Postmaster puts customers first

May. 21, 2014 @ 07:11 PM

Postmaster Gloria Mitchell is using a hands-on approach to handle Henderson’s mail.

Mitchell came to the city’s 55-employee post office in November 2013 after accepting an officer-in-charge assignment and leaving a 75-employee office in Durham. She was promoted to postmaster in December 2013.

“The only difference between being a station manager in Durham and a postmaster here is that I do more hands-on reports, which if good because it keeps me busy,” she said.

Mitchell starts every morning by greeting her employees and assisting her supervisors. Throughout the day, she juggles conference calls with higher-ups and addresses customer complaints, which she insists on doing herself.

“We have guidelines, and we have goals, but our No. 1 goal is customer service and employee safety,” Mitchell said. “What I have learned is with customers, if they submit a complaint, we need to address it within 24 hours. I always make sure that customer complaints are addressed even if I have to call them myself.”

To get acquainted with the community, Mitchell said she also goes out with a carrier for one day out the week.

Her hands-on approach also works well with the post office employees.

Maintenance employee Jacob Adams said he liked her leadership style.

“She is very professional and very diligent in what she does,” he said. “She certainly believes in doing things by the books here. Since she came here we know what she expects from us. She is not strict, but she is strictly business.”

Lead clerk Bryan Edwards said that he values her experience.

“I think she carries herself in a professional manner,” Edwards said. “She gives a lot of information about what’s going on in the postal service.”

While employees follow her lead, customers said they continue to like what they see.

“I don’t come up here a lot, but when I do, I always get the best service,” said Bruce Franklin, a post office customer. “Whatever she is doing, she is doing a great job.”

Mitchell has worked in all facets of the postal service, starting as a letter sorting machine clerk in 1987. Working her way through the ranks landed her in Henderson, where she is believed to be the first African-American to hold the postmaster position.

“We don’t have any definitive data, but we are confident to say that Gloria Mitchell is believed to be the first postmaster in Henderson,” said Carl Walton, spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service. “We don’t have specific data on it for sure. No one really keeps that kind of records. We can go back pretty far and see that there hasn’t been one.”

Mitchell said she takes the historical implication of that very seriously.

“I am thankful for this position, you know,” Mitchell said. “It’s really a blessing to have a job in this community. One thing that I can say is everyone is like a family here. They really draw you in to the community.”

Mitchell said her goals are to ensure people get their mail consistently and on time and to continue to put customers first.

She also wants to get involved in being a mentor for young woman in the community.

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.