Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Clear the box

Besides being the first Postmaster General, in my day I was also a great weather prognosticator.

We endured some rough winters. Currently my postal associates around the country are experiencing one of the toughest winters in years. That includes the northwest and the eastern Washington/northern Idaho part of the Spokane Postal District which has seen record snowfall this December.
Just in the past three weeks alone, a record more than 51 inches of the white stuff has fallen in the Spokane area. The photo to the right shows a rural mailbox surrounded by a giant size winter wonderland in the community of Sprague, located about 45 miles southwest of Spokane.

Benny the Blogger reminds all postal customers nationwide to always clear a safe, clear path and access to their mailboxes for letter carriers.
Got your own 'snowbox' photo? Send it here.
What do you think about delivering in the snow? Click here to comment.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Going nowhere fast

It used to be that if you were cremated, your only postal shipping option was "Registered Mail."

Now, you can fly in style, thanks to a revision to Publication 52, Hazardous, Restricted, and Perishable Mail.

The revision allows cremated remains to be shipped Express Mail, which is a great option if you want to be on time for your own funeral.


Source, Postal Bulletin 22242

Monday, December 29, 2008

Anticipation


Anticipation - no matter what people think of
USPS, or even what they say about their mail - everyone still feels anticipation when they open that box to retrieve the mail.



A New Year brings anticipation too. What direction will USPS take? What changes will there be in your job? What are you hoping for in 2009?









Friday, December 26, 2008

Giving back

Employees at St. Paul’s Riverview Station have built a tradition of giving back to their community. Each year they adopt a family in need and provide gifts and other essentials to brighten the holiday season. They’ve been doing it for more than 20 years.

“Riverview has a reputation for having a pretty close-knit group, both amongst ourselves and in our neighborhoods,” said letter carrier Diane Ellis Eckert. Sometimes they contact the local schools to find a family to help. Otherwise “we know our routes and we know our families.”

This year’s sponsored family lost their mother to domestic violence earlier this year. Volunteers shopped earlier this week and now a bounty of toys, stuffed animals, sporting equipment, winter clothing and lots of other goodies flows across the manager’s office, waiting to be wrapped and delivered. “Participation is 100 percent,” Ellis Eckert reports. “Everybody takes part in some way.”

Thursday, December 25, 2008

We deliver



A self portrait of Minnesota Letter Carrier Cystal Enger - capturing her frozen tears in the cold, cold December weather.


Merry Christmas from the staff of Corporate Communications

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

2009 Payroll calendar

Well....the year is about wrapping up. At this point, I'm about to burst. So much candy, cookies and sweets have been given by my customers at Ye Ole Post Office that now I'm convinced they're hoping to see me roll home just for laughs.

And there's more to go, with big dinners cooked by Mrs. Franklin .... hams, pies, turkeys and more trimmings than I can imagine.

So, there's no better time than now to think about next year -- days off, holidays and paydays. I just need a day to digest!

Click on the image to the right and you'll have a full calendar of this next year.

Ho Ho Ho

While Santa (Pat Reynolds) and Mrs. Claus (Marcela Juarez Rivera) greeted customer Aimee Caldwell-George, Retail Associate Steve Cowan was eagerly waiting to help with this mailing that was headed overseas.

These Denver Downtown Main employees and others helped kick off the holiday season with usps.com demonstrations, free gift wrapping, packing tips, cookies, hot chocolate and more.

Now that the season is almost over, let's hope some of the cheer hangs on into the new year!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mail Must go Through

Ever heard a customer say they were home bound because the weather was so bad, but then complain that the mail had not been delivered yet?

They take for granted that "nothing will stop you from your appointed rounds."

That's a good image to have. As you work to live up to it, make yourself #1 though. Take the time, watch the step, be careful. A little late is better than not at all.

And when you are back home and comfortable by the fire, remember there is a whole host of people who are grateful, even if you don't always hear it.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It’s a Wonderful Life! -- literally

It will truly be a Christmas to remember for 204-B Supervisor Eric Brooks and his family, thanks to the heroic actions of three of his fellow Denver Mail Processing Annex (MPA) employees recently.

On the night of Dec. 10, Brooks was working at his desk in the supervisor offices of the Denver MPA in Aurora, talking and joking with his fellow managers and co-workers. Suddenly, Brooks stood up, gasped and struggled to breathe while looking pale and distressed. His co-workers and supervisors there at the time included Tour 3 Acting MDO Ali Rashed, Mailhandler Paul Ramirez and Safety Specialist Paul Hill.

The three immediately sensed Brooks’ difficulty and rushed to help him. They all correctly assessed that Brooks was likely having some type of heart attack. They quickly went to his aid, placed him in a prone position, and began administering CPR. For several minutes, they worked furiously in attempting to get him breathing again and to get his pulse.
In the meantime, another worker called 911 for medical assistance. Within minutes, an emergency response team arrived on the scene. The paramedics quickly took over the excellent care and recovery efforts of Brooks initially provided by the trio. While Brooks remained unconscious and in still grave condition, the paramedics were able to get him stabilized and then taken to a local hospital. He spent the next few days in the hospital, but is now recovering very well and resting at home, with the hopes of returning to his job eventually.

Brooks is thankful for the three heros.

"I’ve very grateful to these guys. As far as I’m concerned they are heroes. It’s going to be a special Christmas to remember thanks to them."

260 Military Packages sent

Julia Townsend, an Idaho Falls resident wanted to send Christmas care packages to her son and other soldiers stationed In Iraq. She originally hoped to send 60 Priority boxes, but with the help of her employer and co-workers at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), the project expanded out into the community and she was able to secure enough donated goods to send 260 care packages.

Julia Townsend conceived Operation Iraqi Star, an INL project to provide Christmas gifts to US troops of the 25th Infantry Division recently deployed to the war zone in Iraq.

"This really strikes you hard when it is your child who is going overseas," Townsend said. "As a mom I can no longer protect my son. Instead, he is protecting me. So I am doing this for all the mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters who have relatives serving in Iraq. We just want them to know how loved they are and how very much we miss them."

The project grew with the help of local businesses and residents, and her original projection of 60 care packages grew to 260. Townsend was in contact with Rory Scott, Manager Customer Services throughout the process to make sure that mailing standards were met.

Local television News 8 covered the story as the 260 APO/FPO Flat Rate Priority boxes were delivered to the Eagle Rock Station for processing. Service and Sales Associates Bill Lynes and Mary Miller processed the custom forms and packages. The packages are being sent to three different soldiers who will give out the packages and play Santa to their fellow soldiers.
"Our employees didn’t mind the extra work," said Rory. "We were caught up in the spirit of giving, and were happy to help!"

Townsend doesn’t want the soldiers to feel forgotten until next Christmas, so she plans to do a similar project for Valentines Day. Click here to read the News 8 story and see the video. You may not be able to view the video on a Postal computer, but you can view from a home computer.
http://www.localnews8.com/Global/story.asp?s=9479670

Friday, December 19, 2008

No stopping us!

Despite record snowfalls yesterday, Spokane, WA, city carriers were not deterred. Roads and airports were closed. Businesses were shuttered all over town. Even the mall closed. But these carriers still found a way to make as many deliveries as possible.


Photo Courtesy Lisa Q. Nystuen
What was your toughest day delivering? How did it make you feel when you were done? Drop me a note in the comment section below this post.

Seeing double

The city of Meridian is one of Idaho's fastest-growing cities. Centrally located in the most populated area of the state, it is an important hub leading into the Boise Metro area. Last year a new carrier annex was added to help with the need for more carrier space.

This year, to help ease the lines at the retail counter, the Meridian Post Office has just added a "twin" Automated Postal Center (APC).

Last year, some customers took the time to report how happy they were with APCs.

Here’s a sampling:
"I love the APC in the Post Office. It made holiday mailing so easy!"
"I like the new APC. It’s easy to use and eliminates the need to wait in long lines at holiday time."
"I love the Automated Postal Center. It’s always open, and there’s no line. I come after work — 10:30 p.m. — mail all my packages and buy stamps using my debit card. It’s so easy."

This holiday season Meridian customers will have double the convenience with two APCs.

Nationally, the Postal Service is promoting increased use of APCs to reduce the wait time in line and to introduce more customers to the 24/7 convenience of APCs .

"Customer satisfaction surveys reveal that 91 percent of residential customers have never used an APC," VP and Consumer Advocate Delores Killette said. "So there’s a terrific upside to reaching out to more of our customers. First-time users tell us that they appreciated the employee showing them how to use the APC as they moved from ‘scared’ nonusers to ‘frequent’ APC users.

Killette urges postal employees to introduce more customers to the convenience of APCs.

Perhaps they’ll have a holiday experience like this one — "It’s Christmastime and very busy, but the line moved quickly. Employees were friendly and helpful. I used the APC to mail a package and an employee even checked to see if I needed help. Awesome!"

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Trading places

For the 2008 Combined Federal Campaign, Hawkeye Senior Plant Manager Jim Herrmann sponsored a drawing for employees of the Des Moines P&DC. Prizes included gift cards and merchandise contributed by local merchants. For a $1 contribution employees could enter a drawing for the prize of their choice.

Two popular items in the raffle were a private parking space for any month of the year as chosen by the winner, and the opportunity to win Herrmann’s labor for the day. The unions agreed to Herrmann’s craft work for a day.

Automation SDO Teri King was the winner of the drawing for the chance to reverse the roles with her boss for the day. On Friday, December 5th Herrmann kept his end of the bargain. King assigned him to work both as a mailhandler on the LCTS and as a mail processing clerk on a DBCS.

The employees helped Herrmann learn of things that were overlooked in implementing systems within the plant and he praised them for the positive experience.

The Postal Employee’s Relief Fund received nearly $2000 as the result of Herrmann’s initiative.
Benny likes it when postal employees give of their time and money. Any other stories out there? Especially during the Christmas and holiday season. Send an email to me by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nutcrackers

Carved nutcrackers were made in England and France as early as the 1400's, but the brightly carved ones now associated with the Christmas season were first crafted by German woodcarvers in the early 1800's. At first they were not associated with the holiday, and the 1816 publication of "The nutcracker and the Mouse King" by E.T.A. Hoffman was a dark tale not meant for children.

A friendlier adaptation by Alexander Dumas Pere was set to music by Peter Tshaikovsky and premeired as a ballet in Russia in 1892. In 1944 the Nutcracker was first performed in America by the San Francisco Ballet and ten years later the New York City Ballet presented it with new choreography by George Balanchine. Now it is America's most-performed ballet, making the nutcrackers collectibles and many are decorative only.


Glenn Crider is a rare craftsman who creates the nutcrackers from start to finish. He was commissioned to make the four that appear on this year's holiday stamps.


What do you think of the nutcrackers? Do you have a memory of one?



Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Fly the Friendly Skies

Pictured is the Denver International Airport postal station.

Customers here can stop by and mail items they don't want to pay baggage surcharges on. Or gifts they've purchased that won't fit in their luggage.

Many customers aren't aware of the postal services available at airports. What would be a good way to promote this?

Have you ever used a post office at an airport?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh to be retired

The Retirees’ Breakfast must go on!

Faced with having to cancel the annual event due to budget constraints, Topeka, KS, employees found a way to keep the tradition alive.

"This event has special meaning for us," said Postmaster B. Steven Pinkerton. "Thankfully, none of us is above begging! Our local Social and Rec committee contributed the majority of the funding, and donations from our current employees made up for the balance."

Approximately 50 grateful postal retirees attended the breakfast. Topeka employees past and present enjoyed the opportunity to mix and mingle. New friendships were made and relationships strengthened.

"The breakfast is great. It gives us time to come together and renew old acquaintances," said former City Carrier Paul Rodgers, who retired in 2006.

"This was my first time coming and it has been very enjoyable" said former Tecumseh, KS, Postmaster Waldean Miller, a 1993 retiree.

Former City Carrier Ernie Alexander, a 1985 retiree, summed up the event in one word – "Great!"

"I love the breakfast and this celebration has given me an opportunity to meet different retirees along with the retirees that I already know," said former City Carrier Bob VanDruff, postal class of 2006.

"Thanks for another great get-together for the retirees," said former City Carrier Jim Hinton, who retired in 2002. "I'm sure that if next year you have to charge a fee, everyone would still show up. You guys out did yourselves again this year."

"I am very fortunate to work with the entire Topeka team, and that includes our retirees," said Pinkerton.
Below is a picture of Topeka Postmaster B. Steven Pinkerton (l) visiting with with former Ulysses, KS, Postmaster Bill Miller, who retired in 1985.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Very carefully

Tis' the season for many packages.

And some will be breakable. For many people, this may be the only time of year that they send a package. So we all need to be careful in the way we handle them.

Give them a good memory.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The red and green attack

Soon, red and green envelopes will fill mailboxes across the country. Where did this tradition begin?

Christmas and holiday cards have been popular since 1875, when Louis Prang, a lithographer and German immigrant who settled in Boston, published his first holiday card for customers.

Lat year, Americans exchanged about 2 billion cards. The average American mails 26 greeting cards between Thanksgiving and Christmas -- up from 21 in 2004. 60 percent of all cards are mailed the first two weeks of December.

And just to balance things out, 15 percent of Americans send their cards out after New Year's Day.

Holiday stamps are common today -- with billions sold. But the very first holiday stamp was printed in 1962. The green and red 4-cent stamp featured a wreath, two candles and the words "Christmas 1962."


Photo by Marcy Earley

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

150th Birthday Envelope

The Mile HIgh city is celebrating it's 150th birthday this year and the Denver Post Office teamed up with the City to help celebrate.

The commemorative envelope shown at right is available for $7, and special postmark (not shown) is also available for free until January 30, 2009.

Send your requests to:
Denver's 150th Birthday postmark and/or souvenir envelope
951 20th Street
Denver CO 80202-9998

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Green your holidays


Earth911.com and the U.S. Postal Service have partnered to share an important message: Don’t take a holiday from recycling.

Waste output can increase as much as 25 percent during the holidays. Earth911.com and the USPS are presenting the “Green Your Holidays” channel, with simple, practical tips to make sure you don’t contribute to that statistic.

The Green Your Holidays channel shows how to reduce, reuse and recycle key products associated with the holidays, including Christmas trees, gift packaging, greeting cards and holiday lights. It also provides the opportunity for consumers to search more than 100,000 locations in the U.S. and Canada that recycle these products, and features guides to make holiday-related activities like parties and shopping more eco-friendly.

The USPS will be contributing valuable content about recycled content packaging, greening your mail and holiday cards, and insights on avoiding lines during the busiest times for the Postal Service. For more, visit http://earth911.com/seasonal/green-your-holidays/

Monday, December 8, 2008

If you use it, it will grow

I recently came across this great quote written by one of our own, Charles Mapa, the President of the League of Postmasters:

"Americans are a reciprocating people; if you send us a card or gift we are likely to return the gesture. America’s postal employees should view themselves as 'ambassadors of the mail.' We, as individuals, can help lead the cultural change back to the use of the mails. We can use it—or lose it. I choose to use it"

I wish I would have wrote this for one of my early bestsellers, but I'll give Mapa his due.
His point is, if we want to preserve this great organization , we have to believe in it. We have to believe in it so much that we use it.

We can't turn revenue around with just one little ole' stamp. But it can be the start of something great.

Using Mapa's logic makes sense. Send a card. Get a card. And others send cards. And it grows. What do you think about employees using the mail more?
(Photo credit Lisa Weber)

Friday, December 5, 2008

Postal Podcast

I just got done listening to Your Postal Podcast, v. 6 and my ears are tingling with delight.
I heard about the ultra cool new T3 delivery vehicle.

I also heard about a man who’s 1956 Chrysler 300 is featured on a new stamp. And there's a great story about a clerk who actually appeared on the Johnny Carson show.

And they have a very cool prize -- a chance to win a copy of the DVD set of the HBO, award-winning miniseries, John Adams. Not quite as good as the Ben Franklin miniseries (which hasn't aired -- or filmed-- or been written yet, but will certainly be a smash hit)

You can reach it from the upper right hand side of Your Postal Blog, or by clicking here.

If you have iTunes, an Ipod, or an MP3 player, you can subscribe to all future postal podcasts to get them automatically.

Understand, the Franklins are printing family. We like paper. But I have to admit, I kind of like this audio-stuff. I can put my headphones while I fly my kite. Wait. That's not such a good idea.

Anyway. Tune in. And drop me a note if you like this kind of stuff.





Thursday, December 4, 2008

From the comfort of your home

The Las Vegas, NV, Post Office had a unique demonstration. They brought a living room into the Post Office to show customers how easy it is to bring the PO into customers living room.

Thanks to Click-N-Ship and Free Package Pickup, you might just never have to leave home!

That would only work for a while in the Franklin home. Mrs. F. has a short tolerance for me. She doesn't quite like my constant quips, proverbs and sayings. But I have to test them before I print them and all of my "friends" scatter when they see me.

But I digress. Check out Click-N-Ship here -- it really is quite a service.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Be safe, not sorry

This accident happened recently in the CO/WY District when a postal employee was rear-ended by another driver.

Fortunately, the driver was wearing a seat belt and was not injured.

Remember, buckle up for safety. You never know what the other drivers are capable of!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Clean Up Crew

Rural Carriers and Associates at Summerlin Station, NV, decided to spend some time tidying up on two Fridays in October.


At a QWL meeting, the unsanitary, unsafe and unsightly condition of LLV's was discussed. So they decided to do something about it.


Volunteers showed up at 6:30, before the work day began for some of them, and they cleaned out the rural LLV's and vans. Sweeping and cleaning windows inside and out. Then they decided to extend the cleanup and did the city side LLV's and vans as well!


What industry! What teamwork! What sharing!
"As often as we do good, we sacrifice." ~ Ben Franklin

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pretty in Pink

Kesy Groves and Traci Bodlak are retail associates at South Sioux City, NE.

Kesy has been organizing a breast cancer day for the last 10 years. This year, the office sold 1918 of the stamps - $1054.90 in revenue.

And helped support a good cause. Kesy herself is an 18 year survivor and has a strong desire to help others. She gets brochures from the Cancer Society, and donates the freebie handouts herself.

I once said, "By diligence and patience, the mouse bit in two the cable." This cancer will be overcome with diligence.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Do you hear what I hear?

National Public Radio is calling the Friday after Thanksgiving the “National Day of Listening”. During this holiday season, NPR is encouraging people to ask someone in their lives; a grandparent, a friend, a neighbor, to tell their story. “By listening to their stories, you’re telling them that they matter and won’t ever be forgotten,” reads a statement on NPR’s website.

We might all benefit from a little “recreational listening” as the holidays draw near. Our conversations at work are dominated by the latest news about our business. Talk at home might not be any less stressful as we squeeze quick chats in between shopping trips, decorating, preparing for family gatherings, all added to the hustle of our regular lives.

Everyone has a story, so try to make some time for someone. Sit down with your child. Call your Mom, your Dad or that crazy uncle. Reach out to a co-worker during a break or look up one of those retirees you promised to stay in touch with but never seem to have the time for.

And then listen. You might be amazed at what you learn.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Snowmobile

This is an advertisement for a conversion item that the postal service tried using at one time.
The Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, has one on display.

No word on how successful they were, but we can guess since they didn't stick around long.

Maybe there's some kind of conversion or adaption USPS can use in other areas to help save some money.

Give us your best idea.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Smart Investing

While the financial markets may be down, the market for rare stamps seems to be red hot. For it's weight and size this stamp could be one of the most valuable commodities in the world.

No, that's not me, Benny, but George Washington pictured on the front. It has grills that consist of small square pyramids in parallel rows, impressed or embossed on the stamp. The object of the process is to break the fibers of the paper so that the ink from the cancellation would soak into the paper and make washing for reuse impossible. There were several stamps that look similar to this but had different grill patterns. Only the "B" grill are so valued - there are only four known copies of it still in existance.

Issued in 1868, the 3 cent stamp recently sold for $1,035,000 at an auction to an anonymous buyer who bid over the telephone.

With a current book value of only $250,000 this was a good inflationary hedge for the previous owner!

Friday, November 21, 2008

A Real Downer - Or A Way Up

It looks like we ended last year with 9.5 billion less pieces of mail. That's a lot of mail.

How can we generate those lost pieces of mail? These Everett, WA, Letter Carriers - Will Marcoux, Cindie Sieverson and Drew Dunnett -show they are ready to dig for some mail revenue.
What's your idea on how to turn this around?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Baghdad Bait & Tackle Shop

Scio, OR, Postmaster Pam Bush and radio station KRKT morning host Scott Schuler are shown with some of the donations that were collected to send to Camp Liberty in Iraq.

Several community members contribute to this cause including postal employees, firefighters, city council, Lions Club members, and memers of Vietnam Veterans of America.

Everything from fishing poles to frisbees are sent so that service members can find what they need to enjoy a get away for a few hours at a nearby lake.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

All That Jazz

A celebration of Latino culture and vibrant, colorful works of art was held in Denver, CO, in October. Unveiling the Latin Jazz Stamp were young performers from the Ballet Folklorico Internacional and Colorado/Wyoming District Hispanic Program Specialist Roger Ramirez. Dance performances were also given by the Colorado Conservatory for the Jazz Arts.

Museo Director Patty Ortiz commented that great stamp images emerge from great works of art. What do you think of commemorative stamps? What would you like to see depicted on one?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's becoming a virtual world


Now, you can rent and renew PO Boxes online -- without even going to the Post Office. Just go to this website to locate and reserve PO Boxes with a click of a mouse.

It even has a waitlist option for full Post Offices.

It's getting so I don't see any of my customers any more!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Every piece, every day

I said this a long time ago, but it is still applicable: “Never leave that till tomorrow which you can do today.” I’m glad the modern Postal Service believes in this.

The mail is cleared every day. It makes sense. Every day is fresh and clean and new. No regrets. I think postal customers like it – and deep down, so do we.

What do you think about every piece, every day?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Consider the Mailbox

This is a photo of some of the mail boxes that were submitted to the Postal Service when they first gave official approval to a design.

It's been a long time and the basic mail box still seems to suit America pretty well. People have often expressed themselves in a folk art way with their mail boxes.

Do you have any ideas for updating mail boxes?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mail Icons

Mail box, mail truck, mail man....these have become iconic expressions in our culture. But today there are so many variations it renders the icons out of date.

The mail "man" might actually be female. The mail "box" has taken on all sorts of shapes. And the mail "truck" is now a van, SUV, bicycle, boat, even a donkey!

But icons live on. The mail is such a part of every one's life that they can all relate to it. There is such a basic understanding of the overall purpose and meaning of the service that the public gets it no matter what forms it takes.

A more accurate description of what we do might be, "A mail person arrives by some form of transportation and delivers to some form of dedicated receptacle."

Kind of dry, but the mission is still simple.

Can we continue? Can we fulfill my centuries old dream of a united postal delivery?

Weigh in here and let me know!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spirit Team

The USPS team of 850 volunteers and family members including 51 Breast Cancer survivors participated in the Mile High City Race for the Cure Oct. 5th, 2008.

There were more than 60,000 participants in the race and the USPS team won the "Spirit Trophy" for having the most organizational team participants." It was a record seventh time USPS has earned the award.

There have been 835,202,000 Breast Cancer stamps sold since July 1998, and 63.9 million dollars have been raised for research.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Council Grove, KS

Blogs are not usually posted on holidays, but this is a chance to update the previous blog on 11/6 about the Oak Tree Post Office. One reader wanted to know where it was located.

*** UPDATE ***The Post Office Oak stump on the Santa Fe Trail in Council Grove, Kansas, a National Historic Landmark, was cut down on Tuesday, September 9, 2008, at nine am, because it was rotten in the center and was in danger of falling. This is one of the most historic trees in Council Grove. The stump is 20 feet tall and 13 feet in diameter. The Post Office Oak, about 270 years old when it died in 1999, had a cache (hole) near the base where travelers going west or east on the Santa Fe Trail left messages for other travelers. This was a common practice for 20 years. The messages might be about water, dangers or opportunities.

http://www.councilgrove.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=95:pooak&catid=36:historictour&Itemid=66

Monday, November 10, 2008

Once a Marine, Always a Marine

On Oct. 10, 2004, Kyle Anderson was about two months into his deployment in Iraq with the Marines when his life changed forever.

An improvised explosive device shattered his skull. The contents of the "dirty bomb" creted a massive infection.
But last Friday, Kyle stopped in to the Eagan Branch Post Office in suburban St. Paul, MN. He's pictured here with fellow Marine Bob MClean. He handed out Veteran's Day recognition pins to employee veterans and shared hugs, good cheer and an ever-present smile.
He walks with a cane, has little use of his right arm and is deaf in his right ear. Speaking is a chore because the inside of much of his mouth is paralyzed. So his mom, Eagan Branch Manager Mary Kylander, speaks for him. "He never gets mad, always keeps his spirits up and raises the spirits of everyone around him," she said. "He's fought like a hound to get where he is and he'd do it all over again if he had the chance."
Thank a veteran today.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Forwards or Backwards?

This row of drop boxes seem a little confused. Are they going forward or backward?

That's what it sometimes feels like with the Postal Service in general right now. We achieve record high service, but customer use drops off.

We cut costs to make gains, but then the price of gas goes sky high and wipes out the savings.

But there are 3 going forward and only 2 going back! We can keep moving forward. Even with setbacks, let's keep persevering and move the line forward.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Oak Tree Post Office

According to historical records, this tree used to stand in a campground area used by Santa Fe Trail travelers. It was used as a "post office" from the 1820's to 1840's.

Travelers going out west would leave messages about such things as water sources, and Plains Indians unrest, in a cavity at the foot of the tree.

The tree died in 1990, and was removed September 9th, 2008.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What is a Post Office?

This row of rural mailboxes is what people in Lonerock, OR, have labeled as a post office.

Lonerock is located at the bottom of the 1,000-foot-deep Lonerock Canyon, on the north slope of a spur of the Blue Mountains. The town is named for a huge boulder right next to the Lonerock Community Church. A very small, rural community actually served by a post office 25 miles away.

But this shows the urge that communities have to identify themselves, and a big part of that is their local post office.

Which makes me wonder, just what is a post office? Is it just another retail/service outlet like any other? Or do they still have a part of that original intent to "bind the nation together?" Is there something unique, special, and worth saving about My Post Office?

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Runaway LLV

This is an amazing video from a security camera. The carrier stops at a gas station, goes inside with the mail,and meanwhile his vehicle slips into reverse and loops around the gas station, out onto the highway, and back again. The carrier stops the vehicle just inches away from the gas pumps.

We were lucky this unmanned LLV didnt turn into an unmanned space flight from an explosion.

Think how many people could have been injured.

Stop the engine.

Set the park brake.

Easy.

(NOTE: IF YOU ARE AT A USPS COMPUTER, THE EMBEDDED VIDEO MAY NOT WORK. CLICK HERE INSTEAD.)

video

Monday, November 3, 2008

Blowin in the Wind

This windmill mailbox near Grover, CO, is pushing hard to keep up with the large turbine windmills in the background.

The hard scrabble years of trying to farm in such remote places are being rejuvenated with new technology that makes them part of the solution to today's problems.

Are you struggling to keep up? Or embracing the new technology and it's promise of helping to solve problems?

Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo who?

The creative folks in Maple Plain, MN, Post Office, are using the season to pitch postal products. I wish I was that creative. Back in my day, I tried the same thing, but the straw in my shirt was extremely uncomfortable.

This is a much better approach.
And also, this postal pumpkin in their lobby has a unique take on a Halloween Post Office.






Thursday, October 30, 2008

Postal Pumpkin Patch


Concept and design, courtesy of Dave Reynolds

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sharp Dressed Man


How's this for a great costume? Colbin is the Grandson of Wichita, KS, Carrier Ron Page.