Columbia post office to thank customers with open house tour

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COLUMBIA - Columbia’s post office will host a customer appreciation day at its downtown location Thursday. The event will take place from around 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m with refreshments at the beginning followed with an open house tour, according to Columbia’s postmaster, Mark Rask.

Rask said this is the second time the post office is holding such an event since he came to Columbia in November, 2013. It will be the first time visitors can see behind-the-scenes operations, he said.

“On the retail side, we’re extremely busy. Our customers see that when they come in. On the operational end of it, when we start seeing the mails come in, Columbia’s also one of the largest operations in Missouri for delivering packages.”

Rask said he thinks visitors would love to see what goes on behind the doors.

“So folks can have an idea of what actually does go on from the time you drop it off until it goes out the door here,” he said. “Or when it comes in, how we process it before it gets to your door.”

Rask said, if there’s a big enough crowd, he would lead multiple tours.

“Probably when I get enough folks, I’ll just start doing tours, and we’ll just kinda run the tours in every 10 or 15 minutes,” he said.

Rask said, since the post offices in Columbia started handling Amazon packages about two years ago, more customers have been using their services.

“We’ve seen an increase of probably 30 to 40 percent, and that continues to grow each and every day,” he said. “This year, we’re projected to probably deliver, well, we will deliver over four million packages just here in Columbia.”

Rask said none of this would’ve happened without the employees’ hard work.

“The guys and gals out there, the letter carriers—we’re delivering seven days a week now,” he said. “Once we took on Amazon, we also began doing Sunday delivery, with the exception of Christmas, New Year’s and Thanksgiving, Fourth of July. So besides those four days, we deliver through the rain, the sleet, the snow and more lately, the heat.”

Rask said the eclipse stamps that came out just a few weeks ago will also be available for purchase at the event. 

The postal service describes the eclipse stamp as “a first-of-its-kind stamp” that’s heat-sensitive. It shows the image of a full moon when you put your finger onto it. 

Rask said the stamp was “a hot commodity.”

“Within hours, we sold out,” he said. “We reordered, stocked up, now we have plenty available.”