Postal history is the study of postal systems and how they operate and, or, the collecting of covers and associated material illustrating historical episodes of postal systems. The Postal service delivers billions of pieces of mail, including letters, bills, advertisements, and packages. The work area of postal service is very vast where each category is assigned under different job title. They are classified into clerks, mail carriers, or mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators. Apart from the postal clerks all the other categorized employers sort incoming and outgoing mail at post offices and mail processing centers.
The duties of the various staffs of the postal departments are as follows
Postal Service clerks
- sell stamps, money orders, postal stationary, and mailing envelopes and boxes. They also weigh packages to determine postage and check that packages are in satisfactory condition for mailing.
Postal Service mail sorters and processors
- prepare incoming and outgoing mail for distribution. They load and unload postal trucks and move mail around a mail processing center with forklifts, small electric tractors, or hand-pushed carts.
Postal Service mail carriers
- deliver mail after it has been processed and sorted. Carriers are classified by their type of route-either city or rural. Mail carriers start work at the post office early in the morning, when they arrange the mail in delivery sequence. Automated equipment has reduced the time that carriers need to sort the mail, allowing them to spend more time delivering it.
Those seeking jobs as Postal Service workers can expect to encounter keen competition. The number of applicants usually exceeds the number of job openings because of the occupation's low entry requirements and attractive wages and benefits. Postal Service workers enjoy a variety of employer-provided benefits similar to those enjoyed by Federal Government workers. The American Postal Workers Union, the National Association of Letter Carriers, the National Postal Mail Handlers Union, and the National Rural Letter Carriers Association together represent most of these workers. In the postal service department one can get employed as
• Mail carriers
• Mail sorters
• Mail Processors
• Processing machine operators
Postal Service workers are classified as casual, part-time flexible, part-time regular, or full time. Casuals are hired for 90 days at a time to help process and deliver mail during peak mailing or vacation periods. Part-time flexible workers do not have a regular work schedule or weekly guarantee of hours but are called as the need arises. Part-time regulars have a set work schedule of fewer than 40 hours per week, often replacing regular full-time workers on their scheduled day off. Full-time postal employees work a 40-hour week over a 5-day period. Employment and schedules in the Postal Service fluctuate with the demand for its services. When mail volume is high, full-time employees work overtime, part-time workers get additional hours, and casual workers may be hired. When mail volume is low, overtime is curtailed, part-timers work fewer hours, and casual workers are discharged.
Other occupations with duties similar to those of Postal Service clerks include cashiers; counter and rental clerks; file clerks; and shipping, receiving, and traffic clerks. Others with duties related to those of Postal Service mail carriers include couriers and messengers, and truck drivers and driver/sales workers. Occupations whose duties are related to those of Postal Service mail sorters, processors, and processing machine operators include inspectors, testers, sorters, samplers, and weighers, and material moving occupations.
Winton Malcolm Blount
Born in Union Springs, Ala., on Feb. 1, 1921, Winton Malcolm Blount Jr. attended the Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, Va., and the University of Alabama. He served from 1942 to 1945 in the Army Air Forces as a B-29 pilot, ending his service as a first lieutenant. Winton M. Blount, the last postmaster general to serve in a president's cabinet and the first chairman of the Postal Service. As President Richard M. Nixon's postmaster general, Mr. Blount (pronounced blunt) was the architect of a sweeping reorganization of the Post Office Department, calling for removal of the postmaster general from the cabinet and the creation of a self-supporting postal corporation owned by the federal government. He was also an active philanthropist and art collector who played an important role in Alabama Republican politics for about 50 years.
A successful construction executive, Mr. Blount was serving as president of the United States Chamber of Commerce in 1969, when Mr. Nixon asked him to join the cabinet. He was given the task of modernizing the postal service and making it more efficient. In May 1969, Mr. Blount offered four basic reforms: adequate financial authority; removal of the system from politics, assuring continuity of management; collective bargaining between postal management and employees; and the power to set postal rates after hearings before an impartial panel. The ideas became the main elements of the nation's most comprehensive postal legislation, which Mr. Nixon signed into law on Aug. 12, 1970. The new Postal Service, an independent institution in the executive branch, began operating on July 1, 1971, with Mr. Blount as chairman of its board.
Department of Posts functioning under the brand name India Post is a government operated postal system in India; it is generally referred to within India as "the post office". The Indian Postal Service, with 155,333 post offices, is the most widely distributed post office system in the world (China is next, with 57,000). The large numbers are a result of a long tradition of many disparate postal systems which were unified in the Indian Union post-Independence. Owing to this far-flung reach and its presence in remote areas, the Indian postal service is also involved in other services such as small savings banking and financial services.
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