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Postal Service retirees celebrated at reception in DeKalb

Published: Thursday, Jan. 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT
Caption
(Jeff Engelhardt – jengelhardt@shawmedia.com)
Vicki Sliga helps customers Wednesday at the DeKalb post office. After 34 years, today is her final day with the U.S. Postal Service.

DeKALB – Before Facebook and Twitter were even ideas, Vicki Sliga was helping connect DeKalb residents to people around the world.

After 34 years, Sliga has left her stamp on the DeKalb post office as a distribution clerk and window clerk, often serving as the first person residents would rely on to get their packages and letters into the correct hands.

Moments after helping one last college student apply for a passport to open doors around the world, Sliga reflected on her three-plus decade career.

“I love the people I work with and I love the people I help everyday,” she said. “It was a great place to work and great fun.”

As with most industries, the U.S. Postal Service has experienced major changes since 1983. Although Sliga could not prognosticate on the future, she said the efficiencies that already have been achieved are amazing. When she first started, all mail was hand sorted, but now the office uses technology that automatically sorts it and packages can be delivered within 48 hours.

“It’s still always amazing to see the volume of mail that is moved,” she said.

Although she has no plans for her retirement, she is looking forward to one perk. No longer will the natural stress of holiday seasons be amplified by the massive increase of mail she has learned to manage for the majority of her life.

Tracey Willis, a supervisor at the post office, said that stress was never evident from Sliga or Mary Dickey, a distribution clerk who also is retiring after 24 years of service. Willis was part of a retirement celebration Wednesday that included a speech from the postmaster honoring the combined 58 years of service the women gave the office.

“They were great employees,” Willis said. “They will be missed, but we’re happy for them. They deserve it.”

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