Deep diving

NV shark tank

Alex Gegax wanted to make it easier for letter carriers and others to learn about new loading and delivery procedures when USPS implements them.

“Whenever the Post Office rolls out a new procedure, supervisors aren’t always given the tools to communicate the change,” said Gegax, a Las Vegas carrier technician. “They sometimes have minimal understanding of the new procedures, making the interaction challenging.”

To help fix the problem, Gegax came up with an idea: Require the Postal Service’s carrier academy training instructors to visit delivery units to explain process changes.

He recently pitched the idea at a Nevada-Sierra District event that was patterned after “Shark Tank,” the ABC television series in which entrepreneurs woo investors with their business proposals.

Gegax’s idea was a hit with district leaders, who plan to implement it, along with safety and training proposals that other employees offered at the event.

Nevada-Sierra’s “Shark Tank”-style program is part of the Postal Service’s broader efforts to engage, equip and empower employees, a core business strategy.

USPS also is seeking employee proposals through IdeaSMART, an online platform that allows workers to offer suggestions on a variety of topics.

Nevada-Sierra plans to hold more “Shark Tank”-like events, which also allow employees to tap their creative energies. Like the TV show’s contestants, participants can incorporate props, music, videos and costumes into their pitches.

“We are encouraging people to use their best creativity,” said Angie Bush, the district’s learning development and diversity manager.

Most importantly, Gegax said the program helps employees feel like they matter.

“The concept gives employees the opportunity to have a voice in their workplace,” he said.

Listen up

NY listening

Almost two dozen Post Offices in Northeast Area’s Westchester District have introduced We’re Listening Weekends, a program to strengthen customer service.

The offices are holding three-hour sessions, usually on Saturdays, where customers can meet managers and supervisors, offer feedback, ask questions and learn about USPS products and services.

“Customers now have the opportunity to meet local leadership,” said Roxanne Hosein, a Post Office operations manager who oversees many of the participating offices. “When complaints are communicated, it helps local management identify routes of opportunity, as well as customer service.”

The program aligns with the Postal Service’s broader efforts to deliver excellent customer experiences, a core business strategy.

Daniel Welch, also a Post Office operations manager, oversees the office in Monsey, NY, where many residents are members of a Hasidic Jewish sect and don’t conduct business Saturdays. To accommodate them, the office holds its We’re Listening Weekend sessions on Sundays.

“It’s a great event,” Welch said. “Listening to what our customers think of us is a great thing. It gives us — from their perspective — what we need to improve upon. It also allows us to explain the why’s of delivery … and get a more specific vision of what needs to be done.”

Best defense

CS phishing

The CyberSafe at USPS team is reminding employees that they’re the first line of defense in protecting the organization from cyberthreats.

An increasingly common scam is phishing — the use of fraudulent messages to steal sensitive information like passwords, usernames, credit card numbers and more. Phishing could result in stolen data, breached networks and other problems.

The most common signs of phishing emails or text messages include:

  • A generic or inconsistent greeting, such as “Dear Customer”
  • Urgent-sounding language
  • Offers that seem too good to be true
  • Spelling or grammar mistakes
  • Unsolicited requests for personal information

If you suspect that you’re the target of a phishing attempt, don’t delete the email. Instead, report the message by using the “Report to CyberSafe” button on your Outlook toolbar. If you don’t have this button, the ServiceNow site has instructions on how to download it.

Alternatively, you can send a suspicious email as an attachment to CyberSafe@usps.gov by selecting the message and clicking the Ctrl, Alt and F keys simultaneously.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue page has more tips on avoiding and reporting cyberthreats. The LiteBlue page and USPSCyberSafe.com also have information.

That’s a fact!

List Scooby Doo

The Postal Service will release its Scooby-Doo! stamp Saturday, July 14. To mark the occasion, here are five Scooby Snack-sized factoids.

1. Scooby-Doo has been around longer than USPS. The character debuted in 1969, a few years before the Post Office Department transitioned to USPS. Scooby has appeared in more than a dozen TV series, beginning with “Scooby-Doo, Where are You!” (1969-1970), along with direct-to-video animated films, live-action movies and comic books.

2. The Mystery Inc. members have last names. You probably grew up watching Scooby and his human pals, but did you know they all have surnames? It’s Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley and Shaggy Rogers.

3. Scooby has lots of famous friends. “The New Scooby-Doo Mysteries,” which aired from 1972-1974, featured celebrity guest stars like Dick Van Dyke, Don Knotts, Cass Elliott, Phyllis Diller, the Addams Family and the Three Stooges, among many others. The tradition continues: This year, Scooby joined forces with Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki for a crossover episode of their hit series “Supernatural,” from Warner Bros. Television, on The CW. And in 2019, the new animated series “Scooby-Doo and Guess Who?” will feature renowned celebrity guest stars, including Sia, Halsey, Chris Paul, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Jaleel White, Ricky Gervais, Kenan Thompson and Mark Hamill, to name a few.

4. You can thank Frank Sinatra for Scooby’s name. The character was named after a scat-style phrase (“dooby-doo”) at the end of Sinatra’s song “Strangers in the Night.” More trivia about the first animated Scooby-Doo series: TV Guide recognizes “Scooby-Doo, Where Are You?” on its “Top 5 Greatest Cartoons of All Time!” list.

5. Scooby is a “doo-gooder.” The new stamp shows Scooby-Doo watering a blossoming plant in a flowerpot — a simple act that represents doing good in our everyday lives.

Got ideas for future editions of “The list”? Email them to uspslink@usps.gov.