Growing businesses

The Postal Service wants to help small-business owners find better ways to contact customers and grow their companies, USPS leaders told entrepreneurs at a symposium last week.

The event, held in Washington, DC, allowed small-business owners to learn about the latest postal products and services to help them better target and reach consumers.

“At the Postal Service, we’re working toward providing customers with a consistent, exceptional customer experience,” said Mary Anderson, the organization’s small-business engagement director. “Small businesses should feel welcomed and clearly understand the services were are offering. We’re honored to assist them.”

Attendees learned about Every Door Direct Mail, return shipping services, Informed Delivery and services under development.

There also was a question-and-answer discussion with small-business owners who are using USPS products and services to meet their marketing and delivery needs.

The symposium, organized by Capital Metro Area and Capital District, was held at the National Postal Museum.

The meeting was part of the Postal Service’s broader initiative to attract small-business customers and grow revenue. Other efforts include holding Grow Your Business Day events at Post Offices and participating in National Small Business Week each year.

At the symposium, Bert’a Holmes, president and chief executive officer of an Alexandria, VA-based interior design firm, told USPS leaders that she appreciated the organization’s efforts.

“I don’t know how you found me to invite me to this event,” Holmes said. “But I am thrilled with what I am hearing here. There are so many options I never knew were available.”

Post postal

The Postal Service recently reminded employees of the rules surrounding seeking employment with an outside organization.

But what about the rules on seeking a job with another employer after you’ve left USPS?

Under federal law, former postal employees aren’t prohibited from accepting a job with any particular employer.

However, if you take a job with another organization, you could be prohibited from interacting with your former postal colleagues for a certain period of time.

For example, you may not communicate on behalf of your new employer with a former postal colleague on matters that you worked on together during your time with USPS if those matters involved outside organizations or individuals.

Also, you’ll have to wait two years before you can communicate with a former postal colleague on matters if someone who reported to you worked on those matters and they involved outside organizations or individuals.

Another example: Some senior managers who leave USPS for a non-federal organization aren’t permitted to communicate with current postal employees on behalf of a new employer for one year.

The bottom line: If you have questions about what you can and can’t do after leaving the Postal Service, contact the USPS Ethics Office for guidance. The email address is ethics.help@usps.gov.

Throughout 2019, the Postal Service is educating employees about the federal government’s principles and standards of ethical conduct.

In addition to employment matters, the campaign has covered avoiding financial conflicts of interest involving close relatives and avoiding general financial conflicts of interest, community service activities, misuse of position, and the general standards of ethical conduct.

Local pride

The recent dedication ceremony for the Post Office Murals stamp pane is highlighted in a new USPS video.

The event took place at the Piggott, AR, Post Office, home to Air Mail,” one of five Post Office murals featured on the 10-stamp pane.

“If you haven’t been in this Post Office today, go take a look at that mural. It is absolutely a phenomenal piece of art,” says Arkansas Parks and Recreation Chairman John Gill, one of the speakers at the event.

Piggott is one of dozens of Post Offices across the nation that are home to more than 1,400 other murals and sculptures first commissioned through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs.

The video also shows Arkansas District Manager Tom Billington discussing how much it meant to local postal employees to host the ceremony.

“We’re proud of the service that we give, and the ability to host something like this for the organization and for the community is simply very pleasing to us,” he says.

Turning back time

To help mark the recent release of the USS Missouri stamp, here are five facts about the World War II-era battleship.

1. The USS Missouri had a long-term connection to President Harry Truman. The battleship was launched on Jan. 29, 1944, and was christened by Margaret Truman, daughter of Missouri Sen. Harry S. Truman, who would become president in 1945. When the ship was recommissioned on May 10, 1986, Margaret told the ship’s crew to “take care of my baby.”

2. X marks the spot. A plaque on the Missouri’s main deck locates where representatives from the Empire of Japan signed the Instrument of Surrender on Sept. 2, 1945. The document was countersigned by Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the supreme allied commander, and representatives from the other Allied Powers.

3. The battleship sailed around the world. In 1986, the Missouri embarked on a cruise that took it across the Pacific to Australia, the Indian Ocean, the Suez Canal, Turkey, Italy, Spain, Portugal and then across the Atlantic and through the Panama Canal. Missouri was the first U.S. battleship to circumnavigate the globe since President Theodore Roosevelt dispatched the “Great White Fleet” on a similar tour in 1907. That fleet included the first battleship Missouri.

4. The battleship was an MTV star in 1989. The deck of the Missouri, along with its big guns, served as the setting for Cher’s “If I Could Turn Back Time” video, which was controversial because the singer wore a see-through body stocking and a one-piece bathing suit. MTV would only play the video after 9 p.m.

5. She was ready for her close-up in 2012. Missouri appeared that year in the film “Battleship,” starring Liam Neeson. Though retired, Missouri was taken out of port for one day in 2010 for filming and was crewed by Navy personnel.

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