Love, Dad

Bryn Cavin and her dad, Darby

Like many college students, Bryn Cavin looks forward to receiving mail from home.

There’s something special about her deliveries, though: She gets a postcard from her dad just about every day.

“Getting a postcard from him is always one of my favorite parts of the day,” said Bryn, a sophomore at Whitworth University in Spokane, WA.

Bryn’s father, Darby Cavin, often mails the postcards at his hometown Post Office in Cosmopolis, WA, which is about six hours away from the campus.

The notes usually offer encouragement or an update on what’s happening at home with him and the rest of the family, including Bryn’s mom, Sara, and younger sister, Kendall.

“One of the realizations I’ve had in writing these postcards is just how mundane most of my days are,” said Darby. “But I like sharing them with Bryn.”

The postcards bridge a gap.

“He writes about the simple, everyday parts of my family’s life that I miss out on by being on the other side of the state,” said Bryn.

Dad also looks for postcards for his daughter wherever he and the family go, preferring literature and art-themed ones for Bryn, an English major.

“They just saw ‘Hamilton,’ so he bought a package of ‘Hamilton’-themed postcards for me at the theatre,” she said.

A Spokane TV station recently aired a story about Bryn’s daily postcards. Coincidentally, a Georgia man who has sent an estimated 20,000 postcards to his children since 1995 was the subject of a recent piece on the “CBS Evening News.”

Darby hasn’t sent that many postcards to Bryn, but give him time.

When Kendall, a high school junior, leaves home, he plans to continue the postcard tradition.

“In this age of electronic communication, I like the idea of the handwritten note,” he said. “It makes me think of the Latin proverb Verba volant, scripta manent, which means spoken words fly away, written words remain.”

Just say yes

Brooklyn Center, MN, City Carrier Assistant Vang Thao

Vang Thao always finds a way to say yes.

“Never tell a customer ‘no,’” says Thao, a Brooklyn Center, MN, city carrier assistant. “I’ve had people chase me down on my route to hand me packages, and I always take them — even if my bag is full.”

Postal Service leaders say employees like Thao help the organization strengthen customer service, one of its core business strategies.

Thao has three tips for his fellow carriers:

• Make it easy. Customers have a lot of shipping options, so you want to make it as easy as possible for them to choose USPS.

• Keep a positive attitude. “Always have a smile on your face when you talk to a customer,” he says.

• Stop and listen. Thao says listening to your customers is important. He’ll sometimes spend a few minutes just having conversations with people on his route.

Although Thao has been with the Postal Service for only two years, he knows customer service is key to the entire operation.

“Customer service is important because that’s how we’re able to keep our jobs,” Thao says. “It’s the most important thing as a letter carrier, because without customers we wouldn’t have jobs at all.”

“Best practices,” a series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.

Beauty standards

“Nikki’s Story,” a new #PostalProud video.

A new video shows what the Postal Service means to one small-business owner.

“Nikki’s Story” highlights Nikki Scott, a hair salon operator who relies on USPS to deliver and ship the beauty supplies she needs to run her business.

“It’s very important for us to get those deliveries,” Scott says. “My customers are relying on me and I’m relying on the Postal Service.”

The video is part of the latest #PostalProud campaign, which focuses on customers expressing their appreciation for employees’ work. “Nikki’s Story” also underscores the importance of employees who help USPS build loyalty among business customers.

You can watch the 1-minute, 28-second video on LiteBlue.

Take the lead

Man, woman smile while holding Priority Mail envelope

Mail handlers don’t work directly with customers, but that doesn’t mean they can’t help the Postal Service grow.

Through the Mail Handlers Lead Program, USPS encourages mail handlers to submit leads for businesses where there is a potential opportunity to gain new revenue.

The Postal Service wants districts to hold lunch and learn events in plants to build awareness of this program and other lead generation initiatives.

More than 170 mail handlers attended one such event in Great Lakes Area’s Lakeland District, where they received instructions on how to submit lead cards, as well as tips on what to look for in potential customers.

The lunch and learn events will be part of #LEADtheWay, a promotional campaign to raise awareness of lead generation programs and show employees how they can help USPS generate new revenue.

The Sales Blue page has more information about the Mail Handlers Lead Program and the other leads programs.