New leader at post office to improve service

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 16, 2003

If you ask Edward Alexander Jr. about his goal for our local post office, the new Greenville postmaster will tell you it’s simple: Get ALL of the mail out to everyone, everyday.

&uot;When I first got here, we floated a week,&uot; Alexander said. &uot;Instead, I want to get everything out. It will take a little longer, and not everyone will be happy with that. Some people say they could set their watch by when the postman comes by, and you probably could, but were you getting the best service? That’s what I’m trying to change – where you get everything.&uot;

The Montgomery native took over his post at the local mail center 11 weeks ago, and is proud of what has already been accomplished.

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&uot;I don’t want to brag, but I have been here for 11 weeks now,&uot; he said. &uot;In Area 5, there are about 113 post offices, and we ranked in the Top 3. If you take all the statistics into consideration, we actually beat out the other two [top-ranked post offices]. It’s not easy, it’s hard work.&uot;

For Alexander, the Greenville position was one he has sought for a long time.

&uot;My last assignment was in Demopolis, about 105 miles from home in Montgomery,&uot; he said. &uot;This is only about 47 miles – it’s a lot closer; that’s the convenience of it.&uot;

The closer proximity to work makes things easier for the postmaster to spend time with his wife, Debra, and two sons, Edward III, 21, and Keymono, 17.

Alexander is a veteran of the postal service, having begun his career in 1979 as a letter carrier, then worked his way up to postmaster 14 years ago.

&uot;I have been postmaster in Demopolis, Georgiana, McKenzie, Highland Home and Cusseta, Ala.,&uot; he said. &uot;I also served as officer in charge at Phenix City and Verbena, Ala.&uot;

Alexander said the Greenville position also is appealing for its growth potential, and looks forward to the new industries’ impact on the post office.

&uot;All our carriers can accept the growth when the big businesses come,&uot; he said. &uot;We have a full staff, and the increase in mail shouldn’t impact us enough to have to increase the staff because of the automation in the postal service. Most of the sorting is done in Montgomery with the automated sorting machine. As far as the revenue accounts are concerned, such as postage due accounts, trust accounts, accounts like that, we are waiting on them to get their businesses started so we can pick that up. That won’t be a problem.&uot;

The postmaster said he has already been in touch with his support center to broach the language barrier problem the Korean companies may present.

&uot;We don’t have anyone [employed at the post office] who speaks a foreign language, but most of the companies we have deal with have someone who speaks English and can translate for them,&uot; Alexander said. &uot;We have had problems from time to time with Spanish-speaking workers coming into the office, and it’s hard for us to understand what they want. [The postal service] has dealt with those types of problems for a long time and has brochures about that. We do have bilingual information on the walls but it might not cover every language.&uot;

He said that although the current information may not address the Korean language, the U.S. Post Office Support Operations department will assist in giving him the aid he needs if the language barrier becomes a problem.

&uot;They will send someone here [to the post office] to help or send someone to the business to set up some guidelines,&uot; he said. &uot;They might even send something with Korean words that will help me figure out what they are asking for. Either way, it will be addressed.&uot;

Alexander said he is happy about his move to the Greenville post office.

&uot;Coming here, I was very blessed,&uot; he said. &uot;Having lived in this area, I’m familiar with what is going on – the new businesses coming, the new Wal-Mart. So it’s not a huge transition.&uot;

Alexander said he looks forward to serving the Greenville community.

&uot;To the community, I say, ‘My door is open’&uot; he said. &uot;If you have an issue, call me. I will do my best to resolve that issue within the postal guidelines.&uot;