Gering Post office employee reaches 25 years of service
GERING — The Gering Post Office celebrated one of its own on Friday, as Valarie Orozco-Ysac celebrated 25 years in the postal service.
While the actual anniversary was on Aug. 7, post office employees, patrons and Postmaster Kathy Goodell held a ceremony on Aug. 24 to recognize Orozco-Ysac’s years of service.
Orozco-Ysac thanked her mother for being the one to push her into taking the civil service exam, although that almost ended in disaster for them.
“We traveled in a snowstorm to Alliance to take the exam,” she said. “We ended up in a cornfield in the middle of a blizzard. The farmer had to take us out because we were stuck in the snow, but I still made it to Alliance to take the test.”
After scoring well on the test, she got a temporary position at the Gering Post Office, where she stayed for a year, before moving over to Mitchell the next year. She came back to Gering, and for the past 25 years has been working there, either in the back or in the front.
She spent the first 20 years or so in the back of the office, breaking down the mail and sorting letters and packages and occasionally greeting customers in the front. It’s only been in the past few years where she was moved to the front office to meet with patrons face-to-face on a daily basis.
Throughout the celebration, postal patrons came to congratulate and hug Orozco-Ysac. They and her co-workers, she said, are what have kept her working for so long.
“Some of them come every day and I get to see them throughout their years,” she said. “I’ve seen some of them get married, have children, and their kids go off to college. My patrons meant the world.”
“It’s rarely just they need a stamp,” she said. “It’s ‘Hi, how are you? How are your children?’ I get so much positive feedback from them, I enjoy it.”
Orozco-Ysac made it clear that she was not retiring.
“As long as the post office is happy with me and I have a place here, they’re going to have to drag me out,” she said. “I’m staying.”