ORIGINALLY WRITTEN TOM STOPPEL
Postal patrons in Durham are becoming accustomed to the smiling face of the town’s new postmaster, Nancy Hatterman.
Effective March 19, Hatterman was appointed to be responsible for all customer service functions such as retail operations and delivery of mail in the city of Durham.
“I was thrilled when I learned I got the job because it’s my own office and I can set it up the way I want it to try to make it more customer friendly,” Hatterman said. “We are a full-service office that provides all the services of any larger post office.”
A resident of Herington, Hatterman’s husband, Brian, works for Agri-Producers Inc. in Herington. The couple have two children, Erica, 23, and Ashley, 19.
Hatterman,who began her U.S. Postal Service career 13 years ago, has extensive experience in the postal business both in and around Marion County.
“I was the postmaster relief at Lost Springs and I was also officer in charge at Ramona for about six months,” Hatterman said. “When I worked at Herington, I was what they call a dual casual.”
Since the retirement of former postmaster Lila Unruh last year, Durham had been served by an officer in charge.
“I had never worked at Durham before, but I did know several people over here from working at the sale barn before I began this job,” Hatterman said. “The people of Durham have been very friendly as far as accepting me, and I really appreciate that.”
Hatterman became aware of the Durham position thanks to a notice at her job.
“They post vacancies and this was posted in December,” she said.
Hatterman, who works 36 hours per week, said the Durham office has 96 boxes but only 53 are currently rented.
The full-service counter, Hatterman said, keeps her busy throughout the day.
“We have money orders, priority mail, express mail, global priority and international mail,” she said. “It’s just the same as any other office, but a scaled-down version.”
Learning the names of her customers is an ongoing process, but Hatterman enjoys it.
“I still don’t quite have all the names memorized, but it won’t be too much longer,” she said. “The more mail they get, the better I’m getting at remembering them. Some people get a lot more mail than others, though.”
One of Hatterman’s short-term goals is to make product services more visible.
“I hope to display the retail products a little more prominently, as far as our bags and envelopes, and try to display the express mail and priority mail supplies a little bit better,” she said. “But there’s only so much you can do because the counter lines are built and you can’t change that and the lobby won’t get any bigger either.”
Also new are the hours the post office counter is open.
“Our hours are longer,” she said. “The window is open from 8:30 a.m. until noon and from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday,” she said. “It’s also open from 8:30 a.m. until 9:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.”
Hatterman welcomes the public to stop in anytime.
“If anyone has any questions, I hope they feel free to give me a call (620-732-3411) or stop in and see me,” she said. “That’s what I’m here for.
“I’m really enjoying it in Durham and I’m enjoying meeting all the people,” she added. “I’ll try to help everybody out as best as I can and if I don’t know the answer to their question, I’ll sure find out.”
Hatterman will be officially installed in her position at 10 a.m., April 29, , in the lobby of the Durham Post Office.
Daniel M. Taylor, manager of Post Office Operations will administer the oath of office.
The ceremony will be open to the public.