Lounging lizard

A customer dropping off a package at 3 a.m. at the Spring Hill, FL, Post Office this month unexpectedly ran into another patron in the 24-hour lobby: a 7-foot-long alligator.

Social distancing was practiced.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office responded to the startled customer’s report and a trapper was sent. The gator was safely removed and “returned to his natural habitat,” according to Cindy Jost of the Sheriff’s Office.

A photo posted on the Hernando County sheriff’s Facebook page shows the lobby crasher cooling off in air-conditioned comfort and seemingly very pleased with himself, although the permanent smile makes it hard to know for sure.

The who, what and where of the incident were clear. The how and why sparked a lot of speculation.

The Facebook page, where the incident was first reported, soon came alive with zingers, including “These boots were made for walking” and “They didn’t deliver to his door so he just caiman.”

Many commenters wondered if mating season had anything to do with it, with one poster theorizing that the gator saw his reflection in the glass of the automatic doors and mistook it for a potential paramour.

“The gator had to have walked a considerable distance” from the nearest water, said Peter Sbashnig, Spring Hill’s customer services manager, “through a residential neighborhood, crossing Deltona Boulevard, which is a four-lane road, and continue to the Post Office.”

“It’s really mind-boggling,” he continued, “but it is mating season.”

The “mailagator” may not have found a mate, but by surviving the journey, it got lucky indeed.

Baseball’s MVP

USPS will release its stamp honoring Yogi Berra, one of the best catchers and overall players in Major League Baseball (MLB), on Thursday, June 24.

Berra (1925-2015) won three American League Most Valuable Player awards and was an 18-time MLB All-Star during his career.

Beloved by baseball fans, he won a record 10 World Series with the New York Yankees and was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Berra, considered one of the best catchers in the American League in the 1950s, was also a powerful hitter.

He averaged better than .300 four times — finishing with a .285 lifetime batting average — knocking in 100 runs five times and hitting 358 home runs.

Antonio Alcalá designed the Yogi Berra stamp with original art by Charles Chaisson.

The Forever stamp will be available in panes of 20 at Post Offices and usps.com.

The envelope, please

Winners of the 2021 PCC Leadership Awards were honored June 2 during an interactive, virtual ceremony.

The celebration was co-hosted by Chief Customer and Marketing Officer Steve Monteith and Marketing Vice President Sheila Holman.

PCCs, or Postal Customer Councils, educate businesses on the benefits of working with USPS. Representatives from the Postal Service and from commercial mailers team up to solve problems, discuss best practices and promote the exchange of ideas.

The Postal Service presents the PCC Leadership Awards each year in recognition of exemplary efforts in the nationwide council network. More than 296 nominations were submitted for the 2021 awards, the most in the competition’s 60-year history.

Among the recipients were:

• PCC of the Year: Greater Baltimore PCC (metro), PCC of Providence (large) and Central Missouri PCC (small).

• District Manager of the Year: Scott Hooper, Texas 1 District, Greater Dallas PCC.

• PCC Postal Member of the Year: Jonathan Castillo, California 3 District business service network representative, Sierra Coastal PCC (gold); Oklahoma City Postmaster Mike Allison, Greater Oklahoma PCC (silver); and St. Petersburg, FL, Postmaster Jacquelyn Villemaire, Tampa Bay Suncoast PCC (bronze).

• PCC Industry Member of the Year: Stan Fredrick, Central Missouri PCC (gold); Margaret Leger, Houston PCC (silver) and Wes Friesen, Greater Portland PCC (bronze).

• PCC Innovation of the Year: Sierra Coastal PCC (gold), South Jersey PCC (silver) and Houston PCC (bronze).

• Communication Program Excellence: Sacramento PCC (gold), Santa Ana District PCC (silver) and Central Arkansas PCC (bronze).

• Education Program Excellence: Greater Baltimore PCC (gold), Greater Portland PCC (silver) and Greater Charlotte PCC (bronze).

• Membership Excellence Award: Inland Empire PCC (gold), Twin Cities PCC (silver) and Chicago PCC (bronze).

• Up-and-Comer Award: San Diego PCC.

The PostalPro website has more information on the PCCs.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.98 percent during the week ending June 18, down a tenth of a percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected June 23.

Western Pacific led the four areas with a rating of 97.25 percent, while Atlantic ranked last with a 96.66 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Washington, part of Western Pacific Area, ranked first with a 98.18 percent rating, while Puerto Rico, part of Southern Area, ranked last with a 91.22 percent rating.

Scanning data allows customers to track their mail and packages, which helps USPS deliver excellent service, boost loyalty and drive revenue.

To see the latest data, go to the Informed Visibility website and select “Customer Experience,” followed by “DES 2 Scan Performance.” Postal Service employees must request Informed Visibility access through eAccess.

Delivery data. The Postal Service’s delivery performance continued to improve during fiscal year 2021’s third quarter when compared with the second quarter, according to results reported last week.

More than 87 percent of First-Class Mail was delivered on time, while 90.4 percent of Marketing Mail was delivered on time.

Shall we dance? USPS will dedicate its Tap Dance stamps Thursday, July 10, in New York City’s Times Square. The Forever stamps will be available that day at Post Offices and usps.com.

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