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Cultivating Interpersonal Relationships with Fellow Postal Workers and Postal Service Clients

Congratulations! You’ve aced the postal exam, impressed the hiring authorities during your interview, passed the background screenings, and are now part of the premier mail organization in the world—the United States Postal Service. A competitive pay and benefits package await you here as a career-track postal worker. In addition to health and life insurances, Social Security and Medicare, you also get a generous retirement plan, thrift savings plans, and paid leaves.

But if you want to succeed in your new job as a postal worker, you need to do more than just know the regulations and policies of the U.S. Postal Service. You also need to learn how to develop and foster interpersonal relationships with your postmaster, supervisor, and fellow letter carriers, clerks, and mail handlers as well as with the customers who transact business at your postal facility every day. Postal customers also include those homeowners whose letters and parcels you bring to their homes.

In any workplace, it is always the aim of almost all workers to be able to work harmoniously with their colleagues and be on the good side of their bosses. This takes effort, especially on the part of the newbie who still has to learn the culture and work dynamics that are already the norm in that particular office. In post offices where work (mail that needs to be delivered) streams in everyday, the deadlines that have to be met and the pressure that goes along with it can be pretty intense. The new postal worker must do his or her best to keep up while still being on professional and amicable terms with everyone.

To make your job easier, learn everything you can during the training period. It may seem too much at first but when you strive to get all the information you need to know early in the game, the rest of your working days will sail smoother. If you have questions, ask your supervisor at this stage. More importantly, always remember what the answer was. Nothing can irk a boss (or even officemates) more than constantly repeating something he knew was already covered before.

Be patient with postal customers if you are assigned window duties. Answer all their questions as courteously as you can. Remember, you are supposed to know your job (e.g. pricing and mailing options) better than they do. They wouldn’t ask if they already knew. Show the same courtesy when delivering letters. Successful letter carriers have even made lifelong friends in their delivery route because they took the time to say a simple “good morning!” to people in the neighborhood.

Finally, don’t engage in office gossip. Nothing can ruin relationships more than making up stories or listening to made-up stories about a fellow worker. How would you feel if you were the one being gossiped about? Be professional, courteous, and helpful and you will go a long way in your postal career.