Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Hallmark Offers 2 Million Free Cards

Hallmark is offering this free three-card pack to customers to help them stay in touch with loved ones during the pandemic. Image: Hallmark

Hallmark is giving away two million greeting cards that customers can mail to friends and family to spread encouragement as the nation grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
The company is offering a free three-card pack to help people maintain connections in a time of social distancing and self-isolation. In addition to mailing cards to loved ones, the company has suggested giving them to health care workers and others on the front lines of the crisis.
“Hallmark has been in the business of caring for more than 100 years, so lending a hand to help others connect is part of our DNA,” said Hallmark Chief Marketing Officer Lindsey Roy. “During a time of unprecedented social distancing, we hope these cards will be shared across neighborhoods, towns and the country to help lift spirits.”
The Postal Service is helping Hallmark promote the giveaway and providing other support. When customers go to Hallmark.com/CareEnough to request a card pack, they can also select a link that takes them to usps.com where they can order stamps.
The company is encouraging people to share the news of the giveaway on social media using the hashtag #CareEnough.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Customer Thanks Miami Letter Carrier

Letter Carrier Henry Eyzaguirre, who delivers from the Milam Dairy Branch in Miami, found the above care package in a residential mailbox on his route. The customer included a thank you note of appreciation for the letter carrier’s dedication and service --- along with some tuna fish, snacks, sanitizer and masks. Photo: Larry Rogers

Monday, April 6, 2020

Postponing Letter Carrier Food Drive

This year’s National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) "Stamp Out Hunger" Food Drive, scheduled May 9, has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. A new date has not been announced. 

“Much of the United States is currently under shelter in place or similar advisories due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and public health authorities such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued guidelines that include social distancing,” said the NALC in a statement. “While it is unknown how long these guidelines will remain in place, it is highly unlikely that those involved in the food drive will be able to safely participate just six weeks from now.” 

USPS employees collected 75.7 million pounds of food during last year’s food drive, the third-highest total in the campaign’s 27-year history.

Customer Thanks Pompano Carrier

Pompano Main Office Letter Carrier Jay Vestrich received the above care package from a customer with a message that read: 

Dear mailperson,

Thank you for delivering the mail during this hard time.
Please stay safe during this hard time and please take this care package.

You’re doing great!

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Friday, April 3, 2020

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Social Distancing at Miami P&DC

The Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) is practicing social distancing on the workfloor. From left, Supervisor, Maintenance Operations Miguel Palacio, Plant Manager Don Shandor, and Operations Support Specialist Sue Alvarez demonstrate the required six-foot separation.

Thursday, April 2, 2020

More Flower Stamps Debut Today

Complementary in design, organic floral designs grace the newest stamps offered by the U.S. Postal Service. The Contemporary Boutonniere and Garden Corsage stamps are available for purchase nationwide April 2.

The First-Day-Of-Issue (FDOI) ceremony has been canceled due to social distancing guidance.

The Contemporary Boutonniere stamp is especially suited for RSVP envelopes often enclosed with wedding invitations and is perfect for other invitations, thank-you notes, announcements or any personal correspondence. Contemporary Boutonniere is issued as a Forever stamp in panes of 20. This stamp is always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail one-ounce price.

“Two Ounce” printed on the Garden Corsage stamp denotes it can accommodate the weight of heavy invitations, oversize greeting cards and mailings that require extra postage. Like a Forever stamp, this stamp will always be valid for the First-Class Mail two-ounce rate.

For centuries, boutonnieres — or buttonhole flowers, as they were called in Britain — were a staple part of a well-dressed man’s outfit. A single flower pinned to a lapel or inserted into a jacket buttonhole was part of a debonair man’s wardrobe for most of the 20th century. A boutonniere can also be worn by a woman who prefers something petite or tailored in design.

The word “corsage” was shortened from the original French term “bouquets de corsage,” which referred to the bodice of a dress, where small bouquets were pinned. Corsages were fashionable for daily wear in earlier centuries, particularly during the 1700s and 1800s, but gradually they began to be worn mostly on formal occasions.

The boutonniere and corsage continue to be fashionable accessories worn at weddings and other special occasions.

The stamp artwork features modern botanical styles arranged by floral designer Carol Caggiano. An arrangement of a burgundy mini-cymbidium orchid bloom, a succulent and a touch of green hydrangea accented with loops of variegated lily grass create a sleek boutonniere. A cream-colored ribbon entwines a spray of petite peach roses and a pink ranunculus, accented with deep-pink heather and seeded eucalyptus, to create a chic botanical presentation for the corsage.

"What Safety Means to Me!'

Social Distancing in Boynton Beach

Sales and Services Associate Scott Shapiro (above) joined the U.S. Postal Service two years ago. He works at the Jog Road Branch in Boynton Beach. In the current environment, Shapiro encourages employees to "protect yourself and coworkers while providing the most outstanding customer service to the American public.” Photo: Jen Leon

The Postal Service is providing retail employees with new guidelines to help them practice social distancing on the job during the coronavirus pandemic.

The guidelines are based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which advises people to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other in public to help prevent the spread of the virus.

Under the guidelines, USPS retail locations must place tape on the floor to show where customers can stand in line to remain at a safe distance; display social distancing signage in lobbies; and use every other window station, if operationally feasible.

Additionally, the Postal Service is advising retail employees to politely ask customers to adhere to the guidelines by maintaining a distance of 6 feet apart. The guidelines also advise employees to thank customers for their cooperation.

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Social Distancing at Miami P&DC

Under the leadership of Plant Manager Don Shandor (above, left) Miami Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC) employees are practicing social distancing. 

"Management is using whistles to raise awareness for individuals to stay six feet apart from each other," Shandor said. 

In the photo above, Shandor is blowing his whistle to alert Manager, Distribution Operations (MDO) Albert Iglesias (center) and Mailhandler Caridad Memedios (right) to correct their social distancing. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Practicing Social Distancing

Pompano  Postmaster Mike Vecchitto (not pictured) procured the placement of plexiglass at each retail counter at facilities under his jurisdiction: Atlantic Branch (Coral Springs); Coconut Creek Postal Store; Coral Reef Finance Unit (Coconut Creek); Coral Springs Branch; Margate Branch; Pompano Main Office; and Tropical Reef Branch (Pompano). 

"Our Sales and Services Associates really like it, and it gives them added protection for them, as well as our customers adhering to social distancing," Vecchitto said.

Pompano Main Office Manager, Customer Services Louis Mongilia (above) is pleased with the new plexiglass installation to protect employees and customers. 

Coral Springs Branch Sales and Services Associates Joann Savage (above, left) and Sabrina Libos (above, right) appreciated the social distancing provided by the plexiglass.

Coral Springs Branch Sales and Services Associate Sabrina Libos (above, left) and Letter Carrier Juliann Hibbert-Barton (above, right) approved of the plexiglass initiative.

Additional photos on social distancing will be posted in future blog entries. Please send your social distancing photos to debbie.j.fetterly@usps.gov.

Dealing with Travel Restrictions

The Postal Service is providing employees and contractors with an “essential service provider letter” they can show to law enforcement officers in case they’re stopped and questioned during the coronavirus pandemic.
The letter explains that USPS is part of the nation’s critical infrastructure and is continuing normal operations during the pandemic.
The letter also affirms to law enforcement that postal employees and postal contractors provide an essential public service and are exempt from general quarantines and other pandemic travel restrictions issued by state and local governments.
The Postal Service advises employees and contractors to:
  • Carry a Postal Service-issued identification badge and the essential service provider letter whenever they travel
  • Show the postal ID and letter if stopped by law enforcement officials enforcing travel restrictions
  • Explain the nature of their work for the Postal Service and the reason they’re traveling, whether they’re commuting to or from work or traveling during their workday

Employees and contractors should also carry their supervisor’s name, number and email address, in case authorities need additional information.
USPS managers and supervisors are delivering a stand up talk and distributing copies of the essential service provider letter. Employees and contractors who have not received this letter should contact their Postal Service manager, supervisor or USPS contracting officer’s representative.
The Postal Service has additional resources to help educate employees about the coronavirus pandemic on Blue and LiteBlue.

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Friday, March 27, 2020

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Miami Customer Service on COVID-19

Story & Photos: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

Miami General Mail Facility (GMF) Postal Store employees work safely especially during the COVID-19 outbreak. Retail Associates take precaution and ownership to maintain their work area as safely as possible against the COVID-19. 

Retail Associates have taken safety into their own hands by keeping their own workspace as clean as possible. Miami Customer Services has received and distributed supplies to the stations/branches and retail offices to ensure that facilities have what is needed to maintain clean areas. 

During these challenging times, we might all have to do a little extra to ensure our own safety ... something our employees are ready to do.

There are still items in back order due to nationwide shortages, but supplies are on the way.  Miami Customer Services Operation (MCSO) managers are patiently awaiting the arrival for distribution. Items are separated by units, and in most cases, managers themselves distribute these items within their area of responsibility.   

Miami General Mail Facility (GMF) Postal Store Retail Associate Irma Knighton (above) wipes all counters to ensure the safety of our employees and our customers. 

Miami GMF Postal Store Retail Associate, Wung Shu Lee (above) uses a disinfecting wipe to clean his monitor, keyboard and workstation before he starts his day. 

Miami GMF Postal Store Retail Associate Myriam Matias wears protective gloves while assisting customer at the retail counter.  

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Wearing Your Seat Belt

On Tuesday, March 24, at approximately 2:30 p.m., a Miami MVS driver was traveling east on NW 13 Street in Ft. Lauderdale. The initial investigation indicates that a POV failed to yield the right of way and turned in front on the tractor trailer. Fire Rescue had to use the “jaws of life” to extract the driver and POV passengers. The MVS driver was wearing his seat belt and did not sustain life-threatening injuries. He remains hospitalized. The two POV individuals are 14- and 16-year-old sisters. They are in the hospital as well.

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Direct Deposit: Try It, You'll Like It

The Postal Service is encouraging employees who don’t use direct deposit to receive their paychecks to sign up as soon as possible to avoid potential network disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

While no disruptions are expected, the organization wants employees to enroll in the direct deposit option as a precaution. Employees who already have direct deposit aren’t required to make changes.

If you currently receive hard copy paychecks, switching to direct deposit will ensure your wages are electronically deposited directly into your personal checking or savings account each payday.

By signing up before Wednesday, March 25, at 4 p.m. Eastern time, you can establish direct deposit and ensure your next paycheck is electronically deposited into your account.

Enrollments submitted after this deadline will continue to be processed but the direct deposit will occur in a later pay cycle.

Paychecks will enter the mailstream beginning Tuesday, March 31, for the Friday, April 3, payday.

To sign up for direct deposit, follow these instructions:

• Go to liteblue.usps.gov.

• Select PostalEASE under “Employee Quick Apps – Quick Links.”

• In PostalEASE, enter your employee identification number and password. (If you don’t 
remember your password or need one assigned, select the “forgot password” option and you’ll be transferred to a verification page to obtain a new password.)

• Under the “Payroll” heading, select “Allotments / Payroll Net to Bank” and complete the worksheet.

If you have problems using PostalEASE or have questions, call the Human Resources Shared Service Center at 877-477-3273 and select Option 5, then request “benefits” when prompted. The TTY number is 866-260-7507.

Cleaning in Port St. Lucie

Laborer/Custodian Clyde Mitchell (above) disinfected vehicles at the Port St. Lucie Main  Office.

Passports: By Appointment Only

The Postal Service will conduct all passport application services by appointment only, beginning March 25.

Customers can use a computer or mobile device to go to usps.com/scheduler to make appointments.

This feature, also known as the Retail Customer Appointment Scheduler, guides users through four easy steps, allowing them to choose a day, location and time, and to provide their details.

The scheduler will display available appointment times for participating Post Offices that offer passport appointment services within a selected radius. Users will receive notifications of their scheduled appointment.

The Postal Service made this change in accordance with new safety guidelines on social distancing due to COVID-19.

'What Security Means to Me!'

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

'Tuesday Talk' in Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale, FL, Supervisor, Customer Services  Nicole Lovett-Williams (left) created a weekly meeting called “Tuesday Talk” to engage her laborer/custodial staff (above) at the main office.  

“'Tuesday Talk’ is a safe space for the laborer/custodians to have safety talks, individual as well as team efforts, to improve the work ethics and facility appearance in Fort Lauderdale,” said Lovett-Williams. “I provide expectations of their positions so that each individual understands their work assignments.”

“Tuesday Talk” acknowledges week-to-week contributions and achievements to keep laborers/custodians engaged in their work. She developed this initiative following Employee Engagement training.

“There’s been a major improvement in their work performance, appearance, and overall difference in their attitude towards their job duties and each other,” said Lovett-Williams.

Photo: Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Edwin Vivas

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Ft Laud SSDA Retires After 33 Years

Fort Lauderdale Postmaster David Guiney (center in suit) presented Alridge Station Sales and Services/Distribution Associate Robin Bryant (center with certificate) with a Retirement Certificate for more than 33 years of government service. Guiney thanked Bryant for her years of dedicated service, and her coworkers joined him in wishing her much happiness and good health in her retirement.

Photo: Fort Lauderdale Customer Relations Coordinator Edwin Vivas 

'What Safety Means to Me!'

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Social Distancing at Tamiami Branch

Tamiami Branch Supervisor, Customer Services Ariel Lantigua (above) monitors the lobby and routinely cleans the customer counter. He also sets up social distancing stanchions in photos below. Retail Associates Takera Kitchen, Maxine Menendez and Raysa Rojas appreciated being able to serve their customers --- but at a safe distance for all concerned. 

Photos: Darrin Johnson

'What Safety Means to Me!'

40 Years & Counting in Miami

Miami, FL, Milam Dairy Branch Manager, Customer Services Larry Rogers (left) presented Letter Carrier Rafael Magarino (right) with his 40-year Service Award and Pin. Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

Friday, March 20, 2020

Remove & Discard: MTE Tags, Labels

USPS employees are responsible for removing all labels and tags from sacks, trays and tubs when they empty the mail.

The Postal Service is again reminding employees about the proper handling of mail transport equipment (MTE) tags and labels.

The labels identify the destination for each mail container, which means a misplaced label can send the mail to the wrong destination.

Employees are responsible for removing all labels and tags from sacks, trays and tubs when they empty the mail. The Mail Transport Equipment Service Centers do not remove labels or processing tags from MTE.

Old tray labels must be thrown away, and any tags must be collected and reused. This is especially important this year, when the Postal Service will handle high volumes of election, political, and census mailings.

“The small act of removing the tags and labels makes a lasting impression on our mailers when they receive clean, ready-to-use MTE for their organization’s mail,” USPS reported in Postal Bulletin’s March 12 edition. “Failing to remove these tags and labels inconveniences our customers and could lead to loss of brand loyalty or trust.”

The Postal Bulletin article has additional information.

Source: Link

'I Was Caught Working Safely ...'

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Informed Delivery to Bolster Census

Informed Delivery users will receive images of their census questionnaire envelopes before they arrive in the mail, along with links that take them to the 2020 census login site.

For the first time in the nation’s history, respondents to the decennial census will have the option to complete the survey online.

The U.S. Census Bureau is working with the Postal Service to use Informed Delivery to provide customers with an easy way to access the 2020 questionnaire through the internet.

Informed Delivery allows users to preview their incoming mail on smartphones, tablets and other devices.

Residents who use the free feature will be able to see images of their census questionnaire envelopes before they arrive in the mail. These customers will have the option to click on the response image and be taken to the 2020 census login site.

All 23.5 million Informed Delivery subscribers will receive the census email notification, making this the largest campaign in the feature’s history.

“Informed Delivery enhances the mail experience for our customers, and that includes the millions of households who will receive their census questionnaire in the mail,” said Chris Karpenko, the Postal Service’s brand marketing executive director. “Using Informed Delivery to complete the survey will be easy and convenient, helping the Census Bureau obtain critical data that is needed in communities across the nation.”

The Postal Service and the Census Bureau tested Informed Delivery’s ability to raise awareness of the census in 2018.

In March, USPS began delivering 590 million census mailpieces — one of the largest mailings in postal history.

Employees can register for Informed Delivery at informeddelivery.usps.com. Sign-up is voluntary and must be done off the clock.

Source: Link

South Miami SSA Attains Gold Star

South Miami Branch Retail Associate Raymond Loor earned a perfect score on a recent Retail Customer Experience (RCE) transaction.

Photo: Miami Customer Relations Coordinator Mirtha Uriarte

'What Security Means to Me!'