‘Tis the busy season at the West Point Post Office

West Point postal employee David Shurden talks with Larry Clay and Tanyia Dexter makes sure Howard Miskelley has everything he needs.
Staff Writer

The employees at the U.S. Postal Service in West Point have been working hard to make deliveries of packages and Christmas cards top priority during the holiday season.

“We are Santa’s helpers this time of the year.” Patrick McKee, postmaster said. “We are working hard to get those packages delivered by Christmas. Everyone here is doing their best.”

McKee said fifteen years ago with email being the way to communicate, and so many people taking advantage of bank drafts for paying bills, he was afraid there would be little demand in the future for the postal service.

“I couldn’t have been more wrong.” McKee said. “We have formed a partnership with UPS and FedEx and we do a lot of local deliveries for them. The upsurge in online shopping has been a blessing for us.”

McKee said there has been a 25 percent increase in packages to be delivered over last year. He said Amazon is keeping them rolling.

He said the oddest things that have come through the post office for delivery, have been fish baskets and tires.

“Those fish baskets weigh almost nothing but they are big and bulky,” McKee said. “I never thought about anyone needing to mail tires, but it does happen. I’m not surprised at anything anymore.”

David Shurden is found behind the counter waiting on customers at the post office.

“I love getting to meet people,” Shurden said. “That is the best part of this job.

This time of year everyone is happy, in a good mood and all dressed up in festive clothing.

A few elves have come in and mailed packages. I enjoy working here.”

McKee said before Facebook and Instagram, Christmas cards were the way out-of-state family members kept in touch.

“People used to put family photos in the Christmas cards or have their favorite photo made into a Christmas card,” McKee said. “So now the amount of cards has decreased considerably. But there are still a lot of them that come through here on their way to friends and relatives far away. Just not as much as in previous years.”

McKee said he works closely with the post offices in Columbus and Starkville.

“Sometimes items are sent to the wrong post office,” McKee said. “I’ll be going in a little while to pick up some items that were put on the Columbus truck when it should have come here. We work together to catch problems like that.”

McKee said he has the absolute best employees. He said for a small town post office, they run very efficiently.

“I cannot say enough good things about the people who work here,” McKee said. “They work so well together. We are a great team. Even though this is our busy time of the year, they all have a smile on their faces.”

Lazarus Austin, a postal employee said he loves seeing the odd things people order online and have delivered to their home.

“I had no idea that anyone would order a case of toilet paper and have it delivered to their home,” Austin said.

Erin Meadows was one of those people who waited until the last minute to mail packages. She was going into the post office with two large boxes.

She said one had been ready to ship for two weeks, but she hadn’t had the time to take it to the post office even though it was only going to Birmingham. She hadn’t been able to decide on a gift for a person and finally made a choice.