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Oh, the stories Jim Morgan can tell as a retired postman

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Saturday, May 28, 2016

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Jim Morgan retired from the Greer Post Office in April after 25 years or service.
 

Garrett Mitchell

Jim Morgan retired from the Greer Post Office in April after 25 years or service.

 



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Jim Morgan receives recognition from a USPS supervisor at the Greer Post Office.
 

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Jim Morgan receives recognition from a USPS supervisor at the Greer Post Office.

 

Jim Morgan saw quite bit in his tenure at the Greer Post Office. The self-described people person always looked forward to what each day would bring.

Morgan, 68, retired from the U.S. Postal Service in April after 25 years, fondly looking back on his time working as a window clerk and mail carrier.

"When I first started working everything was manual," said Morgan. "Letters would come in trays, we'd unsleeve the trays, put them on floats, and take them over and manually sort the letters. It was the same with the flats and the parcels. Now so many things are coming in automation."

Morgan was virtually automatic at his job, too. The Vietnam veteran, who served a tour of duty with the 198th Light Infantry Brigade in Northern Vietnam, was not one to miss a day of work. Many times he would come in 45 minutes to an hour early, depending on how much his presence was needed at the window, he said.

It was by sheer coincidence that Morgan ended up in Greer. Facing hourly cuts at his first post office, he was offered a position that would change his life.

"I actually started in Fountain Inn," Morgan said. "I was only down there a few weeks and they told me they were going to be cutbacks because of excessive staff. They said if you want to go to Greer you can get plenty of hours in Greer, so I came to Greer."

Through the years Morgan developed a deep fondness for the people of Greer. He told stories of his interactions with people from all walks of life, crazy sounding tales, and even some on those unscrupulous characters that postmen dread coming into contact.

"People never cease to amaze me, the way they will interact with the carriers," said Morgan. "Some of them have a very good rapport with carriers and carriers with them. Others, I wonder, I know their mother taught them better than that. We have some characters. Some people you can never please and some people anything pleases them."

He recounted, with a smile and a laugh, some of his most interesting encounters with customers.

"Years ago when the food stamp program was enforced, food stamps would come in certified mail so people would have to sign for the food stamps, present an ID and also sign for it," Morgan said.

"We had a couple of young kids come in one day and wanted to pick up their mother's food stamps. I said no, only she can get them. She has to sign for them. They came back later with mother. Mother was dressed in a hospital gown pushing an IV on a stand to come in and sign for her food stamps."

It was those interactions that made Morgan’s job interesting and helped foster his love for the people of Greer. He spoke fondly of the community and the people he came to know that were regulars at his window.

"People are the main thing I appreciated about Greer," Morgan said. "Greer has a fantastic population. They are caring, outgoing, very good people. Of course, in any society, you're going to have a few that are contrary to that, but for the most part Greer has some of the best people you would ever hope to meet."

Morgan's co-workers returned the accolades.

Darlene Keller worked the window with Morgan for 19 years.

"You just remember what you learned from him and you to continue to do his ways," said Keller. "That way he's remembered just like anybody else that's left. You try to remember what he's taught you and you keep that living on in the post office. We talk about him all the time."

Morgan talked humorously about his retirement.

"I'm trying to convince my wife (Nickie) we're not going to wind up living in a cardboard box under an overpass with everything we own in a shopping cart," he said with a laugh.

Don't expect Morgan to sit around at home during his retirement, either.

"I'll probably find a part-time job somewhere just to stay active," said Morgan. "As soon as the weather gets right there's some yard work I want to do. I have a few tools and I was thinking about joining the Wood Worker's Guild to be able to do a little wood working."

 

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