United States Postal Service (USPS) employees put on a flash mob Wednesday morning in South Station to “Please Mr. Postman” in an effort to advertise job openings with the USPS.
Alison Maher, the employee development manager for the Massachusetts-Rhode Island district of the USPS, who organized the event, said a clerk in her department was the one who came up with the flash mob idea.
“We have weekly meetings on recruitment and ways to think outside the box on advertising,” Maher said. “I thought it was a fantastic idea so we ran with it.”
Practicing for 10 minutes every day for three weeks, Maher said the goal of the flash mob, specifically in South Station, was to “capture” the attention of commuters passing by.
The performance included more than a dozen dancing postal service workers, a man in an Eagle costume standing next to a USPS mailbox, and two banners advertising links to open positions.
“We’re aggressively trying to hire across the state right now,” said Steve Doherty, communications specialist for the USPS. “We have positions open for carriers, clerks, mail handlers and drivers and we’re trying to get the word out.”
Doherty said there were a few reasons that the USPS has resorted to different advertising tactics, including losing older staff members and the generally low unemployment rate.
“We did a big lot of hiring back in the late 80s and early 90s and a lot of those people are hitting retirement age now,” Doherty said. “There are a lot more people hiring more jobs out there than there are people looking for them, so it’s difficult.”
However, the other reason that the USPS is hurting for help, Doherty said, is because they’re expanding their operations.
The Delivering for America (DFA) plan was announced on March 23, 2021, and is a $40 billion, 10-year strategy for a total overhaul and restructuring of the United States Postal Service in order to take it “from an organization in financial and operational crisis to one that is self-sustaining and high performing” according to the Delivering For America first year progress report.
Doherty said that in the year and a half, since the DFA was announced, improvements have already been made to the postal service system in and around Boston.
“We’ve retired some of our older equipment, some of the stuff that wasn’t being efficiently used, and replaced it,” Doherty said. “We’ve added a lot more parcel flooding capability. We’ve added some annex facilities to handle parcel overflows.”