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A little bit of everything

This group leader is a key player at the USPS Remote Encoding Center

A smiling woman standing in a workplace cubicle
Cheryl Robertson stands among workstations at the USPS Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City.

My name is Cheryl Robertson and I’m a data conversion operator at the USPS Remote Encoding Center in Salt Lake City, where images of mail with indecipherable writing are sent to be decoded. We also enter change-of-address and customs forms.

I’m a group leader, which means I do a little bit of everything — support the supervisors, work the resource center, answer phone calls, train new hires and give refresher training for current employees. I also accept leave slips and enter leave for supervisors.

I started with USPS in 2001. Except for a short detail assignment, I’ve spent my entire postal career at the Remote Encoding Center.

Our benchmark goal for fully trained keyers — the data conversion operators who interpret and correct indecipherable addresses — is 7,150 keystrokes per hour.

 You want to read the images as quickly and accurately as you can. We use a special keyboard — our home row is 1,2,3,4. It’s a lot of sitting and staring at a screen, so keyers get a break every hour.

One of my favorite things about the job is that I can listen to audiobooks when I’m not doing group leader things and am able to key. I was an English major and love reading. Recently I listened to “Fourth Wing,” a fantasy, and “Endurance,” about Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic voyage.

I live in Clinton, about 30 miles away from work, with my husband, Jeremy, and daughters Avery, Ashtyn and Audrey — the A Team.

Working for the Postal Service as long as I have, you get to know things. Yesterday, a TV commercial mentioned North Pole, Alaska. I immediately came out with “99705!” My daughters said, “Only you would know that, Mom!”

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