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Longtime window clerk retiring

Talking about the 24 years she has worked for the United States Postal Service makes Carmine Olson chuckle. She has a lot of memories, some good, some bad. But as she prepares to retire, she looks back at it all fondly.

Due to some health issues and a desire to spend more time with her grandchildren Olson, a window clerk at the Rosemount Post Office, has decided to retire. May 30 will be her last day.

Sitting in the Rosemount McDonald's on a Monday afternoon Olson recalled the last 24 years of her working life. Olson took the civil servant test after moving to the area from North Dakota with her husband. She said job stability attracted her to the postal service.

After waiting some time she was finally hired by the USPS in 1984. She started in the Farmington office where she learned the ins and outs of the mail delivery system.

"It's a wonderful system," Olson said.

At that point in time everyone had to help with everything, so she helped do a variety of jobs, even delivering the mail.

One day while out delivering, she met the mail courier's worst enemy -- the dog. The war between mail deliverers and dogs is legendary and Olson, unfortunately, has a battle wound.

"It bit through three layers of clothes and took a hunk out of me," Olson said.

Also, just like the old song says, the mail has to be delivered regardless of sleet, snow or rain. Olson recalled days that were 102 degrees and others that were 20 below.

"It has to get out," she said.

After working in Farmington for a year and a half Olson decided she wanted to work closer to home so she asked to transfer to the Rosemount office. She has worked in town ever since.

"I've enjoyed working (in Rosemount)," Olson said.

During her time in Rosemount she has worked as a window clerk selling stamps and taking packages. Her position at the post office is coveted, she said, and she will leave to someone else.

"You have to wait for someone to die or retire," quipped Olson about getting a clerk position.

As a window clerk, Olson said she got to work with the public, which she enjoyed. During her time at the Rosemount Post Office she has gotten to know three or four generations of customers.

"I've made a lot of friends just through the customers," she said. "I'll miss them."

The mail system has changed since Olson began working for the postal service. When she started packages were weighed on a fan scale and clerks had to look up prices. Now packages are weighed on digital scales that immediately give the price.

"So much is different. It has changed a lot," Olson said.

Despite the changes, Olson said satisfying her customers was always the priority.

"I enjoyed waiting on them and getting to know them," she said.

With her last day quickly approaching Olson said she will miss aspects of the job but is looking forward to the future. She plans to spend more time with two granddaughters.

"I want to take them around to all the Laura Ingalls Wilder houses because I read those books to them," she said.

Travel is another thing Olson would like to do. She said she would really like to take a trip to Washington state to visit family that lives there.