By Danielle Tadlock
News Report Staff
Getting a new job can always be stressful and worrisome.
But when it’s the same job, it might come naturally.
This is true for Dianne Miller, who just accepted the postmaster position at the Effingham Post Office. She started October 31 and is in charge of nine rural routes, seven city routes, 13 clerks and a supervisor.
“I feel like this is home. I’ve worked with everyone on the floor. That gives us that special bond knowing we can work together as a team,” Miller said.
The postmaster is someone who oversees the entire operation and makes sure that everything gets out on time.
Miller has worked with the U.S. Postal Office for 28 years and started her career in the Effingham.
Her father, Lee Koontz, was an assistant postmaster for 42 years and encouraged her to apply and take the test for the job.
“He was the one that got me interested in the job. He was my influence,” Miller said.
Miller started in 1988 as a part-time clerk in Effingham when she was 21 years old. At the time, she had two kids and was working the night shift. She was given the opportunity to work a daytime shift by working for management.
In 2000, she was promoted to the postmaster position in Lerna. Five years later, she was promoted to the postmaster position in Newton, before coming back to Effingham.
On average, the post office receives approximately 35,000 letters on a daily basis. Miller remembers one day earlier in her career when the postmaster was out for surgery and she was acting supervisor for the day.
“The mail sorting machine went out,” Miller said. “I had all of this raw mail that couldn’t be sorted.”
The mail can’t be sent out until it has been sorted because it is easier for the clerks. She called St. Louis, and without skipping a beat, she shipped all of the raw mail on an early express truck. All of the mail was delivered with no delays.
“It took until about 11:30 that night to get that machine back up and running,” Miller said.
Times have changed and so has the mailing system. Recently, the Effingham Post Office lost its sectional designation. That means the mail received must be first sent to Champaign. Then once it is sorted through their machinery, they send the mail back to Effingham to be delivered.
“We lost the SCF (Sectional Center Facility) because we didn’t have room to take more zip codes,” Miller said. “The south now goes to St. Louis and the north goes to Champaign into a bigger facility.”
Miller has lived in the Effingham and Teutopolis area her whole life. She graduated from Teutopolis High School and has been married to Richard Miller for 14 years. Together, they have three sons -- Justin Elmore, Jordan Elmore and Korey Miller.