Just perfect

Smiling postal worker stands next to bank of PO Boxes

Ruben Hernandez is perfect.

The Fresno, CA, letter carrier hasn’t missed a single day of work since joining the Postal Service in December 1987.

“When you know others are depending on you, like your customers and co-workers, you show up,” he said.

Hernandez said he’s motivated to maintain his perfect attendance record by never forgetting his customers, who tell him they look forward to the cards, letters and packages he delivers every day.

“It’s an important job,” he said.

Hernandez, who was recently profiled by the local Fox station, is one of many Postal Service employees across the nation with perfect attendance records.

Fresno Postmaster Doug Smith — who hasn’t missed a day in 32 years — praised Hernandez’s dedication.

“He’s a great representative of our business. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him without a smile on his face,” Smith said.

Before joining the Postal Service, Hernandez worked for the IRS. “I … always used to admire the Post Office. I’d think, ‘One day I’d be good at it,’” he recalled.

Hernandez doesn’t plan to hang up his satchel anytime soon. He’d like to work for USPS for at least another decade.

And yes, he hopes to maintain his spotless record until his last day on the job.

New inspector general

Tammy L. Whitcomb

Tammy L. Whitcomb has been appointed inspector general by the Postal Service governors.

She will lead the Office of Inspector General, an independent agency that conducts audits and investigations to promote efficiency and maintain accountability and integrity in USPS programs and operations.

Whitcomb has been acting inspector general since 2016. She began her postal career as audit director in 2005 and later served as assistant inspector general for audit and deputy inspector general.

“Ms. Whitcomb has two decades of experience in the IG community and brings great vision and tenacity to the role of inspector general of the U.S. Postal Service,” said Board of Governors Chairman Robert M. Duncan. “We look forward to working with her in her role to help safeguard the integrity of the postal system, and in identifying opportunities to improve and enhance the operations of the Postal Service.”

Whitcomb began her government career at the Internal Revenue Service Inspection Service, which transitioned into the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) in early 1999.

At TIGTA, Whitcomb was an audit manager in Dallas for several years before coming to Washington, DC, as director of the Office of Management and Policy.

Chicago style

Chicago employees at CFC awareness event

Postal Service employees in the Chicago area are doing their part to help the organization meet its Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) fundraising goals.

USPS wants to raise $6.4 million for the CFC this year, topping the 2017 total of $6.1 million.

The Chicago Network Distribution Center, part of Central Illinois District, recently hosted an event where representatives from several CFC charities spoke about their causes.

“This was a great opportunity for employees to shine and show some love to support the cause they care about,” said Michelle Jones, a mail flow controller who serves as the Forest Park, IL, facility’s CFC coordinator.

Operations Industrial Engineer Mark Betman pledged to support his favorite causes before attending the event.

“It’s cool to see all the charities come together and employees give from the heart,” Betman said.

The CFC is the federal government’s annual workplace giving effort.

The Postal Service offers Blue and LiteBlue pages where employees can learn more about contributing to the campaign, which is underway through Jan. 11.

Kathleen Harper, a human resources program and policy analyst who oversees the Postal Service’s CFC efforts, praised the enthusiasm shown by USPS workers in the Chicago area and across the nation.

“I’m proud of Postal Service employees like those in the Chicago area, who demonstrate the power of our postal community to step up to the challenge and make this year’s campaign a success,” she said.

Closing soon

Male doctor talking to a patient

You’re running out of time.

If you want to change your health benefits or enroll in a new plan, you must act now.

The annual open season benefits enrollment period ends Monday, Dec. 10, at 11:59 p.m. EST. This is the last chance most employees will have until next November to consider new health, vision, dental or flexible spending options.

Employees can choose from a variety of coverage options through the following programs:

  • Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB)
  • USPS Health Benefits Plan (USPSHBP) for non-career employees only
  • Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP)
  • Flexible spending accounts (FSAs)

The Open Season LiteBlue page has information and resources, including FAQs, videos and a link to Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, a tool that can help you find the right health plan to meet your needs.

Need to know

Holiday coloring page featuring Santa and a letter carrier

Delivering cheer. A new postal-themed coloring page is available to help USPS employees promote the holidays.

The image shows a letter carrier delivering mail to Santa Claus and two elves.

Earl Musick, an Eastern Area employee and cartoonist, drew the picture, which employees can hand out to customers and their children.

To view and print the page, click the image that accompanies this article, then select “Download” under the caption.

Helping Santa. A new USPS blog post offers customers five reasons to support Operation Santa this holiday season.

The annual program, which kicked off Dec. 3, allows customers to help people in need by “adopting” their letters to Santa Claus and granting their holiday wishes.

“The holiday season does something rare and beautiful in many of us, and Operation Santa gives us the opportunity to experience wonder and joy by helping others and creating hope,” the post states.

Take a peek. The new Peek into Peak LiteBlue page showcases Postal Service employees and their contributions to the organization’s holiday efforts.

The initiative is being promoted through Link, Postal Vision monitors inside USPS facilities, the tickertape scroll on ACE computers and the Lead to Win newsletter.

Got news for “Need to know”? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.