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Following orders

On the job: Billings, MT, Area Maintenance Technician Chris Alamond

Billings, MT, Area Maintenance Technician Chris Alamond
Billings, MT, Area Maintenance Technician Chris Alamond helps ensure postal equipment works properly.

I’m an area maintenance technician based in Billings, MT, but my job sends me throughout my district to make sure postal building equipment works properly.

There are four other area maintenance technicians in Montana, and we split up the work, including helping each other now and then.

We repair plumbing, electrical equipment, locks and safes, lighting, and heating and cooling systems — basically almost everything to do with a postal facility.

One of the first things I do at the beginning of the week is check my email and phone messages. I receive mandatory safety talks and work orders that tell me how I need to plan my day and the rest of each week.

If there’s a broken furnace in a Post Office, for example, that will get a higher priority than a work order for office equipment relocation.

More people are ordering online now, so I’m seeing more work orders for me to install and remodel parcel lockers to accommodate those packages.

Before I head out for the week, I make sure I have items I might need. If I know I’m going to more than one office for light fixture repairs, for instance, I make sure I have items in my truck to eliminate wasted time.

We work alone a lot and have to be self-reliant due to the remote locations of many of the smaller offices. On a typical day, I visit anywhere from one to several postal facilities. If there’s a big job, I might be at one location 2-3 days.

I’ve been with the Postal Service for 25 years. I started as a clerk on a letter sorting machine, then moved over to the maintenance department. After taking several tests and going to school, I worked my way up the eligibility list to become an area maintenance technician 10 years ago.

When I’m not at work, I’m still busy using my hands. I’m currently doing a major remodel on my home, as well as helping at my in-laws’ home. My wife, Deb, and I have been married for 28 years and we enjoy attending church together. When time permits, I also enjoy hunting big game and fishing.

“On the job,” a series on individual employees and their contributions to the Postal Service, appears regularly in Link.

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