By Stephanie Rebman/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – If you’re having a bad day, go buy some stamps.
When you show up in line at the Thomas Street post office, you will find Boyce Grayson Jr. and John Harris telling jokes and hamming it up. If all is quiet though, you’ll get polite and friendly customer service. Either way, it could cheer you up.
Grayson, 49, has been with the United States Post Office for 20 years with 12 behind the counter at Thomas Street. Harris, 55, has been with the post office for 29 years and has spent about 15 years behind that same counter.
The two Tupelo men have mutual cousins and have known one another most of their lives. Couple that with some good communication, and they’re a team ready to smile and serve the public.
Grayson, who also works part time at Delta in customer service, said his goal in serving a customer is to “brighten up their day for a moment.”
“When you come to work, everyone’s got problems,” he said. “No matter what type of problems I have at home, I leave them at home. That puts me in a good mood right off the bat.”
Grayson was a Gulfport police officer for about five years and that training came in handy one day. A customer stormed into the post office, irate about a Social Security check, and demanded to see the postmaster general. Grayson told him to go to a corner until he calmed down. It worked.
Harris takes a personable approach to work.
“Basically I formed a name-to-name basis with customers. You talk to them and they feel good to talk to you,” he said. “When my customers leave happy, all my moments are great.”
A little bit of fun keeps customers smiling too. Harris gets into the spirit every October for breast cancer awareness month to promote special stamps. This year he said donning a pink wig was his “contribution toward breast cancer research.”
When not at work, Harris is at home with his wife, raising two grandkids and watching sports, especially football. Same for Grayson – wife and children – except his favorite sport is basketball, and he enjoys mentoring youth on the court.
Grayson said one of his favorite parts of the job is talking to customers, especially the elderly.
“My goal is to treat everybody like somebody because everybody is somebody. Everybody is important,” he said.