Robia Bishop has been performing the duties of Postmaster in Soldotna for a year, but still had trouble sleeping the night before her official installation ceremony.
Bishop’s fellow employees, the USPS District Manager Ronald Haberman from Anchorage, and customers, watched on as her long time co-worker Sherrill Behm read her the postmaster Oath of office, Thursday, at the Soldotna Post Office.
“Now I am going to do even better since I have a certificate now,” she said jokingly.
Bishop said she was extremely honored to hold the position. Being a postmaster has always been in the back of her mind through out her 36-year career with the USPS.
The job has had Bishop bouncing among Anchorage, Kenai and Soldotna throughout the years. She has held positions all over the company, such as personnel, human resources and various managerial spots.
Bishop said she still gets so consumed in her work that sometimes, at 4:45 p.m. to five she’ll finally notice she is getting hungry because she forgot to get lunch.
Switching things around keeps the job fresh and exciting, Bishop said. And random, bizarre scenarios present themselves from time to time.
Once, while working as the manager of the distribution plant in Anchorage, she walked in to find a box on her desk. While the sight was common, the attached note was not.
A postmaster from an Alaskan village had sent her the container requesting she deal with the rat that had eaten the hoard of shipped nuts inside the brown cardboard box.
“My first thought was ‘did anyone check to see if the rat was still in there?’” Bishop said. Luckily it wasn’t, but the unordinary event was one of many situations that kept her on her toes over the years, she said.
Bishop said she plans to enjoy her duties as postmaster until retirement.
“The mail is not just delivering a magazine or catalog,” Bishop said. “In a place like this you’re touching peoples lives. There are a lot of people who still depend on it.”
Kelly Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com