Affable post office employee retiresBy Emily Beckett Published 6:26pm Thursday, January 31, 2013
Many customers have left the Clanton Post Office laughing because of a well-known employee whose last day behind the counter was Thursday.
Don Christianson retired after 20 years as window clerk at the post office and 23 years total with the U.S. Postal Service.
Christianson is known for his positive outlook and lighthearted jokes that made customers chuckle and co-workers grateful for his presence.
“I just have fun with it,” Christianson said. “If you have to spend a third of your time somewhere, you might as well enjoy it.”
Christianson’s co-workers held a retirement party for him Thursday morning complete with gifts, greeting cards, a potluck meal and a green velvet cake per his request.
“It’s really great to go home in the afternoon and feel blessed,” he said to the group. “That’s you guys. Thank you.”
True to form, Christianson had plenty of comedic comments to share on his last day at the office.
“This is worse than trying to open a post card,” he said while attempting to remove a cake plate lid, and added, “They say they’ll miss me. I’m just hoping they’re not aiming at me.”
Christianson said the people, customers and co-workers alike, were his favorite part of the job, along with “being indoors with no ants, no dogs and a coffee pot.”
“He’s easy to get along with,” said Rena Crumpton, who has worked with Christianson for 11 years. “The customers love him. They’ll say, ‘Is he always this happy?’”
He often met ordinary questions with creative answers.
For example, people who asked about bubble wrap would hear, “We’ll be glad to sell you bubble wrap. If you mail a bubble, you should probably wrap it.”
Christianson commuted to the Clanton Post Office from his and his wife Sandy’s home in Montgomery every day.
He started working for the postal service after retiring from the United States Air Force in 1988.
He and Sandy have two sons, Eric and Marc, and four grandchildren.
Christianson said he might need a reminder Friday morning not to get up early and get ready for work.
After 23 years of sorting, stamping and sending other people’s mail, the only mail he will have to handle is his.
“I got so tired of hearing myself say the same things,” he said, laughing. “I need some new jokes.”