  About all I did was get in better shape by loosing lots of weight.
the wrong side of politicis. 
I was getting ready for the 1984 Olympics
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Jerlene Bailey had the entire Middle East Diplomatic Mail line and after the Beiruit Embassy was hit by a suicide bomber the mail that was headed for Beiruit stacked up against the back wall of the Newington, Va Center. Those Diplomatic Pouches are made by C.R. Daniels Rutledge, Tennessee. Kinda made me homesick seeing that on every pouch I loaded. Each of the six lines loaded about a half semi truck load of mail a week.
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My brother George (Eddie) Payne wanted me to see this feature story in the State Department Newsletter.
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About 3 months after I left the Mail and Pouch Center a study of how to better serve the Diplomatic community was undertaken. The Newington facility where I worked was poorly heated during winter and poorly cooled during summer. It also was dirty and overseas mail was not only improperly marked there were food and expensive gifts being routed through the bulk center where we were not allowed to open. I feared that more than just gifts and food could be slipping through.
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Carl Leech was second in charge of the facility. When I asked Carl for instruction on the large x-ray machines he said that they were inoperable even though they had only been there about a year. No one knew how to operate them.
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Janice Single-ton Clement, a very nice African American lady was my Personnel Spcialist and if I am correct I had worked with Miss Singleton while employed with the U.S. State Department during 1972-1973. My original contract was for an entire year but after only eight months the Personnel Office decided to "Abolish" my job. After working a Security job with the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles I worked again for the Federal Government (F.D.I.C.) in 1985 thru 1987.
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Most of what I found wrong at the facility I filed in a grievance with John W.S. Channell. This caused a problem with my immediate supervisors at the bulk mail facility in Newington.


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I was sure to get a recommendation from Mr. Channell so that my time there would not be considered wasted.
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I was very interested in the function of the Comminications Department at State and had been offered a postion there before leaving in 1975. I had hoped to continue working there but that was not to be. Senator Howard Baker and I had some disagreement on the positioning of our Marines in the Middle East and the safety of Foreign Service personnel.
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I wanted to return after my two years with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and applied. I obtained a very high recommendation from Senator Jim Sasser, with who I had comminicated for over 10 years. He is probably one of the greatest men I have ever known.
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