Thursday, January 11, 2007
May named postmaster
Debbie May has been steeped 19 years in postal service work. It’s a job that has kept her an active learner and provided opportunities for leadership, as well.
May, who took the reins as postmaster for the Ida. B. Wells Post Office, downtown Holly Springs Post Office and the contract station in Mt. Pleasant December 9, 2006, said she embraces the challenge of her new responsibilities and enjoys working with a great group of employees.
“There’s no fussing, no arguing. They do a good job,” May said of the staff she inherited in Holly Springs.
She loves it enough to drive 50 miles one-way each day from her home in Pontotoc which has been home base for her during her tenure with the U.S. Postal Service.
She’s a wife, mother of three and a grandmother of three.
May came to Holly Springs to serve as the officer in charge at the post offices in August and when the postmaster position opened she applied. This is the second time she has held the postmaster position, the first being in Marietta.
She’s served in management since 1995 and has held jobs with the postal service in Tupelo, Okalona, Vardaman, Hulka, Senatobia, Booneville, Baldwyn and Marietta.
May started out as a clerk in mail processing, leaving a factory job that she knew would never provide her the opportunity to move upward.
Then she worked as a supervisor, a supervisor in the computer forwarding system (that places yellow stickers on mail when a person moves and has mail forwarded), city and rural delivery, finance, and training of new employees. She also administers the postal exam.
“I was working in a factory and I was sick of working in a factory and I wanted something where I could advance and have a career,” May said. “I took the test, I got on, and I have been here ever since.”
May has learned that the challenge of the work and staying busy is what she loves about postal work. She loves working with people and all aspects of postal work.
“It is a rewarding job I would recommend to anybody,” she said.
There are two aspects of the work that are particularly challenging and worthy, she said. One is seeing to the security of the building and the employees.
“We are very conscious of security in the office and out on the route,” she said.
The Christmas season is also the biggest overall challenge of the year where high volume and things like weather can come into the mix. The U.S. Postal Service sees to delivering packages that come in late on Christmas Day.
“We have clerks come in on Christmas Day to see if there’s anything that looks like a present and we deliver it straight to the house,” she said.
The responsibilities of two post offices in Holly Springs and the Mt. Pleasant Station require about 20 employees including carrier substitutes, May said. There is one window clerk in downtown and one at Mt. Pleasant. Clerks from the Ida B. Wells Post Office go to the downtown location to help box the mail there, she said.
“After working here on a detail as officer in charge in August, I found you have great people here,” May said. “All my carriers and clerks do a good job. So when this position was posted, I decided to bid on it.”
May said the group has several improvements in mind - to improve mail delivery and service and to balance the work load on the routes. Some routes have grown more than others and so the work load needs to be distributed more evenly, she said.
Birth of the Post Office
The U.S. Post Office Department was founded on July 26, 1775, by the Second Continental Congress at a meeting in Philadelphia by provision of the appointment of a postmaster general for the colonies, a secretary and a comptroller.
The legislation provided the postmaster general to appoint as many deputies as necessary for service from Falmouth, New England to Savannah, Ga.
The Post Office Department was the forerunner of the U.S. Postal Service and the second oldst federal department or agency of the United States.
Benjamin Franklin was the first Postmaster General with the main duties to develop a system of communications between Congress and the armies. His successors in one continuous line implemented the system Franklin put into operation forming what is today known as the U.S. Postal Service.
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