Post marriage

Smiling couple stand in office

Ann Mailloux and Michael Saint met each other on the day they began their Postal Service careers in 1985. Little did they know how long those careers — and their relationship — would last.

Mailloux and Saint were both hired as part-time distribution clerks at the Providence, RI, Processing and Distribution Center. At their new employee orientation, they learned they were assigned the same shift: 8 a.m.-1 p.m., with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.

The schedule allowed them to eat lunch together and hang out after work.

“We didn’t fit in with the others,” Saint said. “We were young. Everyone else was older.”

Mailloux said she and Saint had “an immediate connection. We became friends right away.”

Two years later, they became husband and wife.

By that time, Mailloux was working in human resources for the Postal Service’s former Southeast New England District, while Saint was a letter carrier in North Kingstown, RI.

They each continued to climb the postal career ladder: Mailloux became a Northeast Area human resources manager, while Saint became the Little Compton, RI, Postmaster.

The couple also had a son, Sterling Saint.

In 2016, Mailloux moved to USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, where she works as an organization design director. Saint joined her at headquarters a year later as a social media associate.

“With us both working here, we could ask each other questions and bounce ideas off each other,” he said.

Saint, who retired in January, and Mailloux, who’ll conclude her career this month, are planning a quiet Valentine’s Day together: with chocolate and cards.

“Michael tends to buy those cards that show a lot of scenarios, and he writes things in them to make them even funnier,” Mailloux said.

Said Saint: “I get a box of Turtles candy and she gets a box of coconut patties.”

Their son is a physical therapist in Providence, and he and his wife are expecting a baby in June.  The couple is moving back to Rhode Island in March, where they look forward to enjoying their new role as grandparents.

After almost 35 years on the job, Mailloux and Saint each have advice on how to succeed in the Postal Service.

“Be yourself and don’t sacrifice who you are for the organization,” Mailloux said. “USPS needs people who bring their true individual selves to work.”

Saint’s advice: “Figure out what you like to do and your strongest traits and find where it fits in the organization.”

The couple also has a few tips from more than 30 years of marriage.

“Make sure you laugh and celebrate life,” Saint said.

Added Mailloux: “Be honest and have fun together.”

Man of letters

The world didn’t just lose one of its biggest movie stars when Kirk Douglas died last week.

It also lost a prolific letter writer.

Handwritten correspondence played a significant role throughout the life of the 103-year-old star of such classics as “Spartacus” and “Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.”

Douglas and his wife Anne Buydens, an actress and producer, exchanged letters throughout their 63-year marriage. Buydens reportedly preserved the notes, carefully folding away the ones he mailed her, and rescuing those she wrote to him from the bottom of his suitcases when he returned home from a film shoot.

The couple published a 2017 book, “Kirk and Anne: Letters of Love, Laughter, and a Lifetime in Hollywood,” that reveals details about their marriage and anecdotes about their friends, including Lauren Bacall, Frank Sinatra, Burt Lancaster, Elizabeth Taylor, John Wayne, John and Jackie Kennedy and another couple known for their love letters, Ronald and Nancy Reagan.

Writing letters and answering fan mail also played a role in Douglas’s therapy after he suffered a stroke during the 1990s — and later prompted him to embark on an effort to promote the value of handwritten correspondence.

In a 2015 HuffPost essay, Douglas called on readers to help him revive letter writing.

“Write a letter today to someone you love that can be kept, savored and passed along to family members when the time is right,” he wrote.

“Send a handwritten invitation by mail instead of an evite. Receive a gift and handwrite a thank-you note. Express your feelings to a member of government on an issue you care about and put it in a mailbox. Remember, when you sign a letter in your own hand, you are attesting that you and you alone are responsible for its content. I don’t think that’s possible with an email.”

The con is on

Tax time is prime time for scams.

Cybercriminals steal millions of dollars each year by conning filers into revealing their names, birthdates and Social Security numbers, then using that information to file fraudulent tax returns.

To protect yourself, the CyberSafe at USPS team offers the following tips:

• File early. Filing taxes early with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) gives scammers less time to steal your identity and your tax refund.

Keep your information secure. Scammers might pose as a trusted bank, government agency or tax professional. Taxes should only be paid to the “United States Treasury.”

Know the signs. The IRS never contacts taxpayers by email, text message or social media channels.

Monitor accounts. Check your bank statements for suspicious activity. Ensure your tax refund is deposited into your designated account.

If you suspect fraudulent phishing emails are being sent to your personal inbox, report them to the IRS at phishing@irs.gov. If you’ve been a victim of a tax scam, contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration through its website at treasury.gov/tigta.

Remember: Never use your USPS email address to file personal taxes. IRS emails arriving in your Postal Service inbox are likely phishing attempts that must be reported using the “Report to CyberSafe” button in your Outlook toolbar.

The CyberSafe at USPS Blue and LiteBlue pages have additional information.

News Briefs

Business Connect recognition

Connect four. USPS recently recognized four employees for their contributions to Business Connect, a program that encourages managers to promote postal products and services to their customers.

The honorees are Acting Customer Services Manager Melony Ackey (Atlanta) and Postmasters Robert Bazan (Rio Grande City, TX), Oscar Gonzalez (Victorville, CA) and Jessica Labrecque (Elkview, WV).

Each employee increased his or her office’s revenue in fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018-Sept. 30, 2019) compared with the same period one year earlier.

The employees were commended for their efforts to generate revenue and strengthen customer relationships during a luncheon with Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan and the executive leadership team at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Northeast news. The Postal Service recently mailed the latest issue of Northeast Area Update to employees in the area.

The newsletter, which is available on Blue and LiteBlue, features employees who discuss their expectations for the new year, a local safety poster contest and more.

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