Quick. Give me a three-letter word in the postal motto.
The clue, coincidentally, was in an Oklahoman crossword just last week.
The answer is “nor.” “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”
Actually, it isn't a carrier creed — per the U.S. Postal Service website — but an inscription on a New York City post office, describing the commitment of Persian mounted couriers around 500 B.C.
Regardless, today's postal workers don't get snow days. Postal worker friends from my church worked their respective day and night shifts Tuesday. And a high school friend's wife, a postal carrier in Choctaw, not only reported to work but was asked to come in 45 minutes earlier than her usual 7 a.m.
According to my friend, some Choctaw carriers weren't able to deliver Tuesday, because NE 23 through Choctaw was closed.
Dionne Montague, spokeswoman for the U.S. Postal Service, said it was so hectic Tuesday that percentages are not yet available for the number of carriers who made it to work or made rounds. “They are concentrating on the safety of employees, mail delivery, vehicles, etc.,” she said.
Shannon Warren, the founding director of the Oklahoma Business Ethics Consortium, left a goody bag and thank-you note on her mailbox in northwest Oklahoma City, as did several of her friends across Edmond and Oklahoma City.
“Expressing gratitude is a huge part of our OK Ethics culture and mentioned in our guiding principles,” Warren said. She said her personal commitment, however, reaches back to the example set by her late father, who worked 25 years as a passenger representative for Santa Fe Railroad.
“He was always so appreciative of everyone and never failed to say thanks — even for the smallest gesture,” Warren said. “They say that grateful people are happy ones. I could see that in him.”
In her carrier's goody bag, Warren included hot chocolate mix, Chapstick and hand lotion but thinks the thank-you note will mean the most.
Tere Bettis of northwest Edmond included similar items in her carrier's goody bag along with a Hershey bar, while another friend near NW 23 and Meridian left her carrier “Jeff” several packets of hand warmers.
“I believe in showing support and respect for those who put their personal comfort and security on the back burner for others,” Bettis said. “I wanted them to know we were thinking about them during this brutal weather.”
Here's to civility that snowballs — and warmer days!