Perkinston postmaster retires after 37 years in the business | People
Today marks the final day as the Perkinston Post Office postmaster for 60-year-old Dennis Kenderick of Perry County.
After four back operations and a triple bypass, Kenderick said he is ready. His retirement comes after 37 years in the postal industry.
“I was 25-years-old when I started at the Gulfport post office back in 1975,” Kenderick recalled.
He worked as a temporary employee making just $1.60 an hour.
In 1993 the Wiggins native started work as a postmaster at the Perkinston Post Office.
“ I wanted to move back home,” Kenderick said.
His postmaster duties included supervising a small group of employees. He was also responsible for daily operations. Kenderick said many of his days were between 9 to 10 hours long depending on holidays and varying circumstances.
“I have known Dennis for over 30 years on and off. We started together at the old downtown post office in Gulfport and Dennis has always been, I would say, the most conscientious employee that I've worked with,” said Saucier postmaster Jim Latimer, 56.
With nearly four decades of post office experience, Latimer and Kenderick have seen their fair share of changes in the industry.
“We’ve gone from doing our work manual to more of an automated work environment,” Latimer said. “A lot of people are paying their bills online. However, bulk business mail and increasing our revenue through in store purchases and alternate access has helped.”
“Everything is more micro managed now. There are instruments that monitor sales like purchases, stamps,” Kenderick said. “There is simply no mail to deliver. The volume has decreased greatly. If you don't have the sales, upper management makes changes to our staffing. Usually by decreasing staffing.”
But, Kenderick said his industry is more than meeting a sales quota.
“We do a lot more than sell stamps. We take a personal interest in our customers. Unfortunately there are people who can’t read and write and sometimes we fill out money orders for them,” Kenderick explained.
The Perkinston post office covers six different counties.
“We have one of the largest geographical reach, 39573 covers a large area. Our carriers have to go very far to deliver. They usually have a personal relationship with their customers. They know when things look out of sort at someone’s house,” Kenderick said.
Despite having a ten acre farm in Perry County, the thought of not going to work tomorrow is something Kenderick still hasn’t been able to wrap his mind around.
“I like landscaping and I could do some charity work,” Kenderick said.
His advice to success in any career, "God gave you two ears and one mouth; you should listen twice as much as you hear," Kenderick said.
A good friend of Kenderick is also retiring from the post office today, Margarent Rabby. Rabby is the postmaster in Lumberton. She is retiring after 32 years.
The McHenry postmaster will be overseeing the Perkinston Office until a new postmaster is selected.