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By Marlana Smith
Time has flown by for Central Area H Postmaster Alice Thomas. She began working for the United States Postal Service (USPS) a little over 40 years ago.
Rick Foster, a friend from Monroe City, wanted Alice’s husband, Tom, to work for the postal service, but at the time, he had a body shop.
He said, “You ought to do it. I said, well that sounds good.”
Alice took the test, passed and began as City Carrier in Shelbina in 1983.
“It’s been very rewarding. I am very thankful for my job. It’s been a good career for me and a lot of opportunities. I enjoy what I do and the employees,” said Central Area H Postmaster Alice Thomas.
Alice received a 40-year pin and certificate from her Manager of Postal Operations on Tuesday, May 23, 2023.
A major change Thomas has seen since becoming Postmaster in 2007 has been the areas she overseas.
In the beginning, Shelbina was her only location. Thomas now manages Clarence, Leonard, Newark, Novelty and Shelbyville.
Some of the small offices used to be eight hour offices and have Postmasters. When they did the reconstruction, they reduced the hours and moved current Postmasters into different offices.
Thomas currently has 27 employees.
In the last year or two, it has been harder to find people to fill the positions.
“Especially RCA’s (Rural Carrier Associates/part-time employees), because they don’t get as many hours. They work when the regulars want off or are on sick leave,” said Thomas.
Shelbina is the largest post office in Central Area H.
Shelbina has three to four “hampers” daily, which hold letters, flats and parcels.
The post office receives roughly, two to three pallets of Amazon packages a day, which is between 400 to 500 packages.
There are times some of the carriers must come back to the office due to room in their vehicles.
When Alice first started, mail came out of Hannibal, then Quincy, Ill., now it is St. Louis.
Alice will continue to work for the USPS until she plans to retire.
“When I first started, I said, I hope I make it to 40 years and I did make it. That was my goal,” said Alice.
Shelbina Supervisor Rodney West and Shelbyville Rural Carrier Eric Werr received a 25-year pin and certificates last week.