“Epitome of perfect customer service”

Evergreen DCU Acting Manager Mike Holguin with Supervisors Kennedy Baily and Mark Murray.

Evergreen DCU Acting Manager Mike Holguin with Supervisors Kennedy Baily and Mark Murray.

When customers Rod and Patti recently had difficulty opening their mailbox, the problem was a highly concerning one. The couple had been expecting important medical and insurance documents in the mail related to Patti’s upcoming brain surgery and needed immediate access. While Rod’s key fit into the mailbox lock, it refused to turn and grant access to the box’s contents.

Rod visited the Hillsboro, OR, Beaverton Evergreen Detached Carrier Unit early the next morning for help with his box. Acting Manager Mike Holguin realized the severity of the situation and drove to the couple’s home to render aid.

“Mr. Holguin immediately recognized the uniqueness of my situation and, without hesitation, offered to meet me at our mailbox and do whatever was necessary to solve the problem,” said Rod. “Shortly after I returned home, Mr. Holguin arrived and quickly determined that the lock’s latch had been blocked by a Starbuck’s promotional gift box that must have been delivered on the day our lock stopped functioning properly. Mr. Holguin was friendly and sincere, and he made us feel like our peace of mind was his top priority.

“Mr. Holguin is the epitome of perfect customer service and supervision. If every supervisor or manager modeled himself or herself after Mr. Holguin, this world would be a much better place.”

Holguin was happy to assist the couple and hopes that others would choose to do the same if given the opportunity.

“The response from Rod and Patti is very humbling,” said Holguin. “We go throughout our days making sure that we follow the plans and processes. It’s feedback like this that keeps our heads up and wanting to continue the effort to give our customers the service that they expect.

“Going out to the street to help a customer like Rod and his wife is just part of our job,” Holguin added. “We are asked to complete many tasks in a day’s work, but being able to put a smile on a customer’s face is what charges up our batteries to continue our daily efforts.”

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Doing the Right Thing

Omaha, NE, Millard Highlands Station City Carrier Assistant Chris Knoblock

Omaha, NE, Millard Highlands Station City Carrier Assistant Chris Knoblock

When a motorist recently backed into a customer’s mailbox and drove off without informing the homeowner about the accident, the action might be concerning to someone who witnessed it. That’s exactly what crossed one employee’s mind when he saw the act.

Omaha, NE, Millard Highlands Station City Carrier Assistant Chris Knoblock was on his route when he witnessed the scene as it unfolded. When the driver didn’t do the right thing by taking responsibility for his action, Knoblock knew he had to intervene. He wrote down the motorist’s license plate number and the contact information for his station and placed it in the mailbox.

The homeowner never called the station to ask for additional details, but thanks to Knoblock’s attentiveness, the owner had the information he needed to pursue the matter further.

Mailbox Helps Firefighters Stay in Touch with Friends and Loved Ones

Mailbox and firefighters

The Wenatchee valley area in north central Washington state suffered severe wildfires early this summer that destroyed a number of homes and thousands of acres of forest land.

Fire fighters from around the northwest spent weeks battling the fires. They set up an Incident Command Center at the Cashmere Middle School where the fire fighters established temporary quarters.

Cashmere City Carrier Jim Kimber came up with a plan to assist the away from home fire fighters to keep in touch with their families. With approval from Cashmere Postmaster Steve Pierson, Kimber designed and built a secure box for fire fighters to deposit outgoing mail. He set it up in the camp and stopped by each day to collect the mail.

Kimber received a letter of thanks from Nathan Rabe, Incident Commander. It read in part:

“At the peak of the incident, we had almost 400 fire fighters and support crew working to contain the fires.  (We) would like to thank you for helping (us) get set up with a mailbox. Your hand-crafted box made it possible for our fire fighters to send letters back to their loved ones, keeping them in touch. We also appreciate your help in picking up the mail.”

NextGen Delivery

Letter Carrier JD Kohl demonstrates the capacity of the new mailboxes.

Letter Carrier JD Kohl demonstrates the capacity of the new mailboxes.

Letter Carrier JD Kohl shows off the new NextGen mail box, part of more than 125 in an operational trial in a Broomfield, CO subdivision. Customers volunteered to have their boxes replaced by USPS maintenance at no charge. The boxes will accommodate standard Priority Mail boxes and nearly 80 percent of all parcel box sizes.

“It’s a real convenience to the customer,” said Kohl. “The box protects the package from the weather. It also may save the customer from coming to the Post Office if they aren’t home.”

Broomfield Postmaster Jamie Osborne also touts the safety and maintenance aspect. “This eliminates trips for the carrier along sidewalks and up steps to porches,” he said. “It also should save on vehicle maintenance, eliminating wear and tear on starters and transmissions.”

A USPS film crew recently documented delivery to the new boxes, which are only in four locations across the country.

Special Delivery

Young mail enthusiasts drop letters in the outgoing mail slot at the Leadville, CO, Post Office.

Young mail enthusiasts drop letters in the outgoing mail slot at the Leadville, CO, Post Office.

At an early age, children are taught a variety of life skills such as reading, writing, tying  their shoes, and at one education center in Colorado, how to mail a letter.

Each year, preschool children at The Center, an early childhood education school in Leadville, create mailboxes in their classrooms and ask friends and family to mail them letters during the “Mail Month” of February. When letters are delivered to the school, one child is chosen to dress up as a carrier and deliver the special messages to the mailboxes. A different child is chosen for the task each day.

In addition to the experience of receiving letters, the young mail enthusiasts also visited the Leadville Post Office to mail their own letters to friends and family. During their field trip, the children also took a behind-the-scenes tour of postal operations at the facility.

Under Lock and No Key

Under lock and no key

Thieves have a knack for taking what’s dear to their victims, and they often don’t limit their search for useful items to what’s conveniently located in a trash can. With that idea in mind, some safety-minded manufacturers are touting the benefits of high-tech locks on a familiar driveway sentry.

Keyless deadbolt technology using a numeric keypad has been around for a number of years. Combining both ease of use and safety, the devices promise protection against intrusion as well as convenience for the owner. Just like deadbolts on a door, mailboxes have also entered the keyless lock revolution.

Mailboxes designed with 14-gauge steel doors requiring a code on a keyless entry pad for access are available to satisfy those looking for increased protection of their mailed valuables. The boxes are designed with a slot for depositing articles into the receptacle and a special compartment for outgoing items.

As advanced technology continues to develop, more security options for protecting ones valuables will certainly follow.

What technologies do you think will be used to protect valuables in the future?

Boxing with History

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Historic mailboxes have great character and a strong presence, easily catching the appreciative eye of passersby. Ornate details and quality craftsmanship of the first-class guardians are reminders of a time very different from the one we live in today.

This particular mail chute, in the lobby of a large, historic building in downtown Denver, CO, brings a sense of wonder and curiosity about the era in which it was constructed. To this very day, decades after its construction, the polished sentry continues to stand guard over the mail entrusted to it.

If you come across a classic mailbox during your travels that you think others would find interesting, send it here for possible inclusion in a future post.

What Would You Say?

Bull

“Go ahead. Make my day.”

If you were delivering mail to this box, what would you say to the bull?

Post Danmark to Reduce Mailbox Access

Post Danmark

Digital migration has forced Post Danmark to consider cost cutting efforts that wouldn’t have been conceivable just ten years ago. That’s because the amount of letters sent through the system has been cut in half since that time.

Post Danmark will be removing 1,500 mailboxes from service within the next few months to rein in costs of service. The remaining boxes will be redistributed to ensure adequate availability. In addition to new placement, collection frequency from these boxes will be reduced to further trim costs.

Earlier this year, the struggling postal organization announced that it would be reducing the number of post offices around the country and adding services inside strategic supermarket locations. Post Danmark encourages customers to search its website for a mailbox or facility near them to avoid confusion with network changes.

What do you think of Post Danmark’s solution to reduced mail volume?

New Collection Box Design

In the United Kingdom, Royal Mail has recently honored its Team Great Britain gold medalists in the Olympic Games by painting a collection box gold for each gold medal won. It’s a positive way to show the spirit of pride for members of the community that have excelled in great achievements.

Changing the paint scheme of collection boxes for certain events or individuals isn’t something new. In 2007, the USPS graced many of its boxes with the likeness of R2-D2, the famous droid from the Star Wars movie franchise. The temporary makeover sparked great interest and enthusiasm for fans of the poplar character as well as the Star Wars themed stamps issued that same year.

Alteration of a collection box skin doesn’t occur with great frequency, however. The standard blue design is seen as the beacon of an institution that stands behind its “We Deliver For You” motto. As prominent as these stalwart boxes are, a temporary makeover isn’t completely out of the question as a possible promotion campaign for a new Postal Service product release.

If a new promotional skin were to be developed for collection boxes, what do you think that design should be?

  • Hello, I'm Benny the Blogger: I'm the world's most famous postal employee. My hobbies are snappy quotes, kite flying and publishing. I was born Jan. 17, 1706, but don't call me old.

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