Reminiscing, but not completely!

Posted on

Past President, Michael Willadsen
Michael Willadsen
President Emeritus

My first thoughts after announcing my retirement were to the very beginning of my postal and union career. Some days it seems so long ago (41+ years), and some days it feels like yesterday! My ascension to the Presidency was not the result of many years of working and waiting, rather, a series of comedic occurrences and being in the right place at the right time.

Once I became President, and without a mentor, I let my instincts take over and spent a lot of time with the “trial and error” method. As I look back now, I can’t believe all of the time, effort, and personal (family) sacrifices I expended trying to make Branch 86 a vehicle that the members could believe would address their concerns as they arose.

Consider these numbers:

  • Planned and chaired 8 state conventions (as the State NALC President);
  • Prepared for, and chaired, over 320 Branch 86 membership meetings;
  • Prepared for, and successfully concluded, over 325 local contract negotiations;
  • Met with specific Post Office groups in their respective towns over 250 times after-hours;
  • Prepared and chaired over 400 Executive Board meetings;
  • Prepared for, and conducted over 300 Steward Training Seminars;
  • Traveled overnight (and left my family) over 150 times on “union business” ;
  • Exclusively prepared and oversaw 36 Branch 86 Retirement Dinners
  • Attended over 60 Committee of Presidents meetings in various locations
  • Attended between 800-1,000 wakes and funerals of deceased members and immediate family members;
  • Visited hundreds of members who were hospitalized;
  • Sent hundreds of Branch 86 activists to specialized trainings to improve their skills;
  • Attended 17 NALC Biennial national conventions;
  • Attended 21 Connecticut State Association conventions;
  • Conducted thousands of daily office visits;
  • Met with carriers at Bradley Airport assigned to work on Christmas morning 17 years in a row;
  • Visited hundreds and hundreds of carriers on their routes to discuss their personal concerns;
  • Initiated many middle-of-the-night merger meetings with other Connecticut Branches;
  • Attended many (other) Connecticut Branch meetings to share information.

One often wonders if they did enough. While I am more aware of my shortcomings than others, it is only when I look back and consider the above that I allow myself the satisfaction of knowing that I did a lot. l, like very few, can recall where Branch 86 was and where it is now. –I did the very best I could, and I am left to hope that it was enough. –Michael L. Willadsen, President Emeritus

Leave a Comment