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This mail processing clerk gives ‘100 percent’

A smiling woman stands on a postal workroom floor
Ochenya Okpa, a mail processing clerk, stands near the workroom floor at the Salt Lake City Processing and Distribution Center.

My name is Ochenya Okpa and I’m a mail processing clerk at the Salt Lake City Processing and Distribution Center.

I started with USPS in 2009 as a casual employee and became a regular in 2014. I couldn’t wait to make career — I like having a regular schedule.

I come to work a little early, 20 or 30 minutes, and just sit in my car and relax until it’s time to clock in. Some days we begin with a stand-up talk and some days we get straight to work. It depends on the program we’re running.

Most of the time, I operate the machine that separates mail into different states and zones.

I put 100 percent into my work. I try to be as friendly and amenable as possible and not create stress for people. I treat people the way I want to be treated and reciprocate kindness.

I did a detail assignment away from the floor and was able to see the other side of the operation, such as business productivity and other facets of the organization. People would ask, “When are you coming back?” On the day I returned, we had a stand-up talk, and everyone clapped and said, “Welcome back!” I don’t like much attention, but I appreciated that.

There has been a lot of change at the Postal Service — good progress, like the introduction of USPS Ground Advantage.

Change is a part of life. I grew up in a village in Nigeria. Coming to the United States was a little bit of a culture shock, but I prefer it here. Moving here granted me opportunities I probably would not get living in Nigeria. It broadened my horizons and I have met people of different cultures.

I live about five minutes away from work, and when I’m off the job, I enjoy going to the movies and relaxing at home watching anime. The way the series are structured, it’s like a fantasy. It relaxes you and you get engrossed in the storyline. I also enjoy reading and listening to music and audiobooks.

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