Ready to go

Ivy Briscoe, a mail processing clerk, works at the Suburban Maryland Processing and Distribution Center

The Postal Service is ready for its busiest week of the holiday season.

The organization predicts it will deliver about 200 million packages and almost 3 billion pieces of mail — including greeting cards — during the week of Dec. 17.

Overall, USPS plans to deliver about 15 billion mailpieces and 900 million packages during the 40-day stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.

“This is what we have practiced for all year,” Lebanon, IN, Postmaster Laurie Poindexter said last week as she surveyed a package-packed workroom inside her Post Office.

In addition to more deliveries and bigger crowds at Post Offices, USPS is preparing for more customers online. The organization predicts will have its busiest day of the season Dec. 17, when the site is expected to receive 8 million customers, including 400,000 Click-N-Ship users.

To keep things moving this season, USPS hired extra help, boosted transportation capacity and expanded Sunday package deliveries in several markets.

Additionally, the organization is encouraging customers to use Informed Delivery, a free feature that allows consumers to view incoming mail, track packages and reschedule deliveries.

No matter what the week brings, employees said they’ll get the job done.

“It’s what we do,” said Mike Allison, officer in charge at the Oklahoma City Post Office.

Sam’s the man

Sam Brewer, a distribution clerk at Manor Station in Winston-Salem, NC

Sam Brewer, a North Carolina distribution clerk, recently marked a half-century of combined military and postal service.

Brewer’s achievement was celebrated during a ceremony at Manor Station in Winston-Salem.

“Being able to work for the past 50 years is something to be thankful for,” said Brewer, who was joined by his wife and daughter at the celebration.

During the ceremony, District Manager Russ Gardner and Post Office Operations Manager Brian Forte presented Brewer with a 50-year service pin and certificate.

Brewer joined USPS in 1972 after serving four years in the Navy. He has worked as a clerk in Winston-Salem for the past 46 years.

“He is well respected and a great motivator for everyone. We can always count on him,” said Customer Services Supervisor Stacy Healy.

Brewer said he enjoys working for the Postal Service today as much as he did when he first started.

“I have no plans to stop as long as the Lord gives me the health and strength to continue,” he said.

Proceed with caution

Woman receiving wrapped gifts

The Postal Service is reminding employees to proceed with caution when exchanging gifts.

Generally, an employee should not give a gift to a manager or higher-paid colleague. Likewise, a gift should not be accepted from a subordinate or lower-paid employee.

There are exceptions. For example, a non-cash gift worth $10 or less to a manager on birthdays, holidays or similar occasions is OK.

Another exception is a gift to a manager on a special occasion, such as a marriage, birth, adoption, retirement or resignation. This gift could be cash; there is no monetary limit on the gift, but the gift must be customary to the occasion.

These rules help to avoid complaints of favoritism or harassment while creating cohesive, productive workplaces.

The Ethics Blue page has additional guidance, including a presentation on holiday gift exchanges. If you have questions, email the Ethics Office at

Seeking feedback

Woman peeking over cube

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