The importance of a bucket of water and some soap: Bernie’s doing her bit

Bernie Doheny on her daily battle to keep An Post customers and staff safe from Covid-19

An Post feature

Fight against Covid-19: An Post Letterkenny’s Service Officer Bernie Doherty keeps the counter clean, ensuring that her colleagues and customers are kept safe

Bernie Doheny is just one of a number of Service Officers in post offices all around the country who are helping to keep staff and customers safe during the coronavirus crisis.
The Letterkenny Post Office staff member has had a busy few weeks since the Covid-19 restrictions and guidelines came into play.
Bernie was featured in this week's edition of ‘Post People’, An Post’s online staff newsletter, and she spoke of the kindness and gratitude that customers and staff have shown to her for the job she’s been doing.
“Who would have thought that a bucket of water and soap would be so important,” said Bernie, as she grabbed a quick break from counting customers into the office amid social distancing regulations.
“Do you know what?” said Bernie, “they’re not bad at all, most are very compliant. We take extra care of the pensioners and let them in first and no one minds.”
The article reported that Bernie has changed her hours of attendance since the outbreak and is implementing a daily deep clean in the front and back offices of the building.

Sign of the times: Bernie Doheny outside An Post in Letterkenny

“Everybody is worried so I want to make them feel safe when they come to the Post Office and to know that every precaution is being taken for their safety,” she said.
“Wearing the appropriate PPE, I sanitise the counter area, handrails and handles throughout the day. I’m providing an important service and I want to keep my colleagues, the customers and myself safe.”
Bernie said that the one good thing to come out of the pandemic is how people now take care of each other and how everyone has pulled together.

Family atmosphere
She said staff in Letterkenny have always enjoyed a ‘family’ atmosphere.
“We've always had great team spirit here thanks to Anne (Doherty, Branch Manager), who updates us regularly and talks us through any worries we might have,” she said.
“We were ahead of the game with our own floor markings to indicate 2 metres which gave everybody peace of mind."
And Bernie is also adjusting to hearing high praise from customers and colleagues.
“I’m genuinely blown away by the amount of people who have stopped and thanked me for cleaning the office - like thanking me for actually doing my job - which is quite unusual that they’d even notice. Even my colleagues here have expressed their gratitude, and I really appreciate it.”
Bernie noted that if she could save just one person from getting the coronavirus, her extra vigilance will all have been worth it.
She vowed to keep going until the virus is “well and truly gone”.

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