Saluting Postal Service Heroes
Dear Pamela, I was pushing my precious, year-old great-granddaughter across Lunalilo Home Road by Kamiloiki Park. The blanket I had her legs covered with slipped and caught on the wheels of the carriage, and we were stranded in the middle of the road! Cars were approaching from both sides and I could not untangle the blanket! Fortunately, the first vehicle in line was a mail truck driven by Rudy Salazar. He stopped – and all cars on both sides stopped while Mr. Salazar calmly and efficiently lifted up carriage and baby to the sidewalk! After making sure I was all right, he waved goodbye, went to his mail truck and drove off. I yelled for his name and he said, “Rudy!” I later found out from the Hawaii Kai post office that his last name was “Salazar” and that recently he also saved another child who was drowning.
“It’s no surprise to us that Hawaii Kai mail carrier Rudy Salazar stopped to help Mrs. Tanabe,” says Duke Gonzales, corporate communications specialist for the U.S. Postal Service. “He is well-known for his caring attitude and his track record of community service. For years he was one of the driving forces behind the National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual food drive for the entire island of Oahu. Rudy’s selfless actions and the spirit of community service that permeates the postal service demonstrates that our employees do more than deliver the mail; they make a positive difference and truly care about helping others.”
I went to the airport post office to mail my annual Christmas gifts to my home-stay family in Japan. I always know it’s going to be quite expensive for postage. This year, I thought I’d be smart and use the flat-rate boxes. I went up to the counter and the counter worker, Mei, said to me, “Oh, you know those are $60 each, right?” I was shocked! I didn’t expect to be paying that much. The line behind me was quite long and I didn’t want to make a fuss. Mei said, “Let me weigh it. It might be cheaper if you put everything in one box.” She weighed my packages and told me if I put them all in one box, it’d cost me about half the price! She proceeded to go in the back to find me a box, then told me to put everything in the box, tape it up and then come right back to her station. I did just that, and Mei took care of everything. This all happened at about 2 in the afternoon, and Mei’s coworker stopped by her station and said, “Last one, Mei, you need to eat lunch.”
Mei went beyond the call by helping me save money, looking for a box in the back of the counter and then putting off her own lunchtime to help me, a customer. Thank you, Mei! You made my annual winter visit to the post office a very special one! And I’ll “pay it forward” with the next stranger I meet!
Your angel at the Airport Post Office was clerk Mei Teruya. “Mei and her fellow Airport Post Office clerks are well-known for their exceptional customer service,”says Gonzales. “Customers frequently drive out of their way to the Airport Post Office in order to drop off their important packages and other mail because they know clerks like Mei are super knowledgeable and super efficient.”
I called the state pothole hotline in order to report the pothole problems on Pali Highway. Normally, one would think that the person taking these calls would be terse and no-nonsense, making these type of calls as short as possible. Frustrated with the roads? Yes. But this person made the rest of my day a bit more bearable, even though my car’s tires and suspension still suffer the pains. I can only imagine the abundance of complaints would make anyone short. Well, what I got was customer service at its best. This lady was pleasant, very professional and genuinely sympathetic to the situation.
To know where the problems are, the state Department ofTransportation relies on calls like yours. “We appreciate that Mr. Fujimoto took the time to write and publicly acknowledge our employee,” says DOT public information officer Caroline Sluyter.
“Although our inspectors are on the roadways every day, we appreciate information from the public that can help us fix problems that occur. Emergency repairs to potholes are prioritized by severity and are attended to as soon as possible. Motorists can report potholes on state highways to 831-6714, on city roads to 768-7777.”