Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Dude, that's our tub!"

The "BlueBlur", a carrier from Durango, CO, wrote me about customers who use our equipment inappropriately.

He said this, "I once saw a guy with his dog in a USPS tub on a dolly crossing Main St. I was so offended for what he was using our equipment for that I confronted and confiscated our tub. I i take my job and resources seriously."

What crazy uses have you seen our equipment? Drop me a note here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Your Postal Podcast - the 10th edition!

The 10th Edition of Your Postal Podcast is ready for your listening pleasure.
Just click this link to listen, or go to http://www.yourpostalpodcast.com/

You'll hear the ghost of Keith Jackson, calling play-by-play for the 90 Day Sales Blitz, an interview with Coach Kim Harbeck from Western Area and Commissioner Susan Plonkey, as well as a key player on the field.

You'll also hear about a company that forwards the stuff the other guys won't send to APO/FPO and addresses in Hawaii, as well as what the new discount for commercial mailers.

Just eight minutes long and Benny highly recommends!

Pull my tail!

Photo courtesy of Debbie Morris in Castle Rock Colorado

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guardian snowman

It seems a snowman appeared on the roof of the Lakewood, WA, Post Office after a rare snowstorm.

Pranksters found a way up top and did their dastardly deed -- leaving a cold, rolled and round guardian of the mail.

It wasn't long before the warm weather returned and his happy face drooped with the drips of the day, but not before hundreds of customers got a glimpse.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Shred it!

The Spokane and Boise Post Offices and the Spokane District promoted National Consumer Protection Week with a number of successful events that were attended by area residents and media.

Spokane postal staff, Inspectors and local agencies visited five area senior retirement centers and provided helpful identity theft prevention and anti-scam tips.
The Spokane Post Office, with the support of the Association of Certified Examiners and other law enforcement agencies and volunteers, also hosted a public document shredding party.
"Everything we did was well-received by these communities, our customers, and the media, said Spokane District Consumer Affairs Manager Steve Rorie.
"Our employees, the Inspection Service and all the agencies involved did a fantastic job," added Spokane Customer Relations Coordinator Lisa Nystuen.

"McGruff the Crime Dog," the Spokane Police Dept.’s mascot, was a big hit at Spokane’s NCPW events. Here he joins forces with Spokane City Carriers Donna Miller and Dolores Gonzales. Photo courtesy of Lisa Nystuen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

More cuts announced

Well, last week we announced more cuts.

Six districts are closing -- Lake Mary, FL; North Reading, MA; Manchester, NH; Edison, NJ; Erie, PA, and Spokane, WA.

Additionally, administrative staff positions at the district level nationwide are being reduced by 15 percent.

And more than 1,400 mail processing supervisor and management positions at nearly 400 facilities around the country also are being eliminated and nearly 150,000 employees nationwide are being given the opportunity to take an early retirement.

It's sad that we have to cut -- but we are talking about our survival with a crushing $6 billion projected loss looming.

What do you think about these latest cuts? Let me know by clicking here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Get involved

A couple of years ago Crosby, MN Postmaster Michael Rawlings attended a WWII veterans’ award ceremony. While there, he heard a member of a local vets’ support group voice concerns about the Postal Service and mailing issues.

He joined the conversation and has been the mailing expert for the group ever since. And today the Aitkin County Persian Gulf Support Group generates approximately $4,000 annual postal revenue by shipping care packages to troops.

The group recently received local media attention by shipping 48 10-pound boxes of venison sticks and other goodies, giving the soldiers a well-deserved taste of home. The venison treat is an annual affair during January and February. The support group sends packages on a monthly basis.

“When we volunteer in our communities, it can have a positive effect on our business as well,” Rawlings said.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Reach back into the past

I love postal history. Heck. I AM postal history!

That's why I really like the Postal History website. Check out the Airmail Photo Gallery section.

At the site, there are more than 100 papers on postal history, historic images and photos, and resources that track the growth and development of America’s postal system over the past 230 years.

The photo galleries are pretty interesting. And even a “History of Stamps and Postcards,” gives a glimpse into the past.

Click here to visit the website and learn more about how the Postal Service has grown and changed with America while embracing new technologies to better serve a growing population.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Smell this stamp

The Slovakian Post is marking Spring with an Easter stamp that has the scent of a narcissus flower.

The scent was added to the color printing process and is activated by warmth or friction to release the fragrance.

In 1973 the nation of Bhutan issued scented rose stamps. In 1999 Brazil issued four smoke-scented stamps to highlight the dangers of forest fires (now there's a big idea!). And in 2001 Switzerland issued chocolate-scented stamps.

Maybe they are onto something. Could USPS create a buzz with their own scented stamps? What should they smell like? Click here to add your suggestion!

(If you scratch your computer monitor, a special scent will be released. Try it!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To the rescue

Littleton, CO Ken Caryl Station Carrier Kevin Smith has a reputation for giving top service and for being greatly appreciated by his customers. I can see why based on his extra diligence recently.

Smith was delivering a package to an elderly customer. His knock on the front door was answered by the customer who called out that she had fallen and couldn't move. Kevin came around and entered in the side door.

Kevin found her lying on her couch. He helped her sit up and gave her water. Feeling that Sallie was probably okay, Kevin left to finish his route. But several hours later, he returned to check on her. Smith again found her lying down and having great difficulty.
The customer loves her carrier. "He’s wonderful. I hope the Postal Service doing something special for him. I thank Kevin and God that I am here today".

Well, Benny agrees and Kevin gets a big salute. I passed his name on to the PMG and he'll be getting something from the big guy.

Littleton Ken Caryl Station Carrier Kevin Smith with the customer who's life he may have saved through his quick thinking.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Saved by the belt!

A Tucson, AZ, letter carrier walked away with only minor injuries from what could have been a life-threatening collision.
A vehicle crossed the center line on the a two-land road and struck the long-life vehicle. The estimated speed was more than 60 MPH.

The carrier was wearing a seat belt – perhaps saving her life.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shhhh! Librarians get schooled on postal solutions

The Denver Post Office, with the assistance of the CO/WY District Marketing Department, provided a successful service to the attendees of the 2009 American Library Association convention last month.

While librarians are typically known for their propensity for using media mail, more than 40 percent of services sold were Priority Mail.

The three-day total revenue take was more than $18,000

FedEx and UPS services were available at other booths, which only served to demonstrate to customers first hand the value of shipping USPS.

Friday, March 13, 2009

If you're smart, you'll use USPS.com

The smartest people on the planet --- The Mensa Society -- recently ranked their top 50 websites. And guess what made the list? USPS ZIP code lookup!

So our site joins other prestigious websites like Mental Floss, The Onion, Think Geek and NASA. as the favorite places for smart people to hang out.

Although they didn't have IQ tests in my day, I was a pretty smart cookie. In fact, it is estimated that my IQ was a stunning 160. So that would make me a member of Mensa, right? And who can resist my curls?

So if you want to meet people with both beauty and brains, check out the Hot ZIP Codes at http://zip4.usps.com/zip4/

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Batter up, batter down

Like this photo? send me a comment

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Create a caption

This great photo from Marcy Earley just screams for a caption. So, click here and share your best wit!
Benny would be most honored if you would subscribe to this blog. That way, you can automatically get this daily dose of GOOD postal news. It's approved for any computer - including postal. Click here to start your subscription. You'll enter your e-mail address, a verification code. Then you'll get an e-mail with a link to click and you're done! And you can always back out and change your mind later. Just click here to subscribe.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Catalog Queen -- meet the champ

Julie Stangeland of Wichita, KS, loves her mail. She loves catalogues. She loves shopping.

And we love her.

Over the last 12 months, we have delivered 492 pounds of mail to her. She recently weighed the pile just to make a point.

After the weigh in, Stangeland was more than complimentary to those who deliver her mail.

"If I didn't have enough respect for carriers already, I sure do now," she said.

Her carrier, Margaret Murphy (right,) acknowledges the heavy load, but is grateful that Stangeland is such a good customer.

"Thank you Margaret, from all of us!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cash found in collection box gets back to sender

Recently a Bellingham, WA, customer sent a letter thanking and complimenting Mt. Baker Station Carriers Jim Sands and Annelise Pysanky.

"I inadvertently dropped two church collection box donation envelopes along with my letters in a USPS 'blue collection box'. In each donation envelope I had a $20.00 bill. Not only did I receive the donation envelopes back a few days later, but the money was inside.

Although the cash wasn't much, what made his day was a "renewed belief" in honest, hard working people.

Honesty and integrity are still some of our best calling cards.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The best route in America?

The good people over at the Postal Employees Newsgroup reported on a Nalcrest, FL, retirement community that is solely reserved for retired letter carriers. Sponsored by the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC - get it?), the 153 acres has 500 apartments clustered in 66 one-story buildings around two large lagoons.

And yes, there is a no dog policy.

For a carrier this could be a dream route. Everyone knows you by name. Everyone understands the job you do. Everyone is sympathetic. There are 500 glasses of water waiting for you on hot days. Christmas cookies arrive year round. "Thank you's" float through the air.

But it could be bad, too. Imagine every one of your patrons thinking they could do a better job than you? And God forbid, a misdelivery. And you better not be late. What do you think?

Read all about it at the Postal Employees Newsgroup and a story on the community at National Geographic. The NALC link is here.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

More gain, less pain

It hurts me when your job hurts you.

That's why its so good to hear that we're a safer place to work.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Injuries and Illnesses (I&Is) scores for quarter 1 of fiscal year 2009 were just released and they show just how well we’re performing against that goal. Nationally, OSHA I&Is are down 2,314 or -22.7 percent compared to the same period last year (SPLY). Our year-to-date OSHA I&I rate is 4.76 per 100 employees.

Other more specific year-to-date numbers, compared to SPLY, are:

  • Handling and lifting OSHA I&Is are down 290 or -19.7 percent.
  • Slips, trips and falls (STF) on premises are down 135 or -11.9 percent. STF off premises are down 322 or -14.5 percent.
  • Dog attacks and bites are down 137 or -19.4 percent.
  • Nationally, musculoskeletal disorder OSHA I&Is decreased by 776 or -38.6 percent.
  • Year-to-date OSHA exposure hours are -26.7 million or -7.45 percent to SPLY.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Custom box

Bruce Mills, a city letter carrier in Minnesota, has a customer who is a carpenter.

The customer found his metal mail box was difficult to keep the door operating correctly with the changing weather conditions. So he built a new one out of wood. He did an excellent job designing and building the new mail box. It works well in any weather condition and is very different and attractive.

What do you think?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Heads up!

Now Benny doesn't like to preach, but I really hate to see my fellow postal employees get injured.

Weather, road conditions and mechanical defects can and do play a big role in crashes, but instead of pointing fingers, we need to take a long, hard look in their rear view mirrors – at themselves.

That's the finding of a new study commissioned by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The study found that action or inattention by the driver of either the truck or the other vehicle involved was the critical reason behind 88 percent of injury or fatality traffic accidents.

When you take your eyes off the road for two seconds at 60 mph, you have traveled blindly for almost the length of a football field. And adjusting your radio makes you 6 times more likely to be in an accident.

What can we do?

• Pay Attention!
• Adjust controls before you start
• Take advantage of normal stops to adjust controls
• Keep distractions at a minimum
• Do not reach for items that have fallen or shifted
• Do not eat while driving.

Thanks to Marcy Earley for the photo. Send yours here.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Handing out treats doesn't work

Dog season is almost upon us.

In 2008, Denmark’s national postal service handed out more than 25 tons of dog treats to its postal workers to help them battle bad dogs intent on taking a bite out of them while delivering the mail.

More than 3,000 boxes of doggie treats were given to Danish carriers last year to try and pacify vicious dogs. But, this didn't work. Last year, 335 Post Danmark delivery workers were bitten by dogs, resulting in 45 of them taking extended sick leave as they recuperated.

The Copenhagen Post reports that the Animal Protection Society, the Danish Kennel Club, and Post Danmark collaborated in 2008 to come up with a viable solution for dealing with vicious dogs. They produced a video explaining how best to deal with angry dogs in an effort to educate postal workers who are in the field.

So...it isn't just American dogs. It's worldwide.

As a reminder, back here in America. , The United States Postal Service policy is to never give dogs treats.

What's the best way you've found to keep dangerous dogs at bay? Click here to comment.

(Photo: Lorna Hunter)