‘One of a kind’

Tony Fortik always smiles when he hears a customer say the Weiser, ID, Post Office is the “best-looking Post Office I’ve seen.”

Located in western Idaho, the 84-year-old brick building is on the National Register of Historic Places. Fortik, a USPS building maintenance custodian, has proudly maintained the office since 1991.

“Inside, outside, painting, landscaping, mowing, typical maintenance work — I do it all,” he said. “If you have a nice clean building on the outside and inside, customers come away with a good perception of the Postal Service.”

A Navy veteran, Fortik gets to work at 5 a.m., then prepares the workroom floor to ensure it’s safe for incoming staff. By 8 a.m., he’s doing everything from sweeping sidewalks to picking up trash.

After the carriers leave for their routes, he mops the floor and is ready to help in any way he can.

“I have a purpose to what I’m doing here,” said Fortik, who previously worked as a part-time letter carrier. “I’m not just coming here to work. I’m coming here to serve customers and give them my very best.”

Postmaster Chad Franklin called Fortik “a total team player. He’s always ready to pitch in and lend a helping hand. He’s truly one of a kind.”

Fortik said his only regret is that he didn’t begin his postal career when he was 18.

“I wake up every morning thinking, ‘This is great. I’m going to work because it’s fun,’” he said. “I really couldn’t imagine doing anything else.”

Rural Reach Day

The Postal Service will celebrate its lead-sharing program for rural carriers by designating Friday, Jan. 24, as Rural Reach Day.

Across the nation, USPS districts will hold events to thank rural carriers for contributing to the program, which has generated more than $640 million in estimated annualized revenue since it began in 2008.

“On Rural Reach Day, we’ll remind rural carriers how important they are to the success of our organization and encourage them to continue to seek and submit new leads for our sales force,” said Mary Anderson, small-business engagement director at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

This year, Rural Reach Day is part of Race for a $Billion, the Postal Service’s campaign to raise $1 billion in estimated annualized revenue through sales leads from employees.

About $259 million has been raised since the fiscal year began in October, including $11 million through Rural Reach.

The Sales Blue page has an updated ranking of all USPS districts in the Race for a $Billion campaign, as well as more information about Rural Reach and other lead generation programs.

Maria Millan, a Lakeland, FL, rural carrier, recently submitted a sales lead from a bamboo supplier that generated more than $97,000 in new revenue.

“It’s easy to spot an opportunity,” Millan said. “They don’t always turn into new revenue, but when they see you every day, they trust you and they know you only have their best interests in mind.”

News Briefs

New employee discount

Employee discount. USPS employees can receive a discount on training from Pryor Learning Solutions to enhance their skills and aid their self-development.

Employees can pay $99 to receive 12 months of unlimited access to Pryor’s more than 7,000 free instructor-led seminars and 4,500 online courses that can be accessed 24/7 from a computer or mobile device.

Employees can also earn professional certifications and credits to add to their profile in the HERO learning portal.

Kenna Orioha, a USPS Management Foundations Program trainee who has participated in Pryor seminars, said she particularly enjoyed the in-person training courses.

“I was able to witness the instructor’s passion for the topic they were teaching, and was given the opportunity to collaborate with attendees from different companies in the area,” Orioha said.

Pryor, founded more than 40 years ago, has provided professional development programs for more than 11 million people.

The Employee Deals LiteBlue page has more information.

Postal Bulletin. This year’s mailing promotions for business customers are explained in Postal Bulletin’s Jan. 16 edition.

The publication also features an update on handwritten customs declaration forms, a list of invalid USPS corporate account numbers, and more.

Western words. The Postal Service recently mailed Western Area Update’s latest issue to employees in the area.

The newsletter, which is available on Blue and LiteBlue, features articles about employee engagement, improving customers’ experiences, on-the-job safety and other topics.

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

In the cards

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Approximately how many personalized birthday cards does Belfor Holdings CEO Sheldon Yellen mail to employees each year?

a) 92
b) 920
c) 9,200
d) 92,000

2. How many letters were adopted by Postal Service employees and customers during last year’s Operation Santa program?

a) More than 12,760
b) More than 11,300
c) More than 949,420
d) None of the above

3. To prevent email phishing attacks and protect USPS, which of these tips should you follow?

a) Ensure hyperlinks match their destinations
b) Pause and evaluate messages before taking action
c) Verify the sender
d) All of the above

4. Which of the following is not one of the 10 Strategic Learning Initiatives that postal employees must complete during the current fiscal year?

a) Cold Stress Impact: Treatment
b) Heat Stress Recognition and Prevention
c) No FEAR Act
d) Providing Exceptional Customer Care

5. True or false: Any time your age ends in a 0 or 5, your premiums increase under the Federal Employee Group Life Insurance program.

a) True
b) False

Answers: 1) c. 2) a. 3) d. 4) a. 5) a.