Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2005

Zen and the art of post office maintenance

Eudora’s new postmaster breaks molds both on bike and at work

June 16, 2005

Four colors are banded around Georgia Brown's arm -- blue, orange, yellow and black.

In an intricate tribal design, these colors fly in the wind as she rides a customized Harley-Davidson Sportster of the same color scheme. To her, the machine is loud, rumbling and liberating.

"I don't know. I just love the sound, the feel of the motorcycle," Brown said.

One could call her a Eudoran globetrotter or an award-winning motorcycle enthusiast. Both would be true -- she has won a contest with the shining chrome of her monster ride. But she is also Eudora's new postmaster.

"My goal is to find a nice house in Eudora or build one here," Brown said. "I think it would be wonderful to live close to work and not drive a long way."

Brown currently lives in Olathe and longed for a small-town postmastership for 23 years before she came to Eudora.

"When I drove in and saw the old-style downtown it made me very happy," Brown said. "It made me want this job that much more."

Brown applied and received the job. She started in April as the new manager of the mailroom.

"Basically the postmaster is all and everything there," Brown said.

In a small town, the postmaster takes over every aspect of the job. Hiring, firing and even customer service are all part of the job, Brown said.

"In the big towns, you might have jobs delegated to different individuals. In the small town you take care of it all," she said.

Before Brown took control of the local post office, she spent time traveling the world.

Her path to Eudora began in Oklahoma City where she was born. When she was young, she traveled in Mexico and Guatemala for 18 months.

Brown has two daughters -- Xochitl, which means flower goddess, and Amanda. Both are grown and out of the house.

"I've an interest in Mayans and their ancient dress," Brown said

She has worked in several post offices throughout Kansas, but said she has finally found where she wants to be.

"I can actually have time to talk to my customers," Brown said. "Before it was an extremely stressful job. Now there is time to be a person."

Others have noticed Brown's skill in the mailroom.

"She seems to be wonderful," said Eudora resident and post office employee Ron Webb. "She's very easygoing and listens to people."

The way she does things, from her actions and at work, to her personal interaction, stems from her personal philosophy. She sees things globally.

"Basically everyone comes from the earth," she said. "People don't realize how important it is to their very existence."

When people stray far from their connection from the earth, it's then when life gets more difficult, she said.

Vic Kane, the postmaster of Kansas City, Kan., worked with Brown at various offices and knows she'll fit in well at Eudora.

"I think she's an exceptional leader," Kane said. "I think she'll do a great job."

Brown said her goal for the post office in Eudora is to make it profitable, but she also sees herself rooted in the base of the town.

"This is a farming community, and people need to appreciate the farmers," Brown said.

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