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Answering the call

Employees track down couple’s passports

Four workers stand in postal processing plant
St. Louis Network Distribution Center employees who helped find the passports include, from left, Information Systems Supervisor John Sneed, Electronics Technician Kenneth Kirsch, In-Plant Support Manager Ronda Palm and Distribution Operations Manager Jaswant Thiara.

Caleb and Aubrey Rhodes recently prepared to travel to Bangkok on a humanitarian mission to help hearing impaired people.

Their flight was the next day, but their passports still had not arrived.

So the Rhodeses contacted Brookport, IL, Postmaster Carrie Obermark, who put out a call for help to colleagues in Gateway District.

Benny Cockrell, an electronics technician at the St. Louis Network Distribution Center, was one of the people who responded.

“We all kept our eyes on the product tracking report to see if the barcode got scanned,” he said. “It got close to 12 a.m. and no hits on the [report]. I got to thinking the envelope could have been keyed and wound up being facedown, so that would mean it would not be scanned.”

Cockrell found the envelope in an outgoing mail sack around midnight and gave it to his supervisor, Bruce Allen. Employees then worked together to personally transport the envelope to the Rhodeses so they could make their flight.

Said Chuck Sciurba, the district manager: “It’s rewarding when we can make a late or missing package customer experience a positive one.”

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