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TMCNet:  New GH Postmaster has come full circle: Gig Harbor leader started out in the mail room

[November 04, 2009]

New GH Postmaster has come full circle: Gig Harbor leader started out in the mail room

Nov 04, 2009 (The Peninsula Gateway - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Joan Warrington raised her right hand and took the oath as the new postmaster at the Gig Harbor Post Office last Thursday. In doing so, she fulfilled a goal she had when she started as a city letter carrier in 1994.

Warrington was sworn in by her sister, District Manager Katherine Nash.

"The biggest honor is the fact that I get to swear in my little sister," Nash told the crowd that gathered for the ceremony in the back mail room at the post office.

"She's come full circle." Nash said when Warrington started at the post office, she thought it was going to be a "part-time gig." "She thought she'd only be doing this a couple of years," Nash said. "But she fell in love with the postal service." After taking the oath, Warrington said, "I'm not one for emotions, but that kind of got to me.

"I'm amazed at how many people are still here, and that's a huge testament," she said. "Everybody knows everybody. Everyone knows everyone's ins and outs and the idiosyncrasies of their personalities. It's wonderful." Warrington returned to her hometown to accept the position after she bounced around various post offices in the area, including Vashon Island, Milton, Bremerton and Auburn.

The Postmaster prize wasn't handed to Warrington on a silver platter. It took her three tries to get the position.

"Three times is a charm," Nash said. "She kept asking me what was wrong, why she wasn't getting the job, and I said, 'You're not ready.' " Both Nash and Warrington credit her stint with the Auburn Post Office for providing her the final lap she needed in her race to the title.

"Auburn has the best postmasters," Nash said. "It's good to work for someone who knows the business." Auburn Postmaster Len DeLeon said he had the privilege to work with Warrington for about 1 1/2 years.

"She has the energy, communication skills and knowledge of the organization and where we need to go," DeLeon said. "She gave the best customer service." DeLeon said he knew Warrington's goal was to be Postmaster for Gig Harbor from the get-go.

"My job is to mentor and develop people," he said. "My goal was to make sure she was prepared for it, and achieve her goals and prepare her for upward mobility." Warrington said she hated to leave Auburn, partly because DeLeon was "one of the best bosses." "He was very nurturing, but he held you to the highest standards," Warrington said.

Warrington is a former firefighter for the City of Tacoma. When she became a single mother, she realized the 24-hour shifts weren't working. That's when Nash suggested she take the postal service test.

Warrington returned to her old stomping grounds in September and has been busy cleaning up with the help of custodian Inge Whitney.

"Gig Harbor is an older, crowded building," Warrington said. "It needs a lot of transformation." Reach Lifestyles Coordinator and reporter Susan Schell at 253-853-9240 or by e-mail at [email protected]

To see more of The Peninsula Gateway or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to Copyright (c) 2009, The Peninsula Gateway, Gig Harbor, Wash. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. For reprints, email [email protected], call 800-374-7985 or 847-635-6550, send a fax to 847-635-6968, or write to The Permissions Group Inc., 1247 Milwaukee Ave., Suite 303, Glenview, IL 60025, USA.

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