Elijah Hairston arrived at work recently and was greeted with an enormous banner congratulating him on his 50th year as a postal employee.
“I was shocked,” said Hairston, a mail handler at the Delaware Processing and Distribution Center in Eastern Area’s South Jersey District.
Hairston said he felt overwhelmed for having been recognized for his years of public service by his co-workers and managers. He and his team celebrated the occasion with pizza and cake in a conference room.
Distribution Operations Supervisor Shedred Williams described Hairston as “a professional worker who works with the team to get the job done every day.”
Hairston began his postal career in 1968 after serving four years in the Air Force and spending some time working in a public library in Los Angeles. He spent 18 years in California as a mail handler before moving to Delaware.
“Since I started working for the Post Office, I’ve never really considered working anywhere else,” he said.
USPS is kind of like a family business for Hairston. A sister and two brothers-in-law have already retired from the Postal Service.
When asked if his family had called to congratulate him on his 50th work anniversary, Hairston replied with a laugh, “Well, you know, I emailed them the photos of the banner.”
Hairston said he has no immediate plans to retire but prefers to take a wait and see approach.
“I’ll retire whenever it hits me,” he said.