Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Postmaster Dennis Harris states he's very proud of the efforts of employees there who not only wear the shirts, but also talk to their customers about our products.
In these times of declining volume and rocky economy, they are doing an exceptional job of trying to draw in new business. The products sell themselves once customers look and compare, but getting the customer's attention is our job. Way to go Glendale!
Monday, September 29, 2008
With a new and unpredictable fiscal year ahead for the Postal Service, it would be nice to have an almanack to guide the way. Sprinkled with some bits of wisdom to help navigate the problems here and there.
We have the Transformation Plan which helps guide us in a general direction. But for the day to day, on the floor and street operations, we have to stay true to our calling from day one - to deliver service.
For 2009, we have to emphasize finding out what that service should be. If we offer and deliver what the public needs we will have a course to follow. What do you think the public will need or want in postal services?
Friday, September 26, 2008
The hand-embroidered, machine quilted wall hanging of the Reno MSC area (in 1994) for ZIP Codes 894, 895, 897, and 961, (representing the largest land area of any SCF), was inspired by the original art work of former employee, Gary Wolf, and was drawn in 1994. This Blue Ribbon wall hanging took Judy approximately four months to complete just the embroidering.
Judy says she has always liked the drawing and when her Supervisor, Woody Blair, retired in 2006, Judy spent seven months making him a 5’ x 5’ quilt of this map. She then decided she'd like to have one of her own which became the winning entry.
I like her creativity! How can we use our creativity at work to make the postal service better?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I was able to retire when I was 42, but still "lived" another 42 years. But I was pretty busy in my retirement days with politics and thinking and tinkering.
What is the most outrageous thing you plan on doing after retirement?
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Meanwhile, EMA will raise 3 cents a gallon on October 11th.
I'm really glad we didn't have to deal with this fuel back when I was the first Postmaster General. Of course, those few years with the Pony Express weren't a cup of tea either.
What have you personally been doing to save on gas? Post your tips and we can all share a little savings.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I once said, "Eat to live, not live to eat." But I must confess, with peaches it's pretty much 50/50. I know they are good for me, but I also really enjoy them.
In my day, if I over indulged in rich pastries and such, I would surely suffer with gout. Which is why I also said, "To lengthen your life, lessen your meals."
But food fresh from the garden always seemed good for me. And when I ate good I was able to work better. How about you?
Do you have your own lovely garden? Do you try to keep your meals healthy and wise?
Monday, September 22, 2008
This is an image of a three-wheeled mail collection Indian motorcycle in Washington, D.C., in 1912. That's the corner of Pennsylvania Avenue and 12th Street. The motorcycle was used only on an experimental basis in DC.
Have you heard more engines revving on the highway now? Seen more fellow employees carrying helmets to work? Filling up a gas tank on a motorcycle, compared to the tank on a SUV, is relatively painless in spite of sky high prices. Many people are maintaining the size of their wallets by turning to the economic two or three wheel variety of transportation.
How about you? Do you ride one? Think they would work on a route?
Friday, September 19, 2008
Now you have those fancy barcodes. It's amazing that a letter can travel so far so quickly. Now machines can read a barcode and figure out where it was sent from and where it's going and when it was sent -- and probably more things like the best time of day to throw a pole out and catch a fish.
What do you think about the intelligent barcode?
Thursday, September 18, 2008
A Boulder, CO, clerk wrote me and said this. "While working the night shift, an OTR opened and a bunch of frogs were jumping all over the place...ooops somebody forgot special handling on these guys."
The same clerk wrote about a student at the University of Colorado received a pair of starched, stiff boxer shorts with a letter written on them. That's....unique.
Laura from Washington said she has seen a motorcycle engine and motorcycle tires come through with just an address tag and postage.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
And boy did we! The Junto Society developed a library and established volunteer fire and police departments, as well as a public hospital. We even helped found the University of Pennsylvania.
How about you? Are you working to make your community better? What can you do to help make the Postal community better?
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Experimental flights during air shows and carnivals had carried mail as early as 1911 in the United States, but the first regularly scheduled airmail service in the world began on May 18, 1918. That day, Army pilots in Curtiss JN-4H (“Jenny”) planes began flying mail from Washington, D.C., and Long Island, New York, via Philadelphia, for the Post Office Department, which always was eager to find faster ways to move the mail.
On August 12, 1918, the Department took over all phases of airmail service, using newly hired civilian pilots and mechanics and six planes manufactured by the Standard Aircraft Corporation. Each plane could hold 180 pounds of mail and a 160-pound pilot. The new planes had rudimentary instruments – fuel and temperature gauges, a tachometer, and a compass that jumped with the plane’s vibrations.
From the start, the Post Office Department wanted a route that would extend from New York to San Francisco. By the end of 1919, airmail service operated between New York and Chicago, and some cities in between. In 1920, planes carried mail from Chicago to San Francisco – during the day. As evening approached, the planes landed, and the mail was put on trains to travel through the night. In the morning, a plane again picked up and flew the mail.
One gray, wintry morning, however, on February 22, 1921, two airmail pilots took off from New York and two from San Francisco – the start of a relay to carry mail across the country by air through both day and night. The trip was considered so dangerous that only volunteer pilots were used. Just one of the east-bound flights made it all the way, with pilots using dead-reckoning to fly through a blizzard over new ground at times. The flight took 33 hours and 20 minutes and was a sensation as great as the first manned space flights later in the 20th century.
The Post Office Department had wanted to contract airmail flights from the beginning, but there were no takers. By the mid-1920s, the aviation industry had developed and, in 1925, Congress passed an act authorizing the Postmaster General to contract for airmail service. The Post Office Department immediately invited bids from commercial companies. The first commercial airmail flight in the United States flew on February 15, 1926, and, by September 1, 1927, all airmail was carried under contract.
An early airmail pilot who later headed the Civil Aeronautics Administration, Charles I. Stanton, said of the early days of scheduled airmail service:
We planted four seeds . . . . They were airways, communications, navigation aids, and multi-engined aircraft. Not all of these came full blown into the transportation scene; in fact, the last one withered and died and had to be planted over again nearly a decade later. But they are the cornerstones on which our present world-wide transport structure is built, and they came, one by one, out of our experience in daily, uninterrupted flying of the mail.
Monday, September 15, 2008
He had seen newspapers, using carriers' old fold and toss method, flying down the streets of his neighborhood, spreading the news to the wind rather than the intended homeowners and thought... "there must be a better way." He was right. He spent hours in his garage cutting rubber bands out of inner tubes and then traveled on his "off time" to present his better mouse trap to newspapers.
They liked his idea and business grew as he traveled and presented his idea to the industry. To utilize his travel time most effectively, he began to look for other potential markets and added office supply stores to his itinerary. He then pioneered band use for produce, flowers and the Postal Service -- one of the nation's largest purchashers of rubber bands.
And now you know, the rest of the story.
Friday, September 12, 2008
It definitely wasn't a "long life" vehicle. It was probably used on a contract route.
What will mail vehicles of the future look like? Will they actually run on corn?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Monday, September 8, 2008
A businessman in Vernal, UT, wanted to build a building that would include a bank. But the bricks were being manufactured in Salt Lake City -- 120 miles away. The freight charges were expensive for the short trip -- so the smart man figured that the mail would be cheaper.
He packaged up the bricks in 50 pound packets and mailed them off.
Read the rest of the story here.
With gas prices the way they are today, wouldn't it make sense for more companies to consider sending more of there items through the mail?
What's the most unique thing you've seen sent by the mail recently?
Friday, September 5, 2008
Postal VMF technicians support a nationwide rolling fleet of over 219,000 vehicles, the largest civilian fleet in the United States.
Nationwide, 193 postal VMF technicians took an on-line written test prepared by the National Center for Employee Development (NCED) on heavy-truck maintenance.
The top 10 scorers on the written test qualified as Super Techs, and earned a spot in the Postal Service’s 4th annual Super Tech heavy-truck skills challenge in June.
The 2008 heavy-truck Super Techs in photo are: Std L-R: Nick Knebel, St. Louis, MO; Charles Alexander, St. Louis, MO; Thomas Napier, Chattanooga, TN; Jim Robinson, St. Louis, MO; David Chaney, Portland, OR; Kelly Smith, Louisville, KY; and Thomas Higgins, Chattanooga, TN. Kneeling: Neil Cerrato, St. Louis, MO; and Don Barnett, Cincinnati, OH. (Doug Kuhn, St. Louis, MO, not pictured.)
The Super Techs had just 20 minutes per station to complete 10 hands-on diagnostic and repair challenges worth a total of 1000 points. The skill stations covered electrical, brakes, tire analysis, wheel ends, HVAC, engine, steering, preventive maintenance inspection (PMI), transmission, and electronic service information.
Higgins and Napier led the field and will represent the Postal Service in Nashville, TN, at the American Trucking Association’s national skills competition in heavy-truck maintenance in September.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Andi Lemm, at infoUSA, says their new account has been an overwhelming success. A process that once took 3-4 weeks now takes only five to seven days.
SFS can create accounts that have as many as 8,000 ship-to addresses. This program allows for revenue protection for business home offices, as the individual ship to locations have no access to an ACH or credit card account. In addition, monthly reconciliation reports are provided at no added cost to the account.
If you are looking for a convenient process to order stamps, please contact SFS at (816)545-1282 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.