Post Office Vital to Community

Post office vital to community

In a recent letter of commendation, postal customer Catherine L. of Coalville, UT, expressed her heartfelt appreciation for the employees at her local Post Office. The following is an excerpt from her appreciative letter:

“I, my family, friends and neighbors closely follow what is happening with the USPS because we care deeply about USPS. We also want to highly commend our Coalville, UT, Post Office.

“Our Postmaster Darlene and her co-workers Connie and Lori are outstanding and are the reason why our Coalville Post Office is a vital community place. Even in the midst of the Christmas crunch, they are always so courteous, efficient, helpful, and professional.

“Because of them, our Post Office is not only where we get our mail, but where we enjoy very pleasant interactions with our friends and neighbors.”

Graceful Envelope

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Before her recent retirement, West Burlington, IA, Postmaster Cyndie Reppert sparked an interest in “The Letter Art Club.” The primary focus of the club is geared toward improving student handwriting skills, calligraphy and letter art.

The Mediapolis Savings Bank offered to purchase supplies for the club at the Morning Sun Elementary School, including marker sets, paper, envelopes, and postage. This donation allowed twelve students to attend a nine-week, one hour session every Thursday after school.

The club’s final project was to create an envelope as an entry into “The Graceful Envelope Contest,” an international contest sponsored by the Washington Calligraphers Guild and the National Association of Letter Carriers. The theme this year was “There’s no place like home.” Each student came up with his or her own idea of how to depict the provided theme on an envelope.

The efforts of Postmaster Cyndie Reppert in using her time to promote this initiative lead to the artistic creations depicted here as well as the overall success of the project.

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Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Good things

Retired USPS employee Marty Schill with Wayne Tuttle.

 

Investing for the future is a solid component of a comprehensive retirement plan. Former USPS employee Marty Schill saw the wisdom of preparing for a post-working life, and routinely invested his money in avenues that provided future growth opportunity. One long forgotten element of that strategy recently came to light when he received an unexpected call from Wayne Tuttle.

Tuttle is a custodian at the Sherwood Station in Topeka, KS. He was in the process of removing lockers recently when he encountered a piece of paper on the top shelf of one of the removed lockers. The item was a U.S. Savings Bond issued in 1983 with Schill’s name on it. Tuttle found Schill’s contact information and called him to let him know he had found something he’d be interested in.

Schill was grateful for the discovery and return of the bond. Originally purchased for $50, Schill took the bond to the bank and discovered that it had increased in value from the $100 face amount to $280.

“I thanked Wayne for being diligent in checking my locker and for bringing such a surprise to my house,” said Schill.

Dress Finds its Way Home

Supervisor Dwight Porter with PCAs Bob Anderson and Jim Barr.

Supervisor Dwight Porter with PCAs Bob Anderson and Jim Barr.

Recently, Information Systems Supervisor Dwight Porter received an unexpected call at home. The owner of a local bakery in Dexter, IA, had contacted Porter’s daughter, an employee at the bakery, and asked to speak with her father. When he took the call, the owner explained that one of her customers was in a state of panic. She had ordered a christening dress for her 3-year old daughter from Hawaii for an event that was scheduled to take place the next day. Package scans indicated that the item had remained at the Post Office for 5 days, but was never sent out for delivery. Porter took the customer’s contact information and assured her that he would look into the situation.

When Porter looked up the tracking number, he found that the package had been looping in the distribution center for 5 days due to a bad label.

Porter went to work trying to locate the package. After extensive sleuthing, and assistance from members of his team including Process Control Assistants Jim Barr and Bob Anderson, the search for the missing dress came up empty. Undeterred, Porter and Anderson searched sorting machines responsible for handling Dexter parcels and discovered the missing parcel in a mail cart.

When Porter personally delivered the package to the customer, she expressed her gratitude and gave him a greeting card that read, “Your caring and willingness to help a perfect stranger is such a blessing. The world needs more people like you! Thank you.”

“Other postal employees ask me all the time, ‘You’re the IT supervisor. Why do you have to deal with the customers?’” said Porter. “I usually tell them I don’t have to. I do it because it’s the right thing to do. But our customer said it best in a text message to me later.”

“You made a difference in our lives today!” texted the customer. “Thank you so much!”

Investing in the Larger Picture

Investing in the Larger Picture

Postal organizations across the world contribute capital to a wide variety of upgrades and improvements each year. From intriguing stamp designs to more efficient processing equipment, investing resources internally is a must for modern enterprises that desire to stay ahead of the competition. One particular Post Office opted to expand that investment range into a realm outside of its immediate purview.

In 2013, Poste Italiane, Italy’s Postal Service, made an investment of $75 million euros into an airline experiencing a need for additional financial support. The investment in Alitalia, the national airline of Italy, was part of a larger package of $500 million euros to support flight operations until a buyer of the company could be located.

In August 2014, Etihad Airways, an airline based in Abu Dhabi, made a deal with Alitalia to acquire a 49 percent stake in the company in January of this year. Though the specific return on Poste Italiane’s investment is unclear, the acquisition has the potential to yield a healthy sum for Italy’s Postal Service.

Do you think the U.S. Postal Service should consider investments in other companies to increase its revenue?

Counting Opportunities for a New Revenue Stream

Census

For small companies, hiring new employees can be an exhaustive process to ensure the right fit between employee and employer. For large organizations, that process can be far more daunting when all of the intricacies of hiring a large number of people can require significant resources. A prototype project by one postal organization might be a small glimpse into the future of a potential business opportunity.

To gear up for its 2020 survey, the Census Bureau is testing a new process for hiring the talent it needs for a smooth and comprehensive count. With the need to hire hundreds of thousands of individuals, the task could prove overwhelming when each nuance of the process is factored in. Fortunately for the organization, the opportunity to offset some of the employment application processing to a third party has the potential decrease the cost and workload involved in the process.

Starting this month, the Postal Service is partnering with the Census Bureau to test the possibility of hiring part-time Census employees to perform residential interviews for the 2020 Census. During the test, selected Post Offices in Maricopa County, AZ, will be equipped with the training tools, laptop computers, fingerprint capture devices, and other equipment needed to hire a small number of candidates. The test is expected to run from April through July 2015. If successful, the test project has the potential to expand use to other locations.

Do you think the Postal Service could offer employment processing services to other organizations beyond the Census?

Take a Moment to Thank Your Carrier

Take the moment

As the quote from Herodotus goes, “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Postal carriers are the embodiment of that description, as Missouri State Representative Patricia Pike recently expressed.

Pike communicated her appreciation to Butler City Carrier Randy Mathes for his commitment to service by presenting him with a Certificate of Recognition. Bearing the official seal of the Missouri House of Representatives, the certificate also displays a photo of Mathes.

In addition to a hand-written note of thanks, the certificate also reflects on how individuals “sit in…dry warm offices, homes, or vehicles” while others, such as Randy Mathes, “walk miles daily delivering letters, bills, magazines and notices to each individual mailbox.”

Tax Deadline Fast Approaching

Tax deadline 2015

April 15 is just one week away. Are you ready?

While the last day to file a 2014 tax return on time will be here soon, it’s also the last day to claim a refund for those who would have received one for the 2011 tax year, but didn’t file a return.

According to Bankrate.com, an estimated $1 billion awaits approximately 1 million people who didn’t file a return for 2011. Unless these individuals submit their returns in the next few days, any refund they would have received becomes the property of the U.S. Treasury.

With an average estimated refund of $698 for the 2011 tax year, any individual who has yet to file has an extra incentive to revisit the past.

To find the collection times of a Post Office near you, or for more information on mailing a tax return, click here or go to:

http://www.usps.com/taxes/welcome.htm.

Maya Angelou

 

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Author, poet, actress, and champion of civil rights Dr. Maya Angelou (1928-2014) was one of the most dynamic voices in all of 20th-century American literature. The book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, an autobiographical account of her childhood, gained wide acclaim for its vivid depiction of African-American life in the South.

The stamp showcases artist Ross Rossin’s 2013 portrait of Dr. Angelou. The oil-on-canvas painting is part of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery’s collection. In the bottom left corner is the following quotation by the pioneering author: “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song.” Above the quotation is her name in red type. The words “Forever” and “USA” are along the right side.

The bright red-colored sheet also includes a short excerpt from Dr. Angelou’s book Letter to My Daughter. It reads: “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

The stamp is now available for purchase at usps.com/stamps, the Postal Store, at 800-STAMP24 (800-782-6724) and at Post Offices nationwide or visit ebay.com/stamps to shop for a wide variety of postage stamps and collectibles.

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Imminent Delivery

Imminent delivery

Many people appreciate when a friend or relative calls or sends a message to let someone know ahead of time that they intent to visit. It only takes a few moments to send the alert, but it allows time for the person visited to prepare for the arrival. If a new feature was introduced to a different type of visitation, it’s possible that the experience could be a welcome one.

Every day, people look forward to mail dutifully deposited into their mailboxes by their neighborhood carrier. Though someone might be able to guess the approximate day when an individual could have mailed a particular item, the person’s best guess might not be as accurate as they would like it to be. This could leave the individual longing for clairvoyance as to when to expect the item’s arrival. If the Postal Service were to introduce an email alert system to inform a customer about an item’s pending arrival, clairvoyance would be an unnecessary luxury.

For a customer to receive that email alert, the Postal Service could send a scanned external image of a mailpiece item to an email associated with the address of the customer. A customer could register with the service through the usps.com website and specify contact information.

The additional service wouldn’t exactly offer the same benefits as a digital mailbox, but it could provide a welcome benefit to eager customers without a prohibitive startup and maintenance expense.

Do you think a USPS email alert system for imminent mail delivery will help increase mail customer satisfaction?

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