I know that we all tend to think that our mail arrives in our mail box by magic. Well, today, I had the pleasure of taking a personal tour of the Pawling Post Office, and I saw first hand how the magic happens. Instead of the requisite elves that we all assume are the magic makers, there is a happy, congenial, enthusiastic, friendly group of postal workers that move somewhere between eight hundred and three thousand pieces of mail daily. The head elf – sorry, I mean of course the Post Master – is the delightful Laurie Hess, who has been with the Pawling Post Office since 2008, and with the United States Postal Service since 1984.
Outgoing and animated, Laurie feels “blessed with a good group of employees,” and says that the best part of working here are the “nice people.” She says that the carriers and clerks are the “face of the postal service….and they are very good…very knowledgeable.” This group includes Lois Bogholtz, Michael Clark, and Clay Brooks, all highly organized clerks. Pawling’s stalwart letter carriers are Bill Dutton, who’s route has him walking about seven miles a day which leaves him wonderfully fit and trim; Anita Dykman, who handles the Wingdale route; Mike Renzo, (our very own Pawling hero, who saved an older postal patron’s life by alerting 911 when he noticed she hadn’t picked up her mail); Lance Wiley, who spends his days on the Quaker Hill route and has been with the USPS since 1988; Valerie Hubert (my personal carrier); rural substitute carriers Mary Hyatt and Nikoma Ortiz; and Sara Sciamatore, a city carrier. (Golly, hope I didn’t leave anyone out!) This is the Postal “family” that is such an integral part of the Pawling community.
So, here in a nut shell is how they take all those individual pieces of mail and get them all delivered to your mail box, every day, six days a week, rain or shine:
The magic begins at 5:30 in the morning when the first worker arrives to unload the mail to the staging area. The parcels are separated out and organized by route, as are all the other individual pieces. The carriers come in at about 7 AM and they organize the pieces of mail on their route by order of delivery. Each carrier spends five or six hours delivering, and it all runs like clockwork.
We aren’t always aware of the many services offered by the Postal Service, so here are a few conveniences that I bet you didn’t know about:
You can get your Stamps-by-Mail…or Stamps-by-Phone (1-800-STAMPS24)…or Stamps-on-Consignment (Participants selling stamps at face value at Keybank at 3 West Main Street and CVS at 26 East Main Street)…or log onto USPS.com and it’s like having a “Post Office at your fingertips,” with services that include purchasing stamps, shipping packages, and scheduling package pick-up. There is also a new service called Every Door Direct Mail Retail which lets you send up to 5,000 pieces of mail per day, and doesn’t require the purchase of a postage permit. For all those community members that recently received PPR’s membership mailing…our local Post Office made that happen for us through this new service.
Laurie explained to me that in spite of all the difficulty the Postal Service has been having nationwide, the Pawling Post Office has not been designated to close. That’s great news for us, and terrific news for our postal family, who make magic happen for the Pawling community…every day!!!
Listen to Our Town:
[audio:http://www.pawlingpublicradio.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/4-30-our-town-post-office.mp3|Titles=Our Town – Susan Stone]