Count on him

Brooklyn, NY, Letter Carrier John Vick

John Vick is an employee you can count on.

Co-workers sometimes joke that the letter carrier is practically “part of the fixtures” at Brevoort Station in Brooklyn, NY.

Even his wife gets in on the act.

“My wife always teases me that I’m married to the Post Office,” Vick said with a laugh.

The reason for the teasing is Vick rarely calls out sick. In fact, the 51-year postal employee has more than 5,000 hours — or about two-and-a-half-years’ worth — of accumulated sick leave.

“I don’t stay home just because I feel a little off. Unless it’s a crisis, I still come in, keep moving and thank God I have good health,” he said.

Vick’s dedication to the Postal Service is almost legendary.

For instance, his house in Far Rockaway was flooded when Hurricane Sandy battered New York in 2012.

“I could have taken off a couple of weeks, but I still came in,” he said.

Customer Services Supervisor Marvalee Frasier said Vick has proven himself to be a reliable employee during the six months she has worked with him.

“He’s very dedicated and very hard working. He takes very good care of his customers. He loves what he does. He’s phenomenal,” she said.

Vick said he’s motivated by a strong work ethic and the customers who rely on him.

“When I bring a package to someone, it’s rewarding to make them happy,” he said. “So I always try to go the extra mile.”

No more bites

Preventing dog bites

Donna Gill does her part to protect her Postal Service colleagues from dog attacks.

“Not only are we trying to prevent the injury, we want to prevent the trauma from being confronted by dogs,” says Gill, who is Northeast Area’s safety manager.

Gill and the area’s safety teams use stand-up talks, on-the-job instructors and other methods to educate employees on defensive measures, such as using dog repellent and satchels to protect themselves during an attack. The teams also train employees to use warning cards and Mobile Delivery Devices to alert others about dogs on specific routes.

To help mark National Dog Bite Prevention Week, an annual campaign that is underway through April 20, Gill offers three additional tips:

• Think outside the box. Gill’s team uses animal trainers to educate employees on dog mannerisms and defense techniques. “We want to prevent the hazard from becoming an injury,” she says.

• Show and tell. Because many employees learn best through visual aids, Gill’s team uses enlarged maps with pushpins to show addresses where dogs are known to reside.

• Educate customers, too. “We do public service announcements to make owners aware of the importance of keeping dogs inside during delivery timeframes,” she says.

Additionally, Gill stresses the importance of aiding workers who have been attacked, including referring them to the Employee Assistance Program for help.

“We want every employee to know that we take their safety and well-being seriously,” she says.

“Best Practices,” a series on employees who demonstrate on-the-job excellence, appears regularly in Link.

In support of service

Retired Brig. Gen. John Fascia presents the Patriot Award to Carol Stream, IL, Vehicle Maintenance Facility Supervisor Lisa Walker recently.

Lisa Walker was recently presented with the prestigious Patriot Award in recognition of her ongoing support of Postal Service employees who serve in the National Guard.

Walker, a supervisor at the Carol Stream, IL, Vehicle Maintenance Facility, was nominated by Tool and Parts Clerk Zavala Deangelo, a veteran who serves in the guard.

“To be considered for something like this from one of our employees — someone who has spent many hours dedicating himself to the Postal Service and our country — that’s important,” Walker said.

National Guard Brig. Gen. John Fascia, who is retired, presented Walker with the award during a ceremony at the facility.

The Patriot Award, which is administered through the Department of Defense and the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve agency, honors supervisors who provide flexible schedules, leaves of absence and other support to employees who serve in the National Guard.

Charging smartly

Unauthorized devices

The Postal Service is reminding employees that plugging smartphones, unapproved thumb drives, e-cigarettes and other personal devices into USPS computers violates the organization’s security policies.

Plugging unauthorized devices into postal equipment runs the risk of inadvertently transferring malicious software, which could disable computers and allow hackers to gain access to the organization’s network.

To protect your devices and the network, the CyberSafe at USPS team suggests the following tips:

• Plug only USPS-approved devices into postal equipment. A list is available on Blue.

• Use a wall outlet to charge your personal devices. You can also use a portable charger.

• Avoid public charging stations. Cybercriminals sometimes install malicious software in these stations to gain access to personal data stored on devices.

• Report unauthorized devices. If you see an unauthorized device plugged into a postal computer’s USB port, notify the device owner or a supervisor.

To report a cybersecurity incident, call 866-877-7247 or send an email to CyberSafe@usps.gov.

For additional cybersecurity information, check out the CyberSafe at USPS sites on Blue, LiteBlue and USPSCyberSafe.com.