PMG remarks are on page 3.
The Postal Bulletin is also available on the World Wide
Web at http://www.usps.com/cpim/ftp/bulletin/pb.htm for
customers and at http://blue.usps.gov for employees.
Postal Bulletin Index
2000 Annual Index PB 22042 (1-25-01)
Ordering Information: Following is the list of postal stock
numbers (PSNs) to use when ordering copies of the Postal
Bulletin from the MDC:
PB 22052: 7690-04-000-5659
PB 22051: 7690-04-000-5658
PB 22050: 7690-04-000-5657
PB 22049: 7690-04-000-5656
PB 22048: 7690-04-000-5655
PB 22047: 7690-04-000-5654
PB 22046: 7690-04-000-5653
PB 22045: 7690-04-000-5652
PB 22044: 7690-04-000-5651
PB 22043: 7690-04-000-5650
PB 22042: 7690-04-000-5649
PB 22041: 7690-04-000-5648
PB 22040: 7690-04-000-5647
PB 22039: 7690-04-000-5646
PB 22038: 7690-04-000-5645
PB 22037: 7690-04-000-5644
PB 22036: 7690-04-000-5643
PB 22035: 7690-04-000-5642
PB 22034: 7690-04-000-5641
PB 22033: 7690-04-000-5640
PB 22032: 7690-04-000-5639
PB 22031: 7690-04-000-5638
PB 22030: 7690-04-000-5637
PB 22029: 7690-04-000-5636
PB 22028: 7690-04-000-5635
PB 22027: 7690-04-000-5634
PB 22026: 7690-04-000-5633
PB 22025: 7690-04-000-5632
The Postal Bulletin is published biweekly;
information is effective for one year unless it
changes a permanent directive or unless otherwise
Good morning and thank you, Chairman Rider. And to each of the governors, my thanks for your confidence and trust.
And thanks to all of you who are here with me today. And a special thanks to the 800,000 men and women who deliver the
magic to our customers everyday.
This is a great day, a great day for me and my family. I'm also pleased to share the day with my friends, coworkers, a few of
my mentors, such as former chief operating officer Clarence Lewis, and everyone in the field who has the opportunity to
watch on USPS-TV. The Postal Service family is a great team, and it truly is a family.
My selection as postmaster general is an endorsement of what the postal family can do when it pulls together. It's also an
endorsement that anyone, even a kid from the Bronx, can make it from P-T-F, part time flexible, to PMG, postmaster general.
Speaking of family, I want to take a moment to thank my mother and father. Mom, dad, you're the reason I am here and a
key to my success. I will always be grateful for the sacrifices you've made for me. I really appreciate it.
And I want to thank the three most important people in my life, my wife Maureen, my inspiration and best friend, and my
children Jack and Meaghan, who keep me young and are the source of many of my stories.
When I was selected for this job, some people questioned whether I was too young to take on such a responsibility. Well, I
don't know if 45 is all that young, but back in 1978, when I was 22, and I walked into the Westchester Post Office for the first
time, it felt like I'd already spent 20 years there!
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't the work. It was the fact that my dad slept, ate, and dreamt postal blue. You know, my dad
wasn't alone, he was like tens of thousands of others who joined the Post Office then and the Postal Service now. They
wanted to make better lives for themselves and their families.
Like me, he started in the craft and worked his way up. After 40 years, he retired as director of Station Operations in the
New York City Post Office. All of his children, my sister and four brothers and I, learned a lot about the mail from him. You
couldn't help but learn.
While the rest of my family moved on to other careers, I'm still in the family business and my dad still works for the Postal
Service. He's my unpaid consultant. (And I emphasize "unpaid.") He's the first one I call when times are tough. Dad, thanks
for being there for me.
We weren't the only folks touched by my father. There was also a young guy named Vince Sombrotto, who carried mail
with my dad at Grand Central Station, back in the 50s. Who could have imagined that both of them would be sitting here
While we're on that subject, I have to mention a note I received from Billy Quinn. He reminded me of Moe Biller's pride in
outlasting 20 postmasters general. That's a big piece of postal history. But Moe, since you'll be retiring in a few months, I hope
you won't outlast me!
To the leaders of our unions and management associations, thanks for being here with me today. To each of them, Moe,
Vince, Billy and to Vince Palladino, Steve Smith, Charlie Moser and Joe Cinadr, we may have had our differences over the
years, but I've always respected your viewpoints and we've always found a way to work together. I know that you all care
deeply about the success of the Postal Service - both today and in the future.
But let's look back for a moment.
As young employees, it's the informal lessons from people, people we later realize were our mentors, that we remember
best. Over the years, I learned a very important lesson about the human side of management. Those who taught me showed
that caring for employees and getting the job done are not mutually exclusive. I was taught that things must be kept in perspective and that your priorities are your health, your family - whatever form that family takes - and then the job.
One who taught me was John Powell, my general foreman in Westchester. He didn't think he'd have much of an impact on
me. But he did. Although he's retired now, I called him last week to tell him about a conversation we'd had many years ago.
I had just applied for a position and I was meeting with John, who was reading over my application. "Potter," he asked,
"What do you want to be in the Postal Service." His question caught me by surprise and he repeated, "Potter, what do you
want to be?"
I was young. I had big dreams - at least for that time and place. So I answered, "Gee, in ten, fifteen years, I'd like to be
John looked at me, shook his head, and said, "No, Potter. You're a college graduate. You want to aspire to be Postmaster
General. And you know what else? Every employee should aspire to be the Postmaster General."
I share these stories because I'm the product of some fine teachers, managers, and leaders, such as John Powell, Clarence Lewis, my dad, and so many others.
I encourage everyone in the Postal Service to listen and learn from each other. I urge you to practice that long-held postal
trait of sharing and helping fellow employees. It doesn't matter if they're rookie kids from the Bronx or 20-year veterans. Everyone can use a little help. We all need to help one another. If you do that, one of those you help will be standing here in the
As we all know, we have a challenging future. That's why we have to take the occasional look back. We have to identify
what makes us strong. We have to hold on to those values and carry them with us as we move forward.
The simple fact is, we are at a crossroads. Competition and new technology are forcing us to reexamine everything -
everything - we are doing. While we do that, there are some things we have to keep front and center.
We have to keep our focus on service, service, service. Service is the heart of the postal brand. That's what we promise
and that's what we have to deliver.
We have to keep our focus on costs. Every penny we spend is a penny that we have to get back from our customers.
They're facing the same tough economy we are and we have to show them that we're doing everything possible to hold down
our costs - and theirs.
We have to keep our focus on growth. Every penny below our revenue plan is a penny less to support the infrastructure
that makes our service possible.
And we have to keep our focus on reform. Working with all of our stakeholders, we have to reach consensus on the
changes that will keep the Postal Service strong for many years to come. I'm going to do everything I can to bring all the
parties together to work toward this goal. I'm not a rookie at this. I've been around a long time. I've been the COO and I've
negotiated contracts. I'm convinced we can do this.
Success in the future is also going to require some changes internally. We'll be organizing around actions, but we're not
going to turn the organization on its head. Changes will be focused and they'll make sense.
We're going to simplify as much as we can. We're going to eliminate duplication and unnecessary effort. We're going to
make sure that everyone understands their role. And, going back to one of the earliest lessons I learned, no matter what your
role is, there's only one job in the Postal Service and that's helping the Postal Service to succeed.
While we do that, there will be a lot of individual success stories as we serve our customers everywhere, every day. Good
things happen in the Postal Service and because of the Postal Service. We're going to make sure your stories are heard.
I mentioned change, that's something we have to deal with, but I also believe, very strongly, that the Postal Service has a
bright future. The mail mix will definitely change as it has before, but hard copy mail is not going to disappear. We have a $68
billion core business. We serve everyone, everywhere, every day. Our business is important to the economy. It's important to
our customers and it's important to each of us as employees.
We'll continue to provide the best service possible to protect that business. In the same way, we'll focus on growing the
business. We'll grow through improved service to our customers. We'll focus on more efficient and timely transportation. We'll
generate better information, information that will be shared with our customers about their mail. We'll develop new services to
help the nation's direct mailers and e-tailers.
As we do that, we have to be sensitive to rates. The prices we charge have a tremendous impact on the ability of our
customers to be successful. That means that our pricing strategies have to be success strategies - for our customers and for
the Postal Service.
We have to take those success strategies inside, as well. Our customers are not the only partners in our success, so are
our employees and the organizations that represent them.
I want to be very clear about this. We fully support collective bargaining. We fully support unions. Together, we have tremendous potential for future success. To make the most of that potential, it's time we had a serious discussion - a discussion
about what works and what doesn't. Our mutual commitment to the Postal Service will help guide us to the right answers.
So, in closing, let me add it all up.
For our customers, our direction is simple. We'll maintain our focus on the core business. We'll improve service and continue building our systems, working to provide you with the best value we can.
For our employees, we'll have plenty of time to talk and we will talk. For now, though, I'm asking you to do what you do
best: deliver America's mail.
For all our stakeholders, I look forward to working with you to bring about positive, constructive change: change to our
legislative framework, change to our regulatory framework and change within the framework we call "postal culture."
These are complex and challenging times. There are problems but there are also opportunities. As we roll up our sleeves
to take them on, we have to avoid the trap that a wise writer once described, "For every problem, there is one solution which is
simple, neat, and wrong."
We're going to take a look at the problems and the opportunities. Then we're going to examine all of the options. Only then
will we know which road is the right road.
Chairman Rider, Governors, fellow employees, I ask you to join with me today, because I know my dad is going to be
keeping an eye on me.
Together, we'll take the right road and make the United States Postal Service an even better place tomorrow than it is
Thank you very much.