BLACKFOOT – The service counter at the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) in Blackfoot will not look the same come Monday morning. Postal Clerk Kim Bergeson retired Friday after 35 years of service.
“I started here in 1978 as a clerk and ended as a clerk,” Bergeson said.
There have been a lot of changes in the post office over those 35 years.
“In 1978, mail was weighed on a scale and then you had to look up the rate and the zone on a chart,” he said. “All the stamps were licked.
“Now all the stamps are self-adhesive and there are forever stamps.
“I think we would have saved a lot of money if we had forever stamps rather than those one cent stamps,” Bergeson said. “Just think of all the money that was put into printing those stamps.”
When he started 35 years ago, 65 feet of letters would come into the post office each day. To sort that volume of mail took six people--four clerks sorted letters, one clerk sorted flats and parcels and one supervisor, who also helped sort mail. They also took care of customers at the counter.
Two part-time flexes (PTF) also helped sort mail and tend the counter.
“Now the mail comes in in delivery sequence,” Bergeson said. “It’s sorted in Pocatello at night and is delivered in delivery sequence.
Bergeson started work each day at 5:30 a.m. to have the mail distributed to the carriers by 7:30 a.m. Part of the clerk’s job is to keep track of the “cash on delivery” parcels as well as the certified and express mail. He also tended the counter to take care of customers’ needs.
“Now we have two full-time clerks and three PTFs.”
The postal building has changed over the years. In 1978, the dock was about 100 feet behind the counter. Now, the building has almost doubled.
There were five full city routes in 1978, with five rural routes. Now there are still five city routes but the rural routes number 10.
Bergeson and his fellow clerk, Rod Lilya, have been friends many years. Their birthdays are 30 days apart. (Bergeson is older. His birthday is in August; Lilya’s is in September.)
Both were raised in Blackfoot. They played Little League together and were college roommates at Ricks.
Lilya started working for the USPS in Blackfoot in 1976.
“He told me there was a clerk’s job here,” Bergeson said. “He said, ‘Come and apply.’”
About Bergeson, Lilya said, “He’s been a good friend. He’s a hard worker and is real dependable.”
Born and raised and still living in Blackfoot, Bergeson and his wife, Angela, have three kids—Jessica, Brick and Jill.
His future plans are to play and travel.
“We have grandchildren in Boise and Salt Lake,” he said. “We’re going to travel to see them.
“We walk on the green belt,” Bergeson said. “We have a little farm—12 acres of hay that we rent to a farmer. We do yard work.”
It sounds like life is good. Thanks for your years of service.