From Denver to Selma, the mail must go through

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2004

The back rooms of a post office remain a mystery to many Americans. For the past 10 years, though, those corridors have been home to Timika Bynog.

Bynog, customer service supervisor at Selma’s main post office, wears several hats each day. She oversees the front window and the post office box area as well as the mail processing machines. If a line starts to form at the front window, Bynog ensures enough clerks are available to handle the rush.

The same holds true for getting mail in post office boxes. Customers pay a fee not only to have the box, but also to get their mail by 9:30 a.m. each morning.

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Getting mail in its proper box each day is one thing. Sorting the volumes of mail that come through Bynog’s office each day is another. According to Bynog, her office uses a delivery point sequence, or DPS, to get mail from the back rooms to the mailbox.

Selma is broken up into different sections. Machine-sorted mail is divided into its various routes by a bar code sorter, a large machine that divides letters into their respective routes by zip code, street address and the last four digits of the zip code.

Sorting mail by machine saves couriers about one to two hours each day.

Bynog began working for the United States Postal System as a casual clerk in Denver. Ten years ago she did the tasks of employees she now supervises &045; operating mail-processing machines.

Four months after starting her job she became a transitional employee. She learned how to operate more machines and began memorizing routes used by couriers.

As a casual clerk Bynog had no benefits. Transitional employees have one-year contracts, but are still not considered career employees.

Bynog gained that designation when she passed the postal exam about two years after starting her job. After five years on the job she became a supervisor, which is the title Bynog holds at the Selma Post Office.

Originally a Selma native, Bynog returned to Alabama to be with her grandparents, Eloise and Wilson Tipton and Elizabeth Bettis.

Bynog has two children &045; Charnille, 7, and Mark, 8. Her parents, Armand and Geraldine Bettis, and her sister, Delaine Bettis, remain in Denver.