Stage fright

When Jeffrey Kyer II saw that his local theater company planned to stage “The Addams Family: A New Musical,” he didn’t think twice about what part to audition for.

Gomez Addams is “the role of a lifetime,” in his view.

In practical terms, though, winning the part — which he did — meant taking on a second job in addition to his work as a Change Management manager at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

Rehearsals for the production, staged by the Locust Grove, VA-based Lake of the Woods Players, took place Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings. On Monday and Tuesday evenings, the Fredericksburg, VA, resident would race from work to rehearsals; on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, he’d rush home to practice lines.

“My wife and kids were super supportive in helping me do this,” he said, allowing him to “go in my office and talk to myself for two hours and act like a crazy person.”

Wife Keiko, daughters Jadyn and Janna and son Jordan also assisted by rating his dance moves and helping him perfect his Spanish accent.

One of the musical’s big themes was especially resonant for Kyer. In the musical, “Gomez is coming to terms with his kids getting older,” and the father of three could relate.

“I’m kind of in that phase of life … there’s a lot of correlation” with his life now and the musical’s storyline.

When told it sounded a little bittersweet, he agreed. “In fact, there’s a song in the show that’s called ‘Happy, Sad.’”

He also feels a kinship with aspects of the character’s big personality, including Gomez’s jovial, excitable nature.

Kyer, who has been acting in local theater for about 10 years, took inspiration for his interpretation from two actors: Nathan Lane, who originated the role in the Broadway musical, and Raul Julia, who played Gomez in the “Addams Family” films of 1991 and 1993, movies Kyer loved as a kid.

His Gomez is “an energetic mix of those two,” with some of his own personality layered in.

The musical’s Gomez carries much of the show, including a boffo opener — a scene that happens to be Kyer’s favorite. “The most fun is the opening number, which is where you meet the family. It’s a big song-and-dance” production,” he said.

He is gratified to see that theater-starved audiences have been eating it up. “Every night this past weekend the crowd went wild. It kind of choked me up.”

The 17-year USPS veteran — Kyer began as a rural carrier assistant in Fredericksburg — was also touched by the support he got from his day-job colleagues.

“I’ve been so supported by my co-workers at USPS,” he said, mentioning that some colleagues even drove the roughly 70 miles from DC to take in the show.

“It’s been awesome.”

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Peak prep tutorials

The first-ever online classes to prepare for peak season are underway now.

The tutorials, which began Oct. 14 and will continue through Nov. 4, are geared to employees of Retail and Delivery Operations but are open to everyone.

The 44 sessions range from 10 minutes to a half-hour in length, with each zeroing in on a topic relevant to the holiday season. Classes are held Tuesdays-Fridays from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. EDT, and again at 5 p.m. EDT for WestPac employees.

You can watch the videos on the Staffing and Scheduling Tool website. You’ll need your employee identification number to sign in.

Employees can request access to the website through eAccess.

The remaining classes cover topics such as preparing retail lobbies for peak season, peak stamp inventory, self-service kiosk standard operating procedures and how to restock, parcel return service, Delivery Operations Information System scheduling and delivery policies.

If you’re interested in a previous class, the tutorials are archived at the Staffing and Scheduling Tool website.

The training aligns with the Postal Service’s efforts to empower, equip and engage employees, a major tenet of the Delivering for America 10-year plan.

Learning about diabetes

To mark Diabetes Awareness Month in November, Postal Service employees can participate in an upcoming webinar to learn practical ways to keep blood sugar in check by managing carbohydrate and protein intake.

The session, “Eating for Prediabetes or Diabetes,” will be held Tuesday, Nov. 2, at noon EDT.

Melanie Berdyck, a nutritionist for the Giant supermarket chain, will conduct the webinar and discuss lifestyle changes to prevent the progression of prediabetes and diabetes, as well as ways to manage blood pressure and cholesterol.

Participants must register before the event on the webinar website. After signing up, directions for accessing the webinar will be emailed to each registrant.

Following the webinar, every registrant will receive an email with a link to an archived recording of the webinar.

Participation is voluntary. Nonexempt employees may only participate off the clock or during authorized breaks.

For more information, email the USPS Health and Wellness team.

News Briefs

Scanning snapshot

Scanning snapshot. A snapshot of Postal Service scanning data shows the national rating was 96.74 percent during the week ending Oct. 22, down 0.41 percent from one week earlier.

The data was collected Oct. 27.

Central led the four areas with a rating of 97.05 percent, while Southern ranked last with a 96.47 percent rating.

Among the 50 districts, Idaho-Montana-Oregon, part of WestPac Area, ranked first with a 98.02 percent rating, while Puerto Rico, part of Southern Area, ranked last with an 85.91 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. From July 1-Oct. 15, the Postal Service delivered 91.2 percent of First-Class Mail on time when compared to the organization’s service standard, according to data released last week.

During the same period, USPS delivered 92.2 percent of Marketing Mail and 84.3 percent of Periodicals on time, the figures show.

Postal Bulletin. Postal Bulletin’s Oct. 21 edition features a preview of this year’s holiday season, long with the latest updates to USPS policies, procedures and forms.

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