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MOUNT WASHINGTON — Tom Greenwell is a sales associate and window clerk for the Mount Washington Post Office - or is he an elf?
This time every year, Greenwell transforms into Santa’s number one helper.
He grows a special beard, his toes appear to curl and his festive red and green hat features pointy elf ears.
Although most of the post office patrons know that Greenwell is merely dressing in costume to bring Christmas cheer, his over-the-top effort at spreading holiday happiness is one reason that Greenwell is considered top-notch when it comes to customer service.
“His customer service is above and beyond,” Mount Washington Postmaster Donna Thompson said. “Customers want to come to the post office. He makes people laugh.”
Recently Greenwell was honored by the United States Postal Service’s Kentuckiana district with the Heroes and Hard Workers award.
He was nominated by fellow clerk Beth Stewart at Hillview’s post office and by Thompson. Greenwell primarily works out of the Mount Washington location but assists at Hilliew’s office when needed.
Greenwell has worked for the USPS for almost 20 years. According to his nomination form, he is a Vietnam veteran who was shot three times and broke both bones in his arm during combat.
“Once released on medical discharge he went on to live a productive life in spite of his medical problems,” Stewart wrote in her nomination. “He went to work for the post office in 1990 as a window clerk and has been making people laugh ever since.”
Greenwell said he loves his work with the postal service and that the customers make his job exciting.
“The people enjoy it, I enjoy it and I find a lot of humor in things,” Greenwell said. “People are surprised to find somebody happy behind the counter.”
Greenwell was somewhat surprised that he received the Heroes and Hard Workers award, but also pleased.
“I can’t make money and have this much fun anywhere else,” he said.
Thompson said that Greenwell also plays the harmonica for the customers and accompanies her to community birthday celebrations honoring citizens who’ve turned 100.
“He basically fits in wherever he goes and we all benefit - the customers and the post office alike,” Thompson wrote in her nomination. “Tom truly is a hero to us all. He makes work fun.”