Friday, May 30, 2008

Need a Post Office Box?

It's Only a Click Away U.S. Postal Service Post Office Boxes now can be found online at usps.com/poboxes. The new, online locator feature allows customers to find box availability, sizes and fees, as well as addresses, phone and fax numbers for each Post Office listed with available PO Boxes.

Benny likes!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Heads up

Here’s something I wrote a long time ago that I wish I could take back.

"If your head is wax, don’t walk in the sun."

I wrote that as a smart-aleck 24 year-old

Now that I’m more than 300 years-old, it’s not so funny since I’m the bald one.


Here’s a picture of one of our finest, Seattle P&DC Mailhandler John Rochelle. He and and I and thousands of others actually "have fun in the sun," despite my previous folly.

Do you have any coworkers who are like me, with “a head of wax” -- and proud of it! Send your photos to bennyblogger@gmail.com.






Photo courtesy of Seattle P&DC employee and award-winning photographer Frank Melchior.


See more of his work at:


Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mailhandler gives kidney, saves a life

Fifty-two year old Brockton Mailhandler David Fairbanks became a living organ donor just five months ago when he decided to go “under the knife” to save the life of a 65-year-old carpenter from New York. The two had never met.

Fairbanks kidney was removed on Dec. 20, 2007 at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital in Boston, MA and was immediately flown from to St. Barnabas Hospital in Livingston, NJ. where the recipient awaited the transplant.
"You get to a point in your life where you feel like you haven’t really done something extraordinary,” Fairbanks explained, “but I felt like this was something I could do.

Fairbanks returned to full duty just ten weeks after surgery and has since been “feeling fine” inside and out.

Do you know other postal employees who are doing "something extraordinary?" Tell Benny by clicking here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Who was the first?

A smarty-pants reader sent in this quiz:


Who was the first Postmaster General of the United States?

Choices:
Benjamin Franklin
Pierre L’Enfant
Richard Bache
Samuel Osgood
Return J. Meigs


According to this reader, George Washington appointed Samuel Osgood on September 26, 1789, making him the first. But "not so fast," says Jennifer Lynch who serves as a research analyst in the USPS Historian's office.

She quotes Publication 100, the history of the Postal Service.

"Benjamin Franklin served as Postmaster General until November 7, 1776. He was in office when the Declaration of Independence created the United States in July 1776, making Franklin the first Postmaster General of the United States. America’s present Postal Service descends from the system Franklin placed in operation."


She also said, "Samuel Osgood was the first appointed under the U.S. Constitution, which, according to the Library of Congress' website, established the U.S. government as it exists today, so some might argue that this makes him the first U.S. Postmaster General."

I think our reader is just trying to make me look bad. After all, I did all the hard work. It took us a few years to write the constitution after we declared our independence, but we were still a nation and I was the Postmaster General.

But no way am I giving up this blog to Sammy. Nor am I giving up my chain of dollar stores. Nor am I giving up my place on the $100 bill. Sammy can get his own stuff.

What are your thoughts?


Samuel Osgood

Friday, May 23, 2008

Purple Heart finds its way home to postal clerk

After 38 years, Kansas City Box Section Clerk Raymond Teat finally got his Purple Heart.

As a private first class in the Army's 25th Infantry Division serving in Vietnam, he was severly injured by a rocket-propelled grenade.

In a ceremony earlier this week, he received his medal thanks to some perserverance by his postal supervisor and help from Congressman Sam Graves.

The missing medal wasn't the only snafu. According to the Kansas City Star, he was sent home by Army medical authorities. But they weren't familiar with postal state abbreviations and Teat ended up in Montana instead of Missouri. He did eventually get back to the Show-Me state.

A big Benny salute to Mr. Teat and all the other USPS veterans who have defended this great nation. Your sacrifices are proof that that what we did 232 years ago was worth it. America - an enduring beacon of hope. Best Memorial Day wishes to all.




Kansas City Box Clerk Raymond Teat with his wife, Cathy.
See news coverage of a Kansas City ceremony honoring five employees who are Purple Heart recipients here and here.


Thursday, May 22, 2008

A food drive by any other name

One reader wrote in and said this:

"Maybe it's time for all the parties (NALC and USPS) to come together and just call it the USPS food drive. In our local paper today it said the 'letter carriers …' This drive involves many rural carriers, clerks, Postmasters, and other USPS employees. Maybe it’s time for all us to come together and drop labels for the common good."

The NALC founded the food drive. They promote it and most of their members participate. But we know that regardless of who's name is on it, we all love to help.

Rolling up our sleeves is a Postal Service tradition. In my day, everybody did everything for everybody and it looks like the same spirit still exists. Thanks to employees of all stripes, the NALC Food Drive was a big winner again.

I remember reading Shakespeare as a lad, squinting at those words illuminated by candlelight deep into the night. In Romeo and Juliet, he wrote, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet."

What do you think? Click here to comment.

Port Orchard, WA, carriers got big thanks from the South Kitsap Helpline Foodbank.











Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Working at the carwash...er...the Post Office

The cleanest rural vehicles are at Medical Lake, WA -- at least until the next rain storm.

It was a long winter and the rural route vehicles wore dirt like battle wounds. Now, he could have complained about them, instead Postmaster Stan Johnson took a sponge and a bucket and did the duty himself. That's my kind of leader.

"I appreciate the way they did their job. There was snow everywhere," he said. "We had boxes down and weather problems for a long time. And they delivered the mail every day."

Next time, Johnson hints that he might clean the inside of the rural carrier vehicles.

Ol' Benny doesn't have a vehicle -- they took away my license when I turned 142, but I do have a couple of mares than need brushing. What do you think, Johnson? You up for that?



Postmaster Stan Johnson, Rural Carriers Cindy Farrington, Chris Howe, John Sodoma, Margaret Rux- Shannon

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Salmon says

King Salmon season is just around the corner, and the fishing haven of Kenai, AK, is gearing up for the run up the Kenai River. Thousands of fishermen will put their waders on and try to hook into one of the giants.


Even the Post Office is wading into the water. This lobby display case has a eerie looking replica of a King named "Uncle Salmon." He's "hooked on Kenai," and is promoting Priority and Express Mail with mail addressed to "Small Fry -- somewhere in the Pacific Ocean."


Thank goodness there's no Delivery Confirmation on this!



Photo courtesy of Mark Daly

Monday, May 19, 2008

You write the caption - Dog awareness week

What kind of caption should this photo have? Click on "comments" below this post to add your idea. We'll select a winner next week!





(Photo courtesy of Wichita KS, City Carrier Debbie Rook.)

Friday, May 16, 2008

Doing it their way

Four Salt Lake City Holladay Station Retail Associates dressed as Frank Sinatra to help push his stamp.


From Left to right are Linda Herrin, Kathie Singleton, Eric Fields, and Howard Cohne.

Nice to see some excitement over this stamp!
Send your images to bennyblogger@gmail.com or comment here:

Food drive was a hit

The NALC/USPS Food Drive was a big hit, and I couldn't be prouder of all of you.
Back in my day, we never had an effort like this. Citizens. Postal employees. The NALC and USPS all coming together for something that is so good on every level.

The figures are still being compiled, but it seems to be a near-record year!

Send your Food Drive photos, comments or favorite encounters with customers to me at bennyblogger@gmail.com





Beaverton, OR, City Carrier Brad Melland shows off his haul. Photo courtesy of Ronald Anderson.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Old Blue Eyes? You’re looking at him

I had a chat with Sinatra last night. He was singing those songs over and over again. I was just waiting for the guy in the white shirt to come out with the checkered tablecloths! I told him that back in the day, I was known as Ole’ Blue Eyes. Later on in life I had to wear one inch thick eyeglasses (that I invented, by the way) that diminished the intensity of the color – but the baby blues were still singing!

So, dear reader, who’s got the better eyes? Your friend Benny or this Franky-come-lately?




Want a voice in this? Take the poll on the right side of this blog.

Massive beetles invade Post Office

"Earl, what's that scratching sound? It's coming from that parcel over there. Oh no. Oh no. Run!"

Customs agents seized more than two dozen giant beetles , some the size of a child's hand , from an overseas package after Mohnton, PA, employees heard the insects making scratching noises from inside a parcel.


Read the full story here.
What's the strangest thing you've seen come through the mail? Tell me at bennyblogger@gmail.com.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Start spreadin the news, Sinatra gets his dues

Today, Frank Sinatra gets his stamp. Way to go, Frank. I know the thrill you must be feeling. I’m not braggin', but I’ve been on dozens of stamps. But the real excitement is to get your mug on money.

That $100 dollar bill is a favorite of mine. But I’m not sure I like the enhanced lines on my face – it makes me feel old just looking at it!

Click here for a chance to win plenty of Sinatra music and collectibles. Also, the BIG prize -- a 52 inch HDTV television and sound system. Also, they are giving away ten second place prizes -- baby blue IPODS.

Someday, ole Benny will get his own link for a contest. But for now, give up for Frankie!
What do you think of the new Sinatra stamp?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Reflections: Price change day

"So, do I need a one cent stamp with this Forever Stamp?"
"How much are ten, 1 cent stamps?"
"Didn't prices just go up?"
"Did you get a raise?"
"How long are these Forever Stamps good for?"

There were many, many questions yesterday. They will probably continue all week. Price changes are never easy, but hopefully this year the Forever Stamp helped a little.

Here, Spokane's Shadle Garland Station APWU Clerk Craft Director Jeff Hedspeth helps a customer with stamp selection.

What will you remember about this week?
After all, it's a New Era for the Postal Service!

Judy wrote and said this:

"It was very busy at the Post Office in Walnut Grove MN. People were buying 1 cent stamps and asking about the Forever stamp value. Adjusting to the new rates is always a challenge for our customers as well as postal employees. The Forever stamps made the transistion much easier."

Photo: Lisa Nystuen

How are things going for you? Tell us by clicking here:

Monday, May 12, 2008

What a day

Today was a real rush at “ye ol’ Post Office.” The price of stamps went up just a little today – just like everything else in my store has gone up. While some weren’t thrilled, most just took it in stride. I was busy answering questions all day. That Jefferson kept coming by, with his “what venture hath wrought you this day?” kinds of questions. And he kept asking things like, “Is it spelled ‘colour’ or ‘color’?" I told him to go ask Webster – he wrote the book on this stuff.

Anyway, how was your day? Leave a comment below.

Friday, May 9, 2008

The skinny on new postal prices

I wanted to get the scoop (a word from my newspaper days) on the new postal prices that go into effect May 12, so I went straight to the source at www.usps.com/prices. Some prices stayed the same – some went up.

Personally, I like the volume discount for Priority Mail. I have all kinds of inventions and prototypes taking up space in my basement. Maybe I’ll put them up for auction.

I need to mail some things to some of the old crew -- maybe some words of wisdom on a postcard – that will cost me 27 cents.

What are you hearing on the new prices?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Welcome

Welcome to Your Postal Blog, the perfect place for members of the postal family to share their local news, interesting thoughts and ideas, amusing stories and fun photos.

Your Postal Blog operates on the notion that, sometimes, postal employees just need a good laugh. So, here's a prime online place to do just that. Your Postal Blog is a great place to share the stuff that didn't quite make it into your local news media or USPS newsletter. It's also a haven to share your fun postal experiences, quips and quotes, anecdotes, and whatever else catches your fancy. (All we ask is that your be considerate of others: No flaming. No shaming. And no posting of other folks' news without their permission.)

Each post has a "comment" option and we welcome your feedback. Just click on it and choose "name" or "anonymous." And send us your ideas or suggestions by clicking here. Let the blogging begin!

Monday, May 5, 2008

USPS serves up Wild Turkey

This wild turkey decided to find a new roost inside the Omaha P&DC last week.

While the dock door was open, the bird flew in. Watch this short clip and listen to the hilarious comments.

video

The turkey then decided to take flight inside the sorting equipment, creating quite a fuss.

He eventually flew out on his own.

(Video courtesy of Kraston Scott)

video

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Benny weighs in on the Forever Stamp

Forever stamp. I like that idea. It’s kind of timeless – like me. No one likes changes to prices, but it’s a part of life. I was buying feed for my horse the other day and spent almost $4 a bucket!

But this Forever Stamp is something I should have thought of back in the day. Let’s see – stamps in my day went for 2 pence, which is worth about $640 in today’s prices. So that would have been a great deal. I’ll buy a whole bunch and in another 300 years, who knows what they’ll be worth.

What do you think about the Forever Stamp?

Anybody else buying these?


Click on the "comment" section below this post.


Thursday, May 1, 2008

Mmmmmm chocolate

In 2001, Swiss Post created calorie-free “Concosuisse stamps,” – chocolate scented stamps.

The stamps were shaped like a chocolate bar and wrapped in a piece of paper to look like foil.