Soldotna Postal Clerk Steve Adams holds an approved U.S. Postal uniform tie while wearing one of his favorite funny ties at his home on K-Beach Rd.
Long time Soldotna Postal Clerk Steve Adams may have to re-make his license plate to read "X-TIEGUY." As of June 6th, Adams received an official communiqu that states "Ties must be navy with red dots or red, white, and blue stars and stripes. NO OTHER TIES OR NECKWEAR ARE PERMITTED." For the last decade the popular Soldotna Postal Clerk has become known as the Tie Guy because of his totally unique tie collection that has been donated to him from friends and patrons from all over the world. Adams collection is so extensive and meaningful to him that he displays them as drapes in his living room rather than hanging them in a closet.
"The tie thing began when I first started working at the window ten years ago when the Post Office was at that time selling ties with postage stamps on them. I bought them and started wearing them and even though they were not regulation uniform, the people enjoyed seeing them and it snow balled from there and all of a sudden I started receiving ties from customers. I'll never forget the first tie, it was a Dr. Seuss tie and it'll always be very special to me. Then I started receiving ties from all over the world as people from Soldotna would go on vacation and see an outlandish or ridiculous tie somewhere at a foreign shop and bingo the next thing I know I find a tie sitting on my counter when I come back from lunch and I don't even know who they are from. I've really enjoyed this and I've even received ties in the mail just addressed to the Tie Guy, Soldotna Alaska Post Office and I don't know who they're from, they are just people who have come into the Post Office and have joined in the fun, because the difference is that I actually wear these ties at work." Adams explained in a radio interview.
Adams says he does have criteria for the ties he wears and refuses to wear a tie that someone might find in any way offensive, "One tie I was given had nothing but beer steins on it and I thought gee it's a colorful tie, but I didn't want to offend someone who might think I was promoting drinking. I won't even wear ties at Christmas with a religious theme," said Adams.
For an unprecedented three years in a row Steve Adams has won the top prize in the State of Alaska for selling more stamps than any other postal clerk in the annual effort to raise money to fight breast cancer. Coincidentally Adams received another official letter dated June 6th, this letter from the City of Soldotna and signed by Mayor David R. Carey stated, "This correspondence is to acknowledge how much I appreciate the community comments regarding your wonderful, joyful ties. It is always a pleasure to see you working at the post office and I think of the many, many people whose lives are positively influenced by your ties. It is a great symbol of community caring. In an age which many bureaucrats try to make humans into robots, your care for customers is a most pleasant experience. While people are waiting in line to pick up packages, your ties are always uplifting. I appreciate what you do to make Soldotna a better place. You are a credit to the Postal Service," wrote Carey.
For now however, the Tie Guy will have to stand robotized. "It's over. I have been told that I may no longer wear the many, many, ties I have been happily wearing the last ten years and must wear the official postal regulation tie," stated Adams. Adams says that he does not want to jeopardize his job and realizes that he could get into a lot of trouble if he continues to wear his personal tie collection, "I've told people that if they are not happy with me wearing the boring tie that I now have to wear, to write a letter to the Postmaster General or their federal elected officials. I'm sure there are exceptions that can be made, but they cannot be made at the local level," added Adams.
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