Friday, January 30, 2009

Five day delivery - what do you think?

Take the poll, found to on the upper right corner of this blog.

There are a few options.
1) Keep things the way they are. (We've done it for hundreds of years and it's not worth the PR and service hit.)
2) Skip Saturday delivery.(Catch up on Monday. Perhaps we could still deliver P.O. Boxes on Sat. Just no physical delivery)
3) Deliver on Saturday, but skip delivery on Tuesday (Tuesday is a light day anyway.)
4) Another possiblity. (Use the 'comment' tab below to tell me your alternative.)

To comment on any of these, click here.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

PMG on the stage. What do you think of what he said?

Around here, we generally try to keep things on the light side. But yesterday, Postmaster General Jack Potter testified before a Senate subcommittee on the financial health of the Postal Service. Read it here. Watch it here.

He presented options for working our way through the current economic downturn. His biggest priority was to call for relief from the prepayment of retiree health benefits. The 2006 Postal Law makes us prepay future retiree health care costs. We are the only government agency that is required to fully fund all projected retiree health care costs.

A modified schedule of payments would allow the Postal Service to focus on current financial needs during this crisis. This change would neither increase the health benefit premiums paid by current or future Postal Service retirees, nor would it affect their benefits. And neither proposal would involve tax subsidies.

As an alternative, the PMG offered a 5 Day Delivery plan that could save roughly the same amount of money. It would be a temporary solution only during periods of low mail volume, possibly once or twice a month.

So, good readers of Your Postal Blog, what do you think of what he said?

Click here to comment.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Your Postal Podcast, #8

The latest Your Postal Podcast is ready for your listening pleasure. Go to

World's Largest Mailbox?

Iowa Rural Carrier Nick Romney built what he claims is the world’s largest mailbox. He is shown here with his son, Mike.

What do you think? Seen anything larger?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Duck Stamp

Adding a new twist to the term,"Duck Stamp," Chillicothe, MO, City Carrier Donna Prothero decoupaged this duck decoy using hundreds of cancelled stamps, some going back to the 60's.

It was all part of a community fund raiser, which auctioned off 29 hand painted decoys to benefit the local food shelter and rescue mission.

Dubbed, Stamper, the postal duck sold for $80.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Serve Yourself

Brian Smith of Fort Collins, CO, is shown wading through snow to make his appointed rounds. It makes me want to go out and give him some hot chocolate!

As Postmaster General in the very beginning, I never really saw all that we would become. But one thing is the same, the employees who do a good job every day keep us all proud.

I once said, "if you'd have a servant like you want, serve yourself." And that's how we deliver the mail - just like we would like to receive it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

All About a Box

Ever notice just how extensive the mailbox icon is? It appears in ads and movies and most frequently when someone is trying to depict our everyday world. Next time you watch a movie, notice if there is a mailbox or collection box in the background of any shots.

How often do you see a mailbox icon in print ads? Too bad USPS can't collect a fee for every time it has been used!

It's a part of our lives, our history, our national cultural fabric.

This print ad was in a bridal magazine. What do you think they were trying to convey with it?

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Priority Box Image

Here's an example of some postal products being used to promote other items.

A group of pin up girls called the Pin Up Angels are selling their
posters and raising money to donate their photos and other gift items to troops overseas.

In a recent magazine article this Pin Up Angel was shown posing in front of a stack of APO/FPO priority boxes ready to ship to troops.

One thing for sure, the flat rate boxes are building an identity for USPS shipments. Easily recognized the world over.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Mail to go

Not all Post Offices are in buildings. We have branches on the Internet (USPS.COM), with rural carriers, and also mobile Post Offices.

I just came across a great story about Gas City, AZ, mobile Post Offices that ran in to the Arizona Daily Star. Click on the link below for the slide show.
What do you think about mobile Post Offices?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A greener shade of blue

Have you checked out the latest USPS "green" website --

You'll learn about renewable paper sources used for envelopes, 100 percent recylable Priority Mail supplies,

You'll also learn how to calculate savings and help the environment by mailing and shipping from the online Post Office that is always open. "Skip the Trip." I like that idea.

And did you know that we:
  • Recycled 274,000 tons of paper, plastics and other waste in 2008?
  • Increased alternative fuel use by 61 percent since 2005?
  • Retired 10,000 non-energy efficient vehicles and replaced with fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles?
  • Have won more than 75 major environmental awards?

You can find all this information -- and much more, at

On the Sideline

It's that time of year! Be careful, be very, very careful.

Some derailments in life are easily seen afterwards, not so plain before hand. That's why we have to constantly be aware of what might happen.

Some things that we get "stuck" on just won't budge. Can't do it on our own, gotta get help.

How do you handle the things that you get hung up on?

Friday, January 16, 2009

"Dude, who stole my pallet?"

Recently the Denver Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service participated in a national initiative to assist USPS recover missing mail equipment, particularly, black and orange plastic pallets.

The effort involved 235 Inspectors nationwide who recovered more than 35,000 pallets and other USPS mail equipment.

The recouped pallets alone saved the USPS approximately $700,000 in replacement costs.

Twenty-two Denver Division Inspectors visited more than 130 locations, over a ten state area.

Some of the equipment recovered included:

  • 5,400 pallets

  • 12 pallets of #75 sleeves

  • Dozens of "pumpkins"

  • Hundreds of flat tubs

  • and a variety of other USPS mail equipment.

Inspectors found mail equipment being misused at various locations including major mailers, recycling centers, printers/publishers and pallet refurbishing companies. Near Denver, CO, Inspectors found more than 2,200 USPS pallets at a major publications mailer.

In St. Paul, MN, a pallet refurbishing company had several hundred pallets stacked 12 feet high. A company spokesperson advised “they just didn’t know what to do with them”.

In the past two years the USPS has spent approximately $65 million on 3.4 million pallets. Of the 3.4 million pallets, on an average day, there are only about 40,000 pallets available at the Mail Transport Equipment Service Centers. In FY 09, the USPS plans on spending an additional $41 million on cheaper and lighter weight plastic pallets. The lighter plastic pallets will cost about $20 each, saving the USPS approximately $4 per pallet.

So where have all the pallets gone?

USPS pallets are being hoarded by companies who keep stacks of them “for a rainy day”, store their equipment or inventory on the pallets, or use them in their warehouses to stack USPS property. The USPS estimates that many of its plastic pallets have been taken over seas. Many ports do not accept wooden pallets, making the USPS plastic pallets more valuable in some countries.

The USPS loans out their equipment as a courtesy for the customer. It is expected this equipment will be used for the purposes intended, to assist in the transporting of mail. It is recommended that a customer should only have a seven-day supply of USPS equipment on-hand.

If a customer has more than a seven day supply of equipment or if the USPS equipment is being misused, the customer should be informed to return the excess USPS equipment, so it can be redistributed. For large quantities and bigger equipment like pallets or hampers that customers cannot transport, they should complete the following easy pickup request at

Here is the link on the MTE posters .

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sunflower award

Who is that caped man with flowers?

Topeka, KS, Gage Center Station Retail Associate Brian McCann was presented the annual Sunflower Award which is given to the Topeka employee who provides exceptional service.

"We're proud of Brian for earning this award," Topeka Postmaser Steven Pinkerton said. "He represents all the fine postal employees in Topeka."

Customer John Bowes said, "He is always upbeat and willing to go the extra mile."

Customer John Ulmer added, "He is professional, efficient, knowledgeable, competant, and has a good sense of humor!"

McCann said he was honored to be selected from so many worthy candidates.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Day is Done

I have written often about the importance of working hard.
But I also said, "he who takes rest is greater than he that can take cities."

At the end of a good productive day, it is just as important to get some good rest. In fact, not getting enough rest can be dangerous according to a study by the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. It reports that getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night, two or more times per week, can double your chances of having a heart attack.

So when the day is done, and you've contributed your best to getting the mail delivered -- go home and get some adequate rest. It's the best thing you can do for yourself and the Postal Service!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Open up and say....


Thanks for the photo, Anita Miller, Grand County, CO

Friday, January 9, 2009

RCA wins a cool million

Now I've been known to be a great competitor, having invented or played a number of games and contests in my day, so I want to congratulate Loveland, CO, Rural Carrier Associate Shane Schroeder.

Recently, Schroeder, who's worked part-time for three years as a rural carrier associate, won $1 million dollars as the national champ of a fantasy football contest. He beat out more than 7,000 other competitors from across the nation after playing a ten week season and the playoffs with other top scorers.
Shane won an all-expenses paid free trip to Las Vegas just before Christmas where he was honored at the Bellagio Hotel by the contest sponsors and press. Schroeder was presented as the national Fantasy Football winner by former NFL great Jerry Rice.
Besides his million dollar winnings, Schroeder received a Fantasy Football jacket and champion trophy as seen in this photo.

Asked about his fabulous football feat, the humble Schroeder - who also works full-time as a youth corrections officer - said "it was awesome. I plan to help out my parents with the money, pay some bills and invest the rest. And I plan to keep working both my jobs. I like working for the Post Office."

He's a winner at work too. One of his supervisors, Loveland Customer Services Manager J.R. Mcentee said, "Shane does a great job for us, is a hard worker, and is well-liked by everyone. It couldn't have happened to a better guy."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

One Stop Shop

Passport fairs are regularly held in conjunction with swearing-in ceremonies for new citizens at the Federal District Court in Las Vegas.

USPS partnered with the Social Security Office and the Clark County Voter Registration Office to create a one-stop-shop for new citizens.

These customers need a social security card, voter registration and passports. Why not do it all at once?

Delivering such service brings in the revenue. And getting multiple agencies to work together for the common good is a Benny kind of idea!

Postmasters who assisted were Chris Pearce, Moapa, NV; Julie Davis, Alamo, NV; Sheila Mejia, Bunkerville, NV and Myrna Yoshida, OIC Blue Diamond, NV.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A story that will warm

Recently, a local Kansas City dry cleaning chain solicited donations of winter coats for needy children. Janet Jackson, an acting supervisor at the Shawnee Mission, KS, Oxford Carrier Annex asked employess there to drop off any unwanted children's coats with her so the coats could be dry cleaned and donated to local charities.

"I expected we might be able to gather 15 or 20 kids coats -- which would have been great," said Jackson. Instead, the Oxford employees delivered more than 50 coats, which Jackson was more than happy to drop off at the dry cleaners.

"This is another great example of Postal Service employees giving back to the community," said Bill Quinley, manager of the Oxford Annex.

Janet Jackson and Rural Carrier Julie Gerber get ready to deliver more than 50 children's coats to a local Kansas City area dry cleaning chain before Christmas. Employees at the Oxford, KS Carrier Annex donated the coats to the annual Coats for Kids charity.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Project America

PROJECT AMERICA: Remembering Their Sacrifice

In the spring of 2009 an Army Veteran and postal clerk from Driggs, ID, will be running the highways and back roads of our United States to honor the fallen men and women of the Iraq War.

Mike Ehredt will cover more than 4200 miles with a reverse chronological order of the fatalities. He will begin in the Pacific Northwest and place a flag with one veterans name every mile.

One name, one flag, each mile, for those whose lives and dreams have been sacrificed.

For more information contact him at:

Monday, January 5, 2009

A word for the new year

"Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man."

- Benjamin Franklin

Mystery Objects

Thirty years ago, 27 wooden crates were sealed in a Smithsonian storage facility. Their contents were a mystery until a museum technician started opening them this year.

Some of the interesting objects discovered are hand-operated machines once used to cancel mail, badges postal workers would wear on their caps, handstamps, and postal scales.

The National Postal Museum will continue to clean, measure and organize the long-forgotten contents and try to determine what some of the "mystery objects" are. You can learn more about the museum at

Friday, January 2, 2009

Golden Wrench Award

The Golden Wrench awards competition promotes the efforts of VMF technicians to learn more about their professions. This year, 313 technicians took the written test that is comprised of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) questions that cover all areas of automotive repair

The Seattle team had an average 89 percent score and came out on top as the winning VMF.

Pictured from left are Manager, VMF Jim Miceli who presented the 2008 Golden Wrench Award for the Highest Average Score Nationwide to the Seattle techinicians who took part in the written test, continuing from left are Carl Stout, Supervisor Bill Sanford, Kevin Tran and George Glushko.