Award recognizes Seaman carrier’s commitment to safety –
By Patricia Beech –
For 30 years postal carrier Barry Griffith has delivered the daily mail to folks in the Seaman area. Through rain, sleet, snow, and hail, not to mention, the occasional disgruntled dog, Griffith has faithfully and safely carried out his carrier duties.
He isn’t the type of person who vies for the spotlight. He spends his working hours sorting mail and driving a white mail jeep, making hundreds of stops a day on his route in and around Seaman. But after 30 years on the job driving accident-free, Griffith has joined an elite few in earning the United States Postal Service’s Million Mile plaque.
The honor recognizes carriers with 30 accumulated years driving without a preventable accident according to Seaman Postmaster Bill Neff.
“It’s quite an accomplishment. Barry has an easy, fun manner, and he’s a great employee,” said Neff. “The postal service is really pushing safety and rewarding those who are accident-free, and even though this post office has a lot of vehicles on the road, we’ve been lucky here that we haven’t had any preventable accidents.”
Barry began working at the Seaman Post Office in September of 1986 as a subcarrier. Ten years later he was given his own regular route.
He says he’s seen a lot of changes in the years since.
“Our routes have changed as people moved into the area,” he says. “We used to deliver mostly mail, but now there’s a lot more packages, 70-80 a day.”
Griffith and his co-workers arrive early each day to sort the incoming mail into bins before loading it into their vehicles for delivery.
Griffith hits the road early. With over 400 stops, it takes him approximately eight hours to complete his 70-mile long route before returning to the post office at 3:30 p.m.
He says his favorite thing about his job is the independence it offers. “You’re by yourself,” he says. “And even though we have time standards, you get to set your own pace.”
He says he thinks the post office will be around for a long time despite competition from other delivery services.
“We’ll always have to have someone deliver the packages,” he says.
With three decades of service under his belt, Griffith says he plans to work another two years before retiring. He says then he will farm full-time.
“We have 225 acres, and I plan on farming that as long as I can,” he says, adding that the thought of leaving is bittersweet. “I’m so thankful I’ve been able to work with so many great people and that they’ve been able to put up with me.”
“Barry’s a lot of fun, he jokes around way more than he should,” says Lisa Davis, who began her carrier career as Griffith’s sub. “He’s a good fellow and we’re all happy to see him be recognized for his work.”