I would think that being a cover driver today, with the use of EDD/PAS, would be much easier than when I first started when they used to hand you a map, point you toward the town you were going to, wished you luck and told you to have a good day. Of course, EDD/PAS can only help when the loop is set up correctly and the dispatches have gone up since they have implemented EDD so perhaps it is all a wash. I suggest asking your dispatch sup to print out the previous days delivery records for a new route that you will be covering today and, if you know on a Friday that you will be learning/covering a new route on the following Monday, take the copies of the delivery records and spend a few hours going through them and then driving around to try to get a feel for where you will be going on Monday. When I was a cover driver some of the areas still had RR and RD numbers (RR=Rural Route and RD=Rural Delivery), which could be a nightmare. Thank goodness for the 911 conversion as all of the areas in my center are now numbered for 911. You would have an address such as RD 2, Box 360, and there would be 3 or 4 mailboxes on the side of the road with driveways branching off from there.
Talk to the drivers for whom you will be covering. Talk to the preloader (yes, they are people too and can be either a valuable asset or your worst nightmare depending on how you treat them). Above all, don't be afraid to ask questions, whether in the bldg or on the road. While the driver wants to enjoy his day off, he does not want to come back to a bunch of lookups and send agains so check with him to see if it is OK to call him during the day.
You will look back on this thread in a few years and laugh at yourself while being proud of how far you have come.