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Longtime Poulsbo post office supervisor retires
POULSBO — Poulsbo Post Office supervisor Deborah Corrigan scanned a report and shook her head. The sheet reads 28,000, the number of letters received by the post office that morning.
“We didn't get any mail today,” she said.
That's because on average, post office employees sort 40,000 letters a day, filling 2,900 post office boxes and delivering to homes and businesses on 18 separate routes. Each route delivers to up to 1,000 addresses, and one stretches for 45 miles. It's a slow day, Corrigan said.
Corrigan, 57, of Silverdale, retires Friday after a 17-year career at the Poulsbo post office. Coworkers said her dedication to a challenging job will be missed.
“She has a work ethic that is second to none,” said Postmaster Kris Strand of Corrigan. “She's one of those rare individuals that truly cares more about others than herself.”
Corrigan worked 13 years for the Department of Defense in Sacramento, Calif., then moved to the Northwest when her husband accepted a job at Naval Base Kitsap, Bangor.
“So I went postal, in a good way,” she said.
Corrigan took a part-time clerk job at the Poulsbo post office in 1993 and worked behind the counter for five years before entering an associate supervisor training program. She worked in Poulsbo, Port Orchard and on Vashon Island before settling into her current post in Little Norway.
She credits former Postmaster Mary Ruth Pape for not only hiring her, but shaping her into the supervisor she's become.
“She gave me my start, she made me a good supervisor because she taught me a lot, and Kris refined it,” she said.
Corrigan managed clerks and carriers – as well as their vehicles – and juggled customer requests with a multifaceted workload.
“I've dealt with all kinds of people,” she said. “I like working with people. I'm pretty reasonable, I'm pretty flexible. I can calm some of the irate customers down.”
She remembers a snowy day on which only a few clerks made it into the post office, and one by one carriers began helping them sort mail so it could be delivered.
“When push comes to shove they band together and work as a team,” she said of her coworkers. “I'm going to miss the people big-time. I might not miss the reports, but I will miss everyone here.”
Deliveries sometimes triple in number during the holidays, though mail correspondence has decreased in recent years, Corrigan said.
She plans to travel and spend time with her 11 grandchildren in retirement.
Twenty-five year postal employee SuAnn Skelley said Corrigan was a good fit in the Poulsbo office.
“She's definitely our glue,” Skelley said. “She will surely be missed.”