JACKSON — Darlene Jones observed Labor Day in a drizzle with a bottle of Coke, a bright yellow rain jacket over her union-emblazoned quarter zip and a picket sign.
Jones, 57, was alone on the street corner outside the downtown post office, a building from which she retired last year after 19 years working there as a clerk and custodian.
“This used to be such an amazing office when I first got here,” she said. “Everybody worked hard so that they could play harder.”
On Thursday, the downtown Jackson post office suspended retail operations, sending customers a mile south to the midtown location to buy stamps and mail priority packages. Signs on the shuttered door attributed the closure to a staffing shortage.
Understaffing has been a chronic issue, causing a daylong closure at the downtown post office in 2021 and severely limited hours in Wilson starting in summer 2022.