Williams to retire from Berryville Post Office
By Haley Schichtl
Toby Williams, who has worked at the Berryville Post Office for 34 years, will retire Thursday, Oct. 31.
Williams has worked as a sales and service associate for most of his time at the post office, which means he processes incoming mail and works at the window.
“I was hired on as a clerk to begin with, I carried mail five or six years then switched back over to come back inside and work as a clerk again,” Williams said. “I’d been outside long enough, with the dogs, lightning, freezing cold, the rain.”
Although he didn’t enjoy being a mail carrier, Williams said he has liked working at the post office because of all the people he gets to be around every day.
“I’m kind of the go-to guy anymore,” Williams said. “I know a lot of families, addresses. … I’ve done a little bit of everything.”
Williams said he also does maintenance around the office, but the thing he is recognized for most by his coworkers is his knowledge of the town and the people who live in it.
“There’s several things we’re going to miss about him; he has an incredible knowledge of Berryville and the people of Berryville,” postmaster James Lucas said. “Toby grew up here, went to high school in Berryville. Every person who walks in the door, he pretty much knows their name.”
Williams also knows that it is important to pay attention to the mail, because it doesn’t always go to the address that’s written on it.
“Sometimes you have to use your mind more than your eyes,” Williams said.
He explained that addresses are often written incorrectly, and it is up to the post office to make sure mail gets to the right person.
“We still get a lot of mail that’s not machine readable. That means there’s something wrong — they’ve either misspelled the street name, they’ve left some numbers off, they’ve put a whole different address.”
Although the person who takes over Williams’ role won’t learn everything overnight, Williams said it just takes seeing those names and addresses every day over time.