We have all experienced the busy hustle that surrounds the post office every day, especially around noon when dozens of students descend upon the mailbox area to receive their mail.
Regardless of the high traffic of people, we are nonetheless grateful to have our mailboxes full, mail in hand, with our packages received. For the adept organization and due diligence, we have the dutiful post office workers to thank.
“I love my job. I love giving people mail, because who isn’t happy to get mail?” said Hannah Neville ’14, a student post office worker. “I try to do everything with a smile and I work hard to find those tricky missing packages. It can be frustrating, but I like my co-workers and what we do.”
A typical day for post office workers is fairly hectic.
“All these packages come in from a bunch of different places, we have to sort them, put the slips in their mailboxes,” said Jocelyn Friedman ’13, also a student post office worker. “It’s pretty stressful, especially at the beginning of the term when everyone’s textbooks are coming in.”
Added Neville, “A usual day at the post office for me starts with taking one of the five trips to faculty. Once that is over, I usually sit and wait for people to come up to the front counter and offer any assistance. We usually have a rush period when everyone is running around frantically to deal with the sudden influx of people.”
However, the job isn’t all work and no play. It’s said that, if you want to truly know a person, go through his trash. The same holds true for mail. When asked about the weirdest objects that have passed through the mailroom, answers were fairly varied.
“The weirdest thing I’ve mailed is someone brought in a tree that was 2-3 feet, not something that huge, in a paper envelope and tried to mail it to her mother,” said Claire Cocroft ’14, another worker. “Well, she didn’t try: I did mail it for her.”
“I have seen a large package of meat, a casket of wine, frozen custard, and cheesecake go through [the loading docks],” added Neville. “Also, we had an anthrax-drug scare last spring. One day we found a package that had been battered pretty badly with white powder spilling from the open corner. Security sent us down to the loading dock to be quarantined and shut down the post office. I was a little astonished, especially when they announced that they were calling in the police. In the end, it turned out the package contained laundry soap.”
To say the least, each day offers the opportunity for a new and bizarre story at the post office.