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Posted: October 16, 2009 12:30 a.m.

Hey, Mr. Postman

New Covington postmaster started as a carrier 33 years ago

Brittany Thomas/

Cathy Johnson

Shane Williams began his career with the United States Postal Service in 1976 as a carrier in his hometown of Tucker. In August he became Covington’s postmaster.

Soon after starting in Tucker he transferred to the federal annex in Atlanta — there are now two federal annexes in the city — and then to Covington in March of 1979.

When he began delivering mail to Covington residents 30 years ago, the post office had five city routes and eight rural routes. Today the post office services eight city routes and 43 rural routes.

Williams said that carrying is not as easy as people may think.

"Many times you don’t see the carrier in the building breaking down the mail for three to four hours preparing to take it on the road," he said.

Plus, carriers must deal with summer heat, winter cold, pouring rain and, of course, unfriendly dogs. But, lots of smiles and laughs lie along the route too.

"One day I went into City Pharmacy and it was the dead of summer and I was covered in sweat — I mean everything I had was soaked," Williams remembered," and Mr. Ed Stone came over with his medicine dropper and said ‘let me get a drop of that sweat — sweat from a federal worker is so rare, it’s got to cure cancer.’" 

He said the people on his route were the best part of his job.

"I can remember parents bringing home a child from the hospital and then that child coming out to the mailbox with his parents and then being old enough to get it himself, growing up, moving out and coming back home," he said.

In 1992, Williams gave up his delivery truck for a desk and moved into management. For a few years prior to being named Covington’s postmaster, he worked as Social Circle’s postmaster.

As postmaster Williams said his goals for the Covington branch are to generate revenue and to provide excellent customer service to residents.

"I would like to encourage everyone to send personal letters, whether it’s for a birthday or a get-well card," he said.

He said that generations past often stored old letters and cards — everything from letters written by a soldier overseas to correspondence between boyfriends and girlfriends while home from college for the summer are treasured items that can be read over and over again. He said e-mails and text messages don’t offer the same sentimental value.

As far as customer service goes, he said he tries to ensure that the front window of the service center on Stalling Street is fully staffed especially during lunch hours. He also is working toward a goal of having all mail delivered by 5 p.m. and is looking for businesses on Salem Road and at the Ga. Highway 212 and Brown Bridge Road intersection that would like to be a Contract Postal Unit. He said CPUs offer convenience to customers and reduce traffic at the Covington office.

Williams said that any post office is only as good as its employees.

"Employees are our most important asset," he said. "We have a great group of employees."

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