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Veteran takes helm at Radcliff post office

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Rineyville resident Patricia King ‘loves to work’

By Robert Villanueva

Patricia King is prepared to take on the role of postmaster at the U.S. Post Office in Radcliff and in some ways she’s been preparing for the role all her life.

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“I’ve always been one that loves to work,” said King, a Rineyville resident. “Coming to work has never been a challenge to me.”

For about the past month, King has been the officer in charge of the office, awaiting finalization of the postmaster designation.

Describing her parents as hard working, King credited them as influential in the way she approached things.

“Our parents always instilled in us to do our best in whatever we do,” she said.

The same parents accomplished a lot with limited education, demonstrating their work ethic and determination, King said. In fact, it was not until after she was 60 King’s mother obtained a high school diploma.

King was one of 10 children growing up in the family’s home in Monticello, Ark., and they maintain close relationships.

“Family is a big thing for us,” she said.

Right out of high school, King joined the military, going through basic training at Fort McClellan, Ala., and advanced training as a communications specialist at Fort Gordon, Ga. Later, while at Fort Riley, Kan., she met Don, who later would become her husband.

“I got out of the military while we were in Germany,” King said.

Eight years in the military were followed by seven years of civil service, during which King served as a supply specialist. Upon completing an interagency career transfer, she began working for the U.S. Postal Service and has been a postal employee for 18 years. She started as a clerk.

After undergoing a supervisor program, she did stints in Louisville and Elizabethtown post offices, eventually landing a position as postmaster in Sonora.

In her role at the post office in Radcliff, King is very familiar with operations. She said the biggest job challenge is “ensuring that mail is delivered right the first time.”

The civilian work ethic, she said, is not that different from the one she had in the military.

“Every role is an opportunity to be challenged and accept the challenge,” she said.

Working with 25 to 30 employees, King must juggle schedules affected by sick time among other things. The employees, she said, are a great group to work with, and the carriers work well together.

“One thing I like about the carriers is they’ll look out for each other,” she said, noting they make sure their co-workers are back at the post office before leaving for the day.

Greeting fellow employees in the morning is just one aspect she likes about her job.

“I really enjoy seeing the customers and interacting with them,” she said.

King feels a good attitude is helpful in that respect, and she finds inspiration and motivation from her faith, which she credits with promoting the belief of doing service outside the church walls. She is a member of Heritage International Christian Church in Radcliff.

“My job is a place of service,” she said.

Community involvement is another form of service for King.

On Thursday mornings, she spends time at the North Branch of the Hardin County Public Library reading to children. She also attended a ceremony at Cardinal Health for Stamp Out Breast Cancer during which a mockup of a stamp honoring breast cancer research was displayed signifying the campaign.

With the holiday season gearing up, King emphasized the efforts of the post office to provide “first class service” to the community. She recalled an occasion when she mailed a package to her father that was delivered Christmas morning by a postal employee in Arkansas.

She said she and her employees strive to deliver the same kind of service.

“Employees will do their best to ensure that everyone has the best Christmas ever,” King said.

The job, she said, sometimes involves dealing with unhappy customers, but such cases don’t stop her cheerful attitude. And sometimes that little bit of kindness diffuses some of the enmity.

“People like it when people are nice to them,” King said.

Robert Villanueva can be reached at (270) 505-1743 or rvillanueva@thenewsenterprise.com.

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