At the Port Royal post office, they usually know your name or at least your face.
When John Youmans stopped in to mail his quarterly state and federal tax payments Wednesday, the clerk asked about the extra letter he needed mailed.
That personal attention could be tougher to find when the branch downsizes to one worker Nov. 19.
"I think it's awful, but they have to save money, and if the money isn't there, they have to do it," Youmans said. "Email and the computer is putting them out of business, almost."
Five employees -- Postmistress Carolyn Warren, two clerks and two carriers -- work at the branch. Warren will remain; the carriers move to the Burton branch. The clerks' positions are being eliminated. The postal service is working with the local branch of the National Association of Letter Carriers, Local 3262, to place the clerks at other locations, U.S. Postal Service spokesman Stephen Seewoester said.
"Customers should know no difference in their delivery service," he said. "It's just a difference of where the carriers pick up the packages."
The amount of mail the branch handles has dropped about 20 percent over the past four years, a number that reflects a national trend, he said.
New Port Royal office hours have not been set, Seewoester said.
While regulars are saddened by the downsizing, there is a glimmer of good news: There are no immediate plans to close the branch, Seewoester said.
Although he understands the economic reasoning for cutting back, customer Mike Pridemore pointed out the post office's importance in the community, especially for older residents.
"It's like a lot of the traditional Americana stuff -- like the drugstore where you get the floats -- kids aren't going to know squat about the post office because they're doing it all by email or other means," he said.
They also won't know something else -- the individual attention customers have come to expect.
"It's a personal touch, a sense of individuality," said retired Postmaster David Murray. The office had eight employees when he started in 1993.
"If you go to Port Royal, the staff is always nice and you get the sense of belonging, that they care. Going to the post office should not be a drag, it should be a good time and that's what we created there," he said.
Follow reporter Erin Moody at twitter.com/EyeOnPortRoyal.