Our June Post Office Consumer Advisory Council meeting was…interesting. Phil (the Postmaster) was not in attendance but his manager, Jackie, was, so we sort of rehashed a few things from the previous meeting in order to clarify some concerns better.
The meeting started with the announcement that someone filed a Freedom of Information Act request about our group. This person is a former postal employee who now travels around filing FOIA requests about the post office in his role as a self-appointed USPS watchdog (my words). My fellow council members and I were concerned whether or not our names would be given to this person, so the post office promised to follow up with more information at our next meeting.*
We talked about the Passport Fair again. Apparently this is the “year of the passport” and more fairs will be scheduled. Council members who did receive postcards about May’s Passport Fair mentioned that the type was very small and there were spelling errors on the cards.
We talked about the 80th Anniversary celebration again. Saturday, August 29 was confirmed as the date for the celebration. Jackie said she would approve small giveaways like coloring books for kids. And she thought there would be a small budget for refreshments. A few members mentioned they would reach out to the local newspapers to give them a heads up about the event.
Bob, our co-chair, offered to contact the Oak Park village newsletter to ask them to put something out about dog bites and mail carriers. The post office said they would give him an official “blurb” for the newsletter.
The (Oak Park, River Forest, Forest Park) carriers have new scanners that are connected by satellite so if you get text alerts for your Amazon packages, you will get your text even faster letting you know your Prime package has arrived.
We confirmed that July 25th would be the date for the mobile post office’s visit to the Oak Park Farmers Market.
We learned that all postal employees would be attending a “Deliver the Brand” customer service training.
We reiterated the shabby state of the River Forest Post Office grounds.
At the end of the meeting, we discussed the effectiveness of our group. According to Jackie, who manages a number of post offices in Chicagoland and Northern Illinois, Oak Park has recovered from its initial challenges much better than other “troubled post offices” that she manages.
It is still to be determined if our council appointments would end after one year. (If so, August would be our final meeting.)
I’ll be back tomorrow with our July meeting notes and then next week, we can get on with our lives and talk more about Japan, okay?
*I’m obviously blogging publicly about the advisory council, so I don’t have any expectations of privacy in that sense…but my name handed to this guy on a government document feels a little bit invasive. And my fellow council members don’t blog about our work, so they certainly deserve a level of privacy.
P.S. The guy in the middle of the stamp reminds me of John the Mailman.