Cheryl Bartlett took over her new duties recently as De Smet’s postmaster. One of her goals for her new position is to make changes that make someone’s day a little easier. She says she may not be able to do it every day, but that is one of her goals.
Bartlett grew up in the central part of South Dakota. Homesteads of her mom and dad’s family recently celebrated their Centennial Ranches in 2018 and 2019. She attended Black Hills State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in psychology. She has one child, Kevin, who was very active in sports while attending school and also enjoyed volunteering as a Page and Intern for the South Dakota Legislature.
She is currently a Second Lieutenant in the Civil Air Patrol in South Dakota. Bartlett does monthly training in search and recues. She is also just ten hours away from obtaining her pilot’s license.
She enjoys doing a little stained glass as a hobby and says her grandkids are her biggest interest in her life right now. They live in Montrose.
Before Bartlett worked at the Post Office, she spent thirty years in the restaurant industry in different capacities. She was a training director for a company with over five thousand employees and moved on to be the training director of a national franchise. She was also a district manager.
After thirty years of working, she decided to retire and then helped her mom on their ranches.
In December of 2011, Bartlett started her career with the United States Postal Service. She started out as a PMR. A PMR is a non-carrier, relief personnel. She covered openings at different post offices around the area. She eventually worked her way up to a Postal Support Employee (PSE). In this position, she could cover for positions up to postmaster. She also spent a year and a half working as a customer representative working with one hundred and thirty national and international business accounts.
Barlett left that to become the postmaster in De Smet. She describes De Smet as a “very nice town.” Growing up on a homestead/ranch, she is familiar with “going to town.” She feels De Smet’s people have been very gracious toward her, and she feels the town has many economic advantages.
She sees herself as a supervisor similar to a three legged-stool. One leg is your customers, the second leg would be the team you work with or the employees. The third and final leg is the company you work for.
“If one of those legs is leaning or shortened in one way or manner, then something else is taking consequences for that,” said Bartlett. “You can't please everybody, but you do have to follow the rules and keep people safe. That three-legged stool has to be balanced every day.”
Bartlett doesn’t plan on any changes as far as hours of operation, and services will stay about the same. The De Smet office is working on trying to update the office’s mailboxes and the rural route mailboxes and also updating the contact information on all the accounts. Updating the information will mean the mail is sorted faster and will give the local customers better service.
The new postmaster considers herself fortunate to be here in a great community. Even though there are changes, she doesn’t see the changes as being bad, just different.
One of Bartlett’s favorite statements is “We are not guaranteed tomorrow, so we can only do with what we have today.”