Sunny days

Stephen Boyle remembers his son saying little beyond single words when the boy was a toddler, until one day during a bath came his first full phrase: “‘Sesame Street’ is a production of the Children’s Television Workshop.”

“What a mouthful for a 15-month-old,” said Boyle, a USPS facilities project manager in Denver. “He must have been saving up for that.”

The release of Sesame Street stamps last month has unleashed a flood of memories from Postal Service employees like Boyle who are fans of the groundbreaking children’s television show.

“The characters are unlike any on television — colorful, fun and best of all, relatable,” said Arlington, VA, Staff Counsel/Hearing Officer Zahava Colicelli. “I have shared my love of ‘Sesame Street’ with my daughter. We enjoy traveling to ‘Sesame Street’ exhibits and reading books together featuring the characters. We look forward to celebrating the show for many years to come.”

Other employees value connections to “Sesame Street” that transcend age.

Albuquerque, NM, Business Development Specialist Donald Holt turned 10 shortly after the show debuted in November 1969.

“Even though I was well versed in my ABCs and pretty confident I could count to 100, I was drawn to ‘Sesame Street’ because of the amazing puppetry skills on display,” Holt said.

“I became so enamored with the art form that I bought my first of many puppets, which was a Grover. From birthday parties to postal events to major theatrical performances, I have a lifetime of great puppetry memories — all rooted in those iconic characters.”

New Bedford, PA, Postal Support Employee Sarah Humeniuk gets emotional at 38 over a poignant musical number: Ernie singing “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon,” which evokes coping with her parents’ divorce.

“The entire ‘Sesame Street’ gang helped me get through that,” Humeniuk said. “It was and still is an amazing show.”

John Hyatt, a Pacific Area writer/editor in San Diego, recalled: “I learned how to count in Spanish and that the world is made up of many wonderfully diverse people and cultures. Those early lessons of kindness, listening, understanding and enjoying our differences influence me still to this day.”

Nashville, TN, Parcel Post Distribution Machine Operator Antoinette Lewis summed up the influence of “Sesame Street” this way:

“I am the person I am today because of that show. It set a strong foundation for me to see people as they are, to seek knowledge and to always have a sunny disposition. Because a sunny day makes everything OK!”

Four wheelin’

Four employees at the Postal Service’s Salt Lake City Vehicle Maintenance Facility recently celebrated a combined 130 years of federal employment.

Dave Hansen and Ronald Rydalch, two automotive technicians, each have 35 years of service, while David Farr, a technician, and Jay Shibuya, a supervisor, each have three decades of service.

All are military veterans.

“It’s been a pleasure working with these guys, who do their best to ensure our carriers are driving … safe, reliable [vehicles],” said Steve Martinez, the facility’s manager. “They have a passion for working on vehicles.”

Each member of the quartet called USPS the best job he has ever had — a level of pride that Farr summed up with his favorite motto: “If you don’t have time to do it right, you don’t have time to do it over.”

Yours, mine or ours?

USPS wants you to understand the ethics rules surrounding the use of employee time, postal materials and postal property for three basic categories of community events:

• Postal Service events. These initiatives, such as Operation Santa and Breast Cancer Awareness Month activities, are limited by some internal regulations, but it’s generally OK to use postal materials and property to support them.

• Federal government events. These events include Combined Federal Campaign fundraisers, blood pressure screenings and other activities that are open only to federal employees. You can’t use Post Office lobbies or other public spaces for these events, but you can host them in employee-only spaces.

• Outside events. These events fall into two categories: activities approved under the Community Service Activity Policy (CSAP), such as a local charity drive to collect books for schools, and initiatives authorized elsewhere, such as the Stamp Out Hunger food drive organized by the National Association of Letter Carriers.

You should refer to the CSAP or to the initiative’s guidelines before participating in these events.

The Postal Service also wants you to know the rules for events organized by affinity groups and management organizations that are postal-related.

Although many employees are members of these groups, the groups are outside organizations.

Employees must use their own off-duty time and materials for these activities. USPS can allow employees to use postal space, but only space that is made equally available to other outside organizations.

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

In addition to postal property matters, the campaign has covered seeking employment outside the organization and seeking employment after leaving USPS, 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.

Employees who have questions about these matters should email the USPS Ethics Office at ethics.help@usps.gov or contact an area law office.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. The Postal Service’s national scanning rating was 97.69 percent during the week ending July 12, down from one week earlier.

Western (97.86 percent) led the areas, while Dakotas (99.12 percent) topped the districts.

Scanning allows customers to track their packages and mail, and it helps USPS improve efficiency and network management.

To see the latest results, go to the Informed Visibility site and  select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Employees must request access to Informed Visibility through eAccess.

Get Informed. Employees can sign up for Informed Delivery, a free feature that provides users with digital previews of their incoming mail, at informeddelivery.usps.com.

Increasing the number of subscribers will help USPS attract businesses that want to add interactive content to Informed Delivery emails, which will extend the “life” of the businesses’ mailpieces, keep mail relevant and boost postal revenue.

More than 17 million people use Informed Delivery. The Postal Service wants to have 40 million users by the end of 2020.

Sign-up is voluntary.

Got news? Email your submissions to uspslink@usps.gov.