Fri, Jul 20, 2012 - Page 5 News List

Greater Taichung ‘Post Doctor’ helps rescue lost mail

By Hsieh Fung-chiu and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Postmaster Liu Miao-yun sits on her motorbike in Greater Taichung on June 30. Liu has become famous for her ability to decipher poorly written or incomplete street addresses to get mail to the recipient.

Photo: Hsieh Fong-chiu, Taipei Times

Working as a post office mail superintendent and carrier for the past 23 years, Liu Miao-yun (劉妙澐) has won the nickname “Post Doctor” for her ability to deliver mail that is misaddressed, or even missing an address entirely, to the intended recipient.

The mail superintendents organize and supervise mail sorting and processing, and allocate postal carriers’ routes each month. They also train postal workers and handle customer complaints and labor disputes.

Familiar with the area after 23 years of mail delivery, Liu is able to rescue much of the misaddressed mail and send it to its intended recipients.

As the post office is a mainly male office environment, Liu was the first woman in the past six decades to become postmaster in the Fongyuan District (豐原) Post Office in Greater Taichung.

Once Liu had to deal with a letter with the address written incorrectly as “Alley 140, Tiansin Road.” After checking all addresses containing “Alley 140” against the name of the recipient, she pinpointed the recipient’s real address as “Alley 140, Yuanhuan E Rd.”

When the recipient, surnamed Chang (張), received his letter, he was surprised and said that Liu was “amazing, delivering the mail even when the address is written incorrectly.”

Another letter bore the address “Alley 37, Yangming District,” and Liu found the recipient should be living at “Alley 37, Zihciang S Rd.”

Another case saw the address written as “Alley 128, Zihciang S Rd” instead of the intended “Alley 28,” but Liu still managed to deliver it to its intended recipient.

Because of her work, Liu is on a familiar basis with the residents in her area, and usually takes note of elderly people living alone.

She often uses her own free time to go visit these elderly people and bring them gifts paid for out of her own pocket.

One of the people she visited was an 80-year-old surnamed Chai (翟), and Chai wrote a letter to the post office thanking Liu for her visits.

However, when Liu saw that Chai’s writing on the letter was wobbly, she was worried that he was feeling ill and found time to pay him a visit.

Chai, who was indeed sick, was very moved to see that someone still cared about him, and said many a “thank you” to Liu.

Liu said that in all her time at the post office, the one incident that made the greatest impact on here was the time when the office received a package a student studying in Japan sent to his family.

As a result of some mishap, the part containing the address of the recipient was missing from the package, and the words on the carbon paper receipt were also hard to make out.

Despite the difficulty, Liu managed to guess several telephone numbers from the receipt and called them one by one.

After calling more than 100 numbers, Liu was finally able to contact the student’s family and delivered the package.

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