Post office insider

At Work

Postal worker Deborah Bryan has been doing two inside jobs, both helping customers

February 21, 2007|By Nancy Jones-Bonbrest | Nancy Jones-Bonbrest,Special to the Sun

Deborah Bryan

Sales and service associate

U.S. Postal Service, Woodstock

Salary --$45,000

Age --41

Years on the job --18

How she got started --After graduating from Towson University with a degree in business administration, Bryan went to work at the post office. For the first 15 years she worked in the back, getting mail ready for carriers to deliver.

Not quite three years ago, she switched to working the front window at the Woodstock branch. She's currently on a temporary reassignment, working out of the main branch of the Baltimore post office assisting business customers.

Typical day --Bryan works 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Her work at Woodstock involves shipping packages, selling stamps and opening post office box accounts.

When she is detailed to the Baltimore main branch, she assists small businesses with shipping and other services. She spends her day in the field meeting with business customers to explain the Postal Service's products and services.

"My biggest function is to educate the customer. So what I'm doing right now is still educating customers, but on a business level. I'm still getting the information out on our products and services."

Customer service --The key to customer service, says Bryan, is to enjoy what you do.

"The important thing is the customer knows I'm going to take care of them when they come in. We are there to help them."

Dealing with the unhappy customer --"Occasionally you do get them. I don't take it personally. They're having a bad day and that's OK because we all have them. We're still smiling."

The good --"I'm passionate about what I do. I love meeting with people. I've been here for 18 years and that speaks volumes."

The bad --"Knowing when to leave at the end of the day. You get engrossed in what you're doing."

Best products --Priority or express mail, says Bryan. Delivery confirmation and insurance can be added to check on status. Carrier pickup of both packages and mail is free.

Working as a mail carrier --She says she never thought about changing to work as a route carrier, but has the utmost respect for them. "I'm on the inside working, but they are out there fighting the elements."

Philosophy --"I always see the glass half-full instead of half-empty."

Nancy Jones-Bonbrest

Special to The Sun

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