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Are You in the Game or Simply on the Bench?
By Beverly Torain
Raleigh, NC, Branch 177 President and Retired Postmaster of Apex, NC
As we move into 2022, we reflect on the past year. Who would have thought we still would be experiencing a worldwide pandemic? COVID-19 and all its variants certainly have changed our everyday lives. The virus has taken so much from so many: lives lost, families torn apart and businesses shut down—even closed permanently. And, sadly, Betty White died. Not Rose!
Yet, in the same vein, we have an equal amount for which to be thankful. We have vaccines that can help soften the effects of the virus. No one said you would not get the virus, but you stand a stronger chance of survival with the vaccine than without it.
For a short while, we were able to start to travel again, spend time with family and friends and even see some signs of normalcy. We thank God for our lives, our jobs and NAPS. Over the past year and a half, we’ve become closer as an association. But are you really in the game or simply on the bench?
As I wrote last year, we have learned to work a little harder, love a little stronger and become a little kinder. As a supervisor, manager or postmaster, are you being the “brand?” Do you come to work and arrive as scheduled or do you call out frequently? Do you present yourself as a professional at all times—in the way you dress, communicate with others and in your actions—or are people trying to figure out whether this is the type of person the Postal Service is proud to say is part of their managerial staff?
Do you take time to listen to and then thank your employees or do you just shrug your shoulders and say, “Whatever?” As a NAPS member, are you actively involved at the local, state and national levels or do you do just enough to qualify for a “free vacation?” If you responded in the negative to any of the above questions, maybe you simply are on the bench.
The Postal Service, just like any employer, has its issues, but, as we all have heard at least once, you raised your hand and said “choose me.” In making that decision, you promised to represent the organization and, more importantly, yourself in a favorable light.
Show pride and professionalism in your choices. Dress the part; communicate intelligently. And, most of all, have integrity.
As a NAPS member, the same should hold true. Don’t just sit back and ride the wave. Instead, become an advocate to help those who find themselves in disciplinary situations. Run for a local, state or national position such as branch president, area vice president or legislative chair; the possibilities are endless.
In 1908, when a group of supervisors gathered in Louisville, KY, to form NAPS, it wasn’t so they could meet every two years for a convention. Rather, their intent was to help right the wrongs of supervisors, managers and postmasters. The struggle continues today. You are and continue to be an integral part of the association; NAPS needs you.
A big “thank you!” to those still in the trenches doing all they can to make NAPS the great association it is. To the others, I ask, “Are you in the game or simply on the bench?”