Beatrice postmaster retiring after 35 years in postal service
Rick Traylor said goodbye to the post office on Friday after 35 years.
He retired this week as Beatrice’s postmaster, a position he’s held since 2015.
“I’ve been here 35 years, so I think it’s time,” Traylor said of retiring. “The employees have been great, so that part of it I’m going to miss.”
Traylor started in the Beatrice Post Office as a clerk in 1983. He was a carrier for a couple of years and got into management in 1992 as a supervisor in Beatrice. In 1997, he left for Wymore where he became the postmaster there.
After 10 years, he took a position as the postmaster in Fairbury, before returning to Beatrice.
“I came back here probably six years ago as a supervisor because I knew the postmaster here would probably be moving on at some point,” he recalled. “It was a little bit of a gamble to give up the postmaster title and come back as a supervisor, but I did and it worked out. About three years ago, I got this position and have come full circle, I guess you could say.”
Reflecting on the last 35 years, Traylor said automation has been the biggest change in the industry.
“When I first started here, everything was done manually,” he said. “People subscribed to more magazines and newspapers and we had to do it manually. Then in the late 1980s, they introduced DPS (delivery point sequence) mail, which is mail that’s sorted at the plant in order. That was probably the biggest development back in those days. We all thought we were going to lose our jobs because automation was taking over. It didn’t work out that way, thank goodness.”
Automation has made the process more efficient, but that’s not to say things are slow at the post office. Traylor said online shopping has resulted in a large boost to the number of packages delivered.
“More recently, it’s been the parcel volume,” he said. “We always had some parcels but not like we’ve seen the last three years. It seems like every day is like Christmas around here anymore, then on Christmas it’s really tough. We always find a way to get it done.”
A new postmaster has not been announced.