Spirit of the season

Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan

The Postal Service ushered in the season Oct. 25 during the dedication ceremony for the Holiday Wreaths stamps.

“The wreath on the door may express the shared spirit of the holidays, of family and goodwill to others,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan, who spoke at the event.

“The wreath has played an enduring role in our holiday traditions — and with the Postal Service,” she added, noting that the first holiday postage stamp, issued in 1962, featured a wreath.

The four wreaths shown on the new stamps are inspired by the holiday decorating traditions of early America and feature materials easily found during the winter months, including pine cones, dried flowers and berries.

The stamps are available in booklets of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

“As an artist — as a designer — I don’t think there is a greater honor than having your artwork on a stamp,” Laura Dowling, a former White House chief florist who designed the stamps, told the audience.

“It still seems a bit surreal to me, but to see it in person now … I’m so appreciative, humbled, honored.”

The ceremony was held at the L.L. Bean flagship store in Freeport, ME, where the other speakers included Mike Mahoney, the retailer’s chief legal and compliance officer, who discussed the company’s history of working with USPS.

“Our relationship with the Postal Service began with the very first Parcel Post mailing out of Freeport with our iconic Maine hunting shoe over 105 years ago,” he said. “Since then, the Postal Service has been a great partner in our success.”

Signature move

The Postal Service has added an electronic signature service to Informed Delivery that removes the need for customers to physically sign for eligible deliveries requiring a signature.

The USPS Electronic Signature Online service allows Informed Delivery customers to use an electronic signature to sign for Priority Mail Express, Signature Confirmation and items insured for $500 or more.

The service, which was added Oct. 7, is only available for Informed Delivery customers.

Here’s how USPS Electronic Signature Online works:

• Customers will be presented with the option to sign up for USPS Electronic Signature Online within the Informed Delivery application.

• Tracking numbers for eligible electronic signature mailpieces will appear on the customer’s Informed Delivery “Packages” dashboard.

• Once the electronic signature is applied, a USPS carrier’s handheld device will receive an alert. The carrier must confirm the address and deliver the mailpiece without obtaining a physical signature.

The addition of USPS Electronic Signature Online to Informed Delivery is part of the organization’s efforts to improve efficiency and customer service. Customers can use the new tool to provide the Postal Service with a preferred delivery location if a package is too large for their mailbox.

USPS Electronic Signature Online also will help reduce failed delivery attempts.

In fiscal 2018 (Oct. 1, 2017-Sept. 30, 2018), there were approximately 253 million failed first delivery attempts that inconvenienced customers and delayed delivery.

Stay connected

Woman wearing sunglasses looks at a mobile phone.

The Postal Service will offer employees a new method to stay up to date during this year’s open season: text messaging.

Open season is the annual period when employees can change their health benefits or enroll in a new plan. This year’s open season runs from Nov. 11-Dec. 9.

Employees can sign up to receive short text messages on benefits, wellness, financial education and other topics.

To sign up, text BENEFITS to 21333.

Employees who sign up will incur the cost of using short message service (SMS) text messaging. Normal rates will apply.

Employees should also follow their workplace rules on cellphone usage.

Show and tell

East Durham, NC, Rural Carrier Edward Holloway

Did you read Link’s recent story about Edward Holloway, an East Durham, NC, rural carrier who marked 50 years of federal service?

How about the “Heroes’ Corner” profile of Martha Olsen, the Jackson, MI, letter carrier who donated a kidney to an elementary school teacher from Texas?

Were you moved by the piece about USPS employees who’ve benefited from Ronald McDonald House, one of the charities that participate in the Combined Federal Campaign?

What did you learn from the “About the Business” article on stamps and the “Best Practices” tips on treating colleagues like customers and conserving energy in the workplace?

If you have feedback on these or other Link stories, email your comments to uspslink@usps.gov.

Your messages could be published in our Mailbagcolumn. We also use your feedback to strengthen our coverage of the Postal Service.

We look forward to hearing from you.