Binding the nation

In a new letter, Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan thanks USPS employees for their continued service to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic.

“During these challenging and unprecedented times, I want to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to you — the dedicated and unwavering employees of the United States Postal Service,” Brennan writes.

“While the impact the coronavirus has had upon our nation and our communities cannot be overstated, we will most assuredly overcome this disruption and thrive, again, as we have in the past. I am reminded, however, that it’s during troubled times such as these that the crucial role the Postal Service plays in the daily lives of the American people clearly shines through. Our mission to bind the nation together is more important than ever during times of crisis, and is achieved through the tireless efforts and sacrifices of our dedicated employees.”

The letter, which was mailed to every employee’s home address last week, explains that USPS is working closely with federal, state and local health authorities to ensure that the organization provides its essential service in a manner that protects the safety of its employees and the public.

The Postal Service has adjusted procedures to achieve this goal, Brennan writes, and the organization is keeping employees updated through stand-up talks, articles in USPS news publications, bulletin board messages, and other communications channels.

Additionally, the letter notes that several agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization, as well as the surgeon general, have all said there is a very low risk that the virus is being spread through the mail.

Brennan concludes by saluting employees for helping the organization to maintain its normal operations during the pandemic.

“While all of us support the Postal Service in many different ways, those of you remaining physically present in the communities and serving our customers — whether in our retail offices or in transporting, processing and delivering goods and services to millions of people, providing mission-critical support across our network during these unprecedented times — are truly binding this nation together,” she writes. “For this I am so proud and thankful, as is the nation.”

On the way

The Postal Service has announced two new stamp offerings.

Japanese American artist Ruth Asawa (1926-2013) will be honored with a pane of 20 stamps that showcase 10 of her wire sculptures, using photographs by Dan Bradica and Laurence Cuneo.

The selvage features a photograph of Asawa taken by Nat Farbman in 1954 for Life magazine. Ethel Kessler served as art director and designer.

A U.S. Flag stamped envelope featuring a graphic design of the flag will also be released. Kit Hinrichs created the artwork and Kessler served as art director.

USPS will announce the release dates and other details later.

The Postal Service announced most of its 2020 stamp lineup in October, followed by additional announcements in December and January.

All about attitude

Employees are continuing to grow the Postal Service’s revenue through sales leads.

The organization offers several programs that allow workers to provide USPS with information about businesses that might have mailing and shipping needs, such as a new repair shop in town or a retailer seeking new methods to ship his or her products.

Sheila Grace, a retail associate at the Willow Place Post Office in Houston, recently served an entrepreneur who wanted to announce the opening of her business.

After Grace wrote down the entrepreneur’s information and submitted it through the Clerks Care program, a Houston District business development specialist contacted the customer and arranged for the business to advertise its opening through a direct mailing.

The sale will generate $50,000 in estimated annualized revenue for USPS.

“Sheila is committed to the Clerks Care program. She comes in contact with customers on a daily basis who are not using our services to the full benefit of their business. She wants them to continue to use the Postal Service to grow their business,” said Sonya Mackey, a Houston District business development specialist.

In addition to Clerks Care, which is geared toward retail associates and distribution and machine clerks, USPS offers programs that allow other employees to share sales leads: Customer Connect (for letter carriers), Mail Handlers (for mail handlers), Rural Reach (for rural carriers) and Submit a Lead (for everyone else, including Executive and Administrative Schedule employees).

Through the Race for a $Billion initiative, the Postal Service aims to use the programs to raise $1 billion in estimated annualized revenue between Oct. 1, 2019, and Sept. 30, 2020.

So far, the programs have generated $477.9 million.

The Sales Blue page has more information, including the latest Race for a $Billion district rankings.

Grace said she plans to keep doing her part by participating in Clerks Care, which fits with her broader efforts to deliver excellent service.

“Come to work with a positive attitude,” she said. “Even if you have a bad day, try to keep a positive attitude. Customers respond to your attitude.”