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South Boston postmaster delivered top honor

South Boston Postmaster Pat Honeycutt took a moment Tuesday to reflect on her being chosen as Postmaster of the Year by the Virginia Chapter of the National Association of Postmasters of the United States (NAPUS).

Honeycutt was nominated for Postmaster of the Year for Virginia July 18 at the Virginia Chapter of NAPUS convention in Hampton, and according to the 20-year veteran of the Postal Service, the honor came as a complete surprise.

“I had no idea whatsoever,” Honeycutt remarked.  “They don’t let anyone know until it’s announced.  They start talking about the person and it’s like a puzzle trying to figure out who it is.  By the time it finally got to that point, I finally realized it’s me they’re talking about.”

A Virgilina native and 20-year veteran of the postal system, Honeycutt began her postal career in December 1989 as a city carrier in Danville.

She came to South Boston in 1991 as a part-time clerk, and she has served as Postmaster in South Boston since January 2006.

Honeycutt points to her being named Postmaster of the Year as one of the biggest honors she’s ever received.

“It’s one of the biggest honors I’ve ever received, because my fellow postmasters voted on it, not management.”

She added her other greatest honor, pointing to a plaque displayed in her office, was the South Boston Post Office being honored in 2008 for having the second best VOE (Voice of Employee) scores in the Appalachian District.

“Our postal employees voted on that and that also meant a lot to me, because I work with them every day,” Honeycutt pointed out.

“I started here in early 90’s as a clerk and worked with most everyone that is still here, and to come back where you started and work with the same people makes for a real good working environment.

“They know me and know what I stand for.”

Honeycutt is definitely hands-on and people-oriented when it comes to her management style and with the current economy that skill is essential, she explained.

“You may see me jumping off the platform with my truck if one of the other vehicles won’t crank, and they know I’ll help if they need me, so they appreciate that.”

Government agencies may be the butt of jokes around the office water cooler at times and the post office is no exception, but Honeycutt pointed out that advances in technology have benefited everyone the past several years.

“I think people still trust the post office.  We’re still one of the most trusted government agencies. and things have gotten more technical management-wise with computers and everything,” said Honeycutt.

“That makes us more efficient, and like any other government agency we’re under fiscal restraints and have to save any dollar we can.”

She even recalls trimming the hedges outside the building and employees got a laugh when they saw her do it, but that saved money,” remarked Honeycutt with her trademark smile.

Honeycutt deflects the credit for her honor to her fellow workers at the South Boston Post Office.

“As long as we all work together to help each other that makes everyone’s job easier,” noted Honeycutt.

“A big part of it is knowing the people behind the counter and on the delivery routes.”

“When someone comes in with a problem, it’s personal and it’s financial, too.  You just have to do the best you can one-on-one to solve that problem, no matter how big or small that problem is,” Honeycutt pointed out.

“Whether an employee or customer, they need to know you’re there to listen to them.”