Staffers receive training at contract postal units


POSTED: Friday, April 17, 2009

Question: I went to a post office that was inside a little convenience store. I was surprised to see it was operated by the store clerk. First of all, while I was waiting in line, I noticed she kept misplacing other people's packages. She kept forgetting where she placed them. Then she seemed confused when I tried to mail a package to a foreign country. Then she changed her price quote on me twice. Are these store clerks trained? Are they authorized to handle the mail? It really worries me to have these untrained people handling important documents.

Answer: You did tell us additionally that there was a U.S. Postal Service sign posted, indicating that it was an official contract station.

That being the case, training is provided to staff of such contract postal units, said Lynne Moore, manager of consumer affairs for the Postal Service in Hawaii.

If you have concerns about service or anything else, you can “;always call us and we would look into it,”; she said.

Moore suggested calling the post office nearest the contract station, because it would have jurisdiction over that station. Call (800) ASK-USPS (275-8777) to get the number for the local post office. Or you can call the local consumer affairs office at 423-3471.

If a retail establishment offers mailing services on their own “;just as a convenience to their customers ... and we have no official ties to them,”; you could still call your local post office “;for guidance”; and for answers to your questions, Moore said.

“;But if they're not a contract unit, we don't necessarily provide official training because they're not operating in agreement with the postal service,”; she said. In that situation, the store could set their own prices.

Q: I was taking the Mililani offramp (5B) from H-2 freeway north, and witnessed a near head-on collision with the cars in front of me and a driver who entered the offramp from Meheula Parkway. I believe the errant driver had turned left from Meheula to take the northbound onramp (which runs parallel to the offramp). There used to be pylons on Meheula, but they weren't replaced when it was resurfaced last year. The pylons also provided added safety between cars coming off the freeway and those stopped at the red light. How does one make a request to have the pylons replaced?

A: There already are plans to put the “;traffic delineators”; back on Meheula Parkway, according to Tammy Mori, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation.

She thanked you for your “;valuable feedback.”;

Mori said the delineators were removed last year during the H-2 freeway Mililani Interchange Rehabilitation Project, which resurfaced lanes and freeway ramps in the area.

She said highway crews are planning to reinstall them in the coming months, before the project is officially completed.

Q: With all the stories about President Obama's new dog, can you tell me what was the name of President Roosevelt's dog?

A: We presume you're asking about President Franklin Roosevelt's constant companion, a black Scottish terrier nicknamed Fala.

Fala, who was given to FDR as a gift in 1940, was originally named “;Big Boy.”; But FDR renamed the dog “;Murray, the Outlaw of Falahill,”; in honor of a Scottish ancestor, and that evolved into Fala.