New postmaster likes life in Knife River areaJoanne Marshall is the only full-time employee at the Knife River Post Office but you’d wouldn’t know about her work load from what you see behind the counter.
By: Matt Suoja, Lake County News Chronicle
Joanne Marshall is the only full-time employee at the Knife River Post Office but you’d wouldn’t know about her work load from what you see behind the counter. Whether it’s her calm demeanor, nice people making her job a lot easier, or the fact that the U.S. Postal Service has offered education on stress management to its employees, she seems fit for the job.
Marshall, who was based out of Duluth since 1995 and whose father is from the area, was officially installed into the position of postmaster last month when she was sworn in by her brother, Brian, who also works for the USPS.
“I have a commitment to get mail to customers,” Marshall said. There are no carriers in the Knife River area, so the post office gets busy despite new generations accustomed to electronic communication.
“We’ve seen the volume decrease,” Marshall said. But she’s seen plenty of young people still getting regular mail. “How could you not have a post office? It’s one of the things we rely on in life.”
And it’s not like postal employees are obliged to their own service. “I do email, but I also [send out] Christmas cards,” she said.
Despite dire reports about the fiscal health of the USPS, Marshall said service in Knife River is safe. The Postal Service has suffered its greatest losses ever during this year and has offered buyouts to 30,000 employees.
Marshall, who has a postal experience in processing and distribution, said her job transition has become easier because of the local attitude. “It’s absolutely wonderful,” she said. “They are patient.”