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'A nonstop process'

Seasonal stream of postal customers is constant

Seasonal stream of postal customers is constant

December 19, 2006|by TARA REILLY

HAGERSTOWN - Short lines were hard to find Monday at Hagerstown area post offices, as customers kept true to what the U.S. Postal Service called the "busiest mailing day of the year."

The line at the downtown Hagerstown office stretched from the front desk to nearly the front door, a sight Customer Service Supervisor Michele Maloy expected would be common all day, and probably through the end of the week.

Acting Hagerstown Post Master Craig Miner said a high number of customers turned out Monday to make sure their packages would be delivered by Christmas.

"It's nonstop," Miner said of the customer traffic at the Hagerstown Northern Station Post Office off Leitersburg Pike. "We haven't had a break since this morning."

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At one point, Miner counted six customers waiting to mail about 15 packages mid-afternoon. He said those numbers would be pretty consistent throughout the day and that it's not unusual to see people come in with 10 to 15 packages at a time.

"It's a nonstop process," Miner said.

The U.S. Postal Service expected to handle 900 million pieces of mail Monday, about 230 million more than the average mailing day, according to a written statement. Of the mail processed, about 280 million were expected to be cards, letters and packages.

Packages mailed by priority mail through Wednesday should get to their U.S. destinations by Christmas, Miner and Maloy said. After that, express mail, which ships overnight, would be the best bet, they said.

Maloy said Christmas tends to keep postal employees busy for several weeks in December. The downtown Hagerstown post office began staying open an hour later Dec. 4 because of the holiday season, she said. The facility's hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Christmas.

And while Monday was the busiest day to mail cards and packages, Miner said today and Wednesday will likely be the busiest delivery days.

Miner joked that, so far, everything has gone smoothly.

"I haven't had a whole bunch of grumpy shoppers yet," he said.




Extended hours



The downtown Hagerstown post office began staying open an hour later Dec.4 because of the holiday season. The facility's hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Christmas.

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