There’s something weirdly comforting about repetitive jobs. We’ve all had one in some form, and the routine of it all can let your mind rest and go on autopilot. Now, some of them are truly horrible, and being a wage-slave is no form of “character building”. But postal workers are clearly a different breed, their job being far from menial and of great societal importance, with plenty of surprise and variety possible each day – while somehow still getting all of those steps in.
In Lake, as Meredith Weiss, you have the help of your trusted delivery van to make the rounds. It’s a third-person adventure narrative set at the end of the summer of 1986 in a leafy, sleepy village in Oregon, with, yep, a photogenic and peaceful lake at the centre of the community. Meredith, now in her 30s, is taking a short break from her busy city life by returning to her hometown for the first time in years. She’s also decided to fill in her dad’s postal service role while her parents are on a break of their own in Florida.
After meeting up with Frank, the local post office’s manager, your first day begins. A handy clipboard and a friendly-sized map lets you know where the day’s envelopes and parcels need to be. Driving around gives you the chance to soak up the serene and dream-like pocket-sized world you find yourself here in Providence Oaks. It also gives you a chance to meet some of the local residents, like the “crazy cat lady” Mildred Jenkins, who you’re sure to bug in some way like I did by accident early on.