The White Stuff
Mike White to end 30-year career in Lake Oswego Post Office
Mike White does not really know the amazing statistics -customers waited on, stamps sold - he must have piled up in his 30-year career at the Lake Oswego Post Office.
However, he did note, 'I must have said 'Next' about a million times.'
White's next 'Next' may be his last, because New Year's Eve will be his final day with the LOPO. Of those three decades, 25 years have been at the post office window.
'That's a quarter century at the same spot,' White said, shaking his head at the notion. 'One lady told me I was like Wizer's, Graham's, and the two gas stations on B Avenue.'
And even those Lake Oswego institutions didn't have to stay on their feet nearly as long as White.
It was in 1978 that White was hired by then Lake Oswego postmaster Bob Buck, who he credits with 'being the catalyst to help get me to the point where I'm at today, raising my family, and moving to the next part of my life.'
That ushered in a career of stability that most working people can only envy, and White says, 'I was lucky to be a window clerk in Lake Oswego. Hardly any bad things have happened in all this time. The many great things far outweigh any of the bad stuff I remember.'
Hundreds of customers over the years have appreciated White's work. In fact a couple of them, Wendy Morean and Von Jenson, have had White over for lunch for the past four and a half years.
'Working at the window can be very stressful,' White said. 'You've got to be a people person and a good communicator. You can't blow your top.
'I've been known as a talker and a philosopher. But I do usually have the answer for people. I think that is what my customers are going to miss.'
White has plenty of plans for his retirement. A musician, he now will have the time to play guitar and harmonica and sing for two bands, not just one. He will help raise his daughter's five children. Then there is his 'honey do' list from his wife Martha.
'I grew up in Lake Oswego on Seventh Street,' said White. 'I graduated from Lake Oswego High School. I married Martha right out of high school.'
The Lake Oswego Post Office won't be the same without Mike White.