Caught on camera

Tacoma, WA, Letter Carrier Ronald Murphy Jr.

Ronald Murphy Jr. has been dubbed the “Good Guy Mailman” after a video of him carefully delivering a package went viral.

Murphy, a Tacoma, WA, letter carrier, was recently recorded on a customer’s home security video voicing his concern about leaving her package on the porch when no one was home.

“I knew the doorbell had a camera on it, so I rang it so I could let them know I had a package for them,” Murphy said, adding that recent porch thefts had occurred in the neighborhood.

The video shows Murphy speaking to the customer, who addresses him remotely.

First, he asks if she wants him to take the package back to the Post Office until she returns. She says no, so he suggests leaving the parcel out of sight in her recycling bin, and she agrees.

The 45-second clip ends with Murphy scanning the package before placing it in the bin and telling the customer to “have a great day.”

Murphy, who has been on the job for two years, says he was doing what he’d want done for him.

“I just wanted to protect their package from getting stolen,” he said.

The customer was so impressed with Murphy’s service, her husband uploaded the footage on Vimeo under the title “Good Guy Mailman.” The video quickly went viral, prompting coverage in The New York Post and other news outlets.

The letter carrier said he was just doing his job.

“I took an oath and I’m going to do my best to not put mail into danger, even if it means taking it back to the office,” Murphy said.

Leslie Green, customer services manager at the Tacoma Central Carrier Facility, said the video shows Murphy’s “true character.”

“He goes above and beyond for his customers,” she said. “He’s a very thoughtful carrier.”

Up to standards

Rio Grande District Mailing Standards Specialist Paul Baker

My name is Paul Baker, and I’m the mailing standards specialist for Rio Grande District. I help businesses understand what’s acceptable to mail, which allows them to better target their customers.

I also help design mailpieces and assist mailers with submitting their postal statements electronically to business mail entry units. Additionally, I help customers understand Intelligent Mail barcodes and small-business mailings.

On a typical day, I assist about 40 customers, mostly through emails and phone calls. I oversee a team of six mailing requirement clerks who cover almost 600 offices in the district.

My goal is to ensure each customer has a world-class experience. I tell my team that it’s important to have a positive attitude when working with customers. We try to solve their problems and give them the right answer the first time.

When I’m not working, I enjoy spending time with my family, including camping and driving in the Texas hill country. I have a stepson, Jesus, who is a flats sorter clerk at the San Antonio Processing and Distribution Center, and a stepdaughter, Eliza. We also have a 2-year-old granddaughter.

I joined the Postal Service 33 years ago. I previously served as a distribution clerk and mailing requirements clerk before landing my current job a year ago.

This has been a fulfilling career. Moving the mail at reasonable prices is important.

“On the Job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.

On the way

Star Ribbon, Music Icons: Marvin Gaye, Postal Office Murals, Little Mo and Transcontinental Railroad stamps.

The Postal Service has announced the release dates and dedication cities for five stamps.

The stamps are:

  • Star Ribbon, Friday, March 22, Oakbrook Terrace, IL
  • Music Icons: Marvin Gaye, Tuesday, April 2, Los Angeles
  • Post Office Murals, Wednesday, April 10, Piggot, AR
  • “Little Mo,” Tuesday, April 23, Dallas
  • Transcontinental Railroad, Friday, May 10, Promontory Summit, UT

USPS announced these stamps in November and January. Additional announcements are expected this year.

African-American History Month

Archival photo of African-American postmaster standing with postal workers

USPS will mark African-American History Month, an annual observance held each February.

“The Postal Service proudly commemorates African-American History Month each year,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan. “African-Americans have always been vital to the success of our organization, and we value their contributions.”

At the beginning of the 20th century, many African-Americans found work in urban Post Offices. The Post Office Department became a source of opportunity for these employees, helping to pave the way for the creation of an African-American middle class.

Currently, about 26 percent of the USPS workforce — or approximately 163,000 employees — are African-American.

African-American History Month traces its roots to February 1926, when historian Carter G. Woodson helped establish a weeklong commemoration to raise awareness of African-Americans’ contributions. The observance was expanded to a full month in 1976.

The usps.com Postal History section has additional information, including articles about 19th-century and 20th-century African-American postal employees.

American Heart Month

Woman holding a fabric heart

February is American Heart Month, a time to learn how to prevent heart disease and make healthy choices.

Heart disease is responsible for about 1 in 4 deaths in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This makes the disease a leading cause of death among both men and women.

Here’s an overview of some terms commonly associated with heart disease:

• Cardiovascular disease. This umbrella term describes diseases that affect the heart, including heart disease and coronary heart disease. More than 800,000 people die of cardiovascular disease each year.

• Heart disease. More than 600,000 people in the United States die from this type of cardiovascular disease each year.

• Coronary heart disease. This disease, also known as atherosclerosis or clogged arteries, occurs when plaque builds up in your arteries. About 360,000 people in the United States died from coronary heart disease in 2015.

The Wellness LiteBlue page has more information, including resources for employees who want to live healthier lifestyles.