Feb 23 004
Celeste Brooks, left, Ocracoke postmaster, and Melissa Sharber with the trophy the post office won for earning the highest revenues out of 158 offices in the Greensboro district. Photo by C. Leinbach

By Connie Leinbach

Note: this article was corrected (Feb 27) to correct dollar figure of the second highest post office

Ocracoke has the little post office that could.

The branch recently won top honors in revenues with more than $175,000 in sales out of 158 offices in 2014 in the Greensboro district. The second highest office had $34,000.

Postmaster Brooks said other postmasters in the district were amazed that little old Ocracoke was top in this new, in-house program by the U. S. Postal Service.

“That sales amount comes primarily  from two customers on the island,” Brooks said.

What’s more, that number does not include all of the regular daily customers buying stamps and sending packages.

“Honey, we’re not just sitting on the beach drinking margaritas,” Brooks said. “We’re a busy office.”

She, Melissa Sharber and Dale Mutro comprise the post office team.

While the trophy was given to her boss, Chuck Adcock, post master of the Wilson branch and acting district manager, he didn’t think it right to keep it in his office, Brooks said.

So, brought the trophy himself to Ocracoke.

“He chose for it to come here since we earned it,” Brooks said.

Brooks is a cheery face to the public.

“C’mon, darlin’. Bring it here,” she beckons to another customer while she is being interviewed by a reporter. “We’re just visiting.”

Brooks and her staff know they have to be an information source and more on an island accessible for most only by car.

She has stocked the packaging supplies with more than might be found in other post offices and recently began selling greeting cards.  Ocracoke School Dolphins ornaments also are for sale.

In addition to the lost-and-found notices on the bulletin board (arguably Ocracoke’s chief communication source), Brooks also has keys, glassses and other found items.

“Oh, I get wallets, too,” she said. “And I send them back to their owners.”

There are 810 post office boxes and the staff knows who belongs to each one.

“I may not know their face, but tell me their name and I know their box,” Brooks said.

A love of her job is evident.

“As long as I can give you the best service I can give you, I’m happy,” she said.  “I like to give 110 percent.”

Brooks said the trophy will travel to whichever post office has the highest revenues, though not if she can help it.

“We’re the top dog,” she said. “We’re going to keep it.”

Feb 23 007
A customer, Matt DeVann, and Celeste Brooks. Keys and glasses on the wall behind Brooks are her ‘lost-and-found.’ Photo by C. Leinbach
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