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By Robert “Bobby” Bock
Southeast Area Vice President
When I first started in the Postal Service, most communication was done by pen and paper. When you wanted to communicate, it was handwritten on the old-fashioned buck slip (0-13). I recently reviewed my eOPF online and noticed there were some buck slips from me in my file. It made me think how things have changed.
When I began my EAS career, communication to staff in processing facilities was through an order book. That was where all official notices and instructions were printed; we would read and initial each page.
Then came cc-mail or cc-mobile, our first email system in the Postal Service. When I applied for access, there was a debate whether they would let me on the platform. Access was granted; little did I know what was to come! In later years the Postal Service moved to Microsoft Outlook.
You might think using email makes you more productive, but, according to the McKinsey Global Institute, an average of 28% of a workday is spent on emails. It has been found that most people check their email accounts 11 times a day. Not many of us work a normal eight-hour day, but think about 28% of your day probably spent looking at a phone or computer screen.
How many times do you get emails that don’t even pertain to you? Recently, I got an email that went to every single subscriber in the Postal Service; every addressee was listed on the email. It took me several minutes to scroll down to find out what the message was even about.
Then there are some of us who constantly use the “reply all” key to respond to an email. Does everyone need to know what you said? Or should your response have gone only to the sender?
There are rules regarding this type of activity. Management Instruction AS-870-2019-1 advises postal employees not to use the “reply all” function as it can clog the system with unnecessary messages. If you need to notify large numbers of addressees, use the “bcc” function.
If you do not follow the rules outlined in this instruction, you actually can have your access suspended—then the trouble begins. Your manager gets notified and the Postal Service can take corrective action. Worse than that, you get sent to HERO for retraining.
Here are a few tips to remember while on the Postal Service network. Most importantly, remember that everything you do on the network is monitored and saved. You have no privacy whatsoever—even if you delete something.
Never share your password. If you are sending a message out to a large group of recipients, send email via “bccs.”
Also, don’t click on hyperlinks from someone you don’t know. If in doubt, send a message to cyber safe. Be alert for when the information system sends you a test email; don’t click on the link. Always remember: While on the Postal Service network, big brother always is watching!
Until next time, be safe.
1727 King Street, Suite 400
Alexandria, VA 22314-2753