Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 19, 2001

‘Tis the season


Staff Intern

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Shopping and sending are the two favorite holiday words this week.

And, true to form, the Troy post office is experiencing a most active holiday season, said supervisor Paul Floyd.

"I think this has been the busiest we’ve been in years. [The customers] seem to be a little late this year mailing their priority mail," Floyd said. "I’ve been here 24 years and this is the most mail I have ever seen leaving at one time."

According to Floyd, two additional trucks were needed

to transport the outgoing mail this week.

Floyd said business picked up on Dec. 14, and he expects business to slack off after Thursday, which he speculates will be the busiest mail day this holiday season.

Mail carrier Jerome Cobb has noticed another difference in the mail this Christmas.

"There has been a lot more shopping done through the Internet," Cobb said. "There are more packages than letters being delivered. That means more walking for us, but it’s no big deal."

Cobb attributes the increase in packages to the increase in Internet commerce.

Floyd confirmed the increase in Internet shopping along with an increase in mail order purchases.

Mail carrier Allen Hatten has noticed the same trend with his route, and he also noticed the usual habit of people putting off the holiday shopping.

"I see it every year. No matter how much people are warned, they still put [shopping] off," Hatten said.

The last minute pressure and the holiday crowds are not a stress factor for some shoppers.

Matthew Wells mailed his package on time but will finish his shopping the night before Christmas.

"I’ll just go the night before. I think that’s a Monday," Wells said. "The driving is the worst part, but the shopping is easy. I don’t shop. I buy gift cards. I’m a typical guy. Girls like to shop, so let them shop."

Millaette Carter, a traditional last-minute shopper, plans to finish her shopping Saturday. "I actually enjoy shopping. I just never get it all done at once," Carter said. "The crowds don’t bother me."

On Tuesday, Minnie Evans was not to be bothered by the last-minute shuffle.

"I am going to finish up my shopping today in town," Evans said. "It has been busy, but it doesn’t bother me."

The layaway department at Wal-Mart experienced an increase in business this year, according to store manager Bobbie Brackenridge.

The items on layaway had to be picked up on Dec. 14, which resulted in a customer line stretching to the shoe department, said one employee. Another said, "The

days are getting busier as they go by."

Jerry Williams, owner of Radio Shack, said most people have bought the big presents and are now buying the stocking-stuffers.

"We have been elated since the latter part of November," Williams said. "People have bought the big-ticket items and are now buying the small things."