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Karaoke for the Customer
(Update 5/02/2005)

Window Clerk Leslie Terrell can't work the window because of medical restrictions, but she can sure work the crowd at the Lakewood Post Office in Dallas, Texas. A KTVT Channel 11 newscast recently featured the talented singer, who performs live songs with the aid of a karaoke machine in the post office lobby.

Leslie is a "Lobby Director," an ad hoc job classification developed by USPS management to help reduce customer's wait times in crowded post office lobbies. In many cases, Lobby Directors are "limited duty" employees who cannot perform other job functions. The Lobby Director Program has been instrumental in educating customers about the Postal Service's new Automated Postal Centers (APCs). Lobby directors are generally posted in participating post office lobbies and/or near APCs to answer customer questions and to help prepare items for mailing.

Leslie says she got the idea for karaoke at Christmastime after noticing a number of stressed-out customers. The "Christmas Karaoke" has evolved into a daily production.

The customers interviewed for the news story thought it was a great idea. One wondered why all the post offices didn't do this. Another customer said Leslie needs a recording contract. Watch out American Idol! Leslie has even written a song about the U.S. Postal Service, and performs it as part of the show!

If there were dissenting views from customers, such as "why is the Postal Service employing singers making $45,000 a year when it will be raising stamp prices next year" or "why is she out here singing when there is a long line and there is only one clerk selling stamps," they weren't broadcast in the story.

Also see Lobby Director Program at APWU.org

NEW 5/02/2005
Postal Karaoke: The Video
For KTVT Channel 11 in Dallas it was supposed to be a "feel-good" story about a singing postal clerk. But the story has left many hard working postal employees singing the blues.
- Video (.wmv): 56K (for dialup) | 256K (for high-speed Internet)

Update
- The story aired nationwide on BET Cable TV, where it was also featured as a "feel-good" story.
- Leslie's "postal karaoke" is reportedly in limbo and is not being performed, per area management. It was described by one unnamed official as "less than professional."
- The joke at the Lakewood Karaoke Club er... Lakewood Post Office is that Paula Abdul will be conducting Leslie's clerk evaluation.
- In all fairness, Leslie is a very nice person, as the news story shows, and we wish her well. In fact, we hope she receives recognition from the USPS for her "postal" song featured at the end of the story.
- Feedback, however, has been overwhelmingly negative. As one carrier stated: "You practically have to be in hospice care not to be able to sell stamps."

 

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