Neither bees nor trombones, keep Campus Mail Services staff from their appointed rounds
UDs Campus Mail Services staffers have been the temporary custodians of museum-quality paintings, as well as an empty Coke can with an address label stuck to it.
And, of course, there was the time someone mailed a trombone without benefit of a box.
Tom Magaw, who has been working at Campus Mail Services for 31 years and running the department for 20, says he likes the job because everybody alternates tasks, and its never boring.
There are certainly adventures. One weekend the Newark Post Office called to say they had a shipment of live bees and somebody would have to come up there and get them, but nobody got the message until Monday morning.
Unlike neighborhood postal routes, there are no frenzied fidos chasing mail carriers on the UD campus, but that doesnt mean moving mail is critter-free. Lori Squier, service coordinator, said carriers move carefully when an ice-cream cone or a jelly sandwich lands in a mail receptacle instead of a trash can, because there could be a bevy of bees among the letters.
Students mail goes to a different zip code from the rest of the University, so their off-campus mail is delivered mostly by U.S Postal Service workers. Mail Services does field questions from parents who Express-Mail tuition checks, though, and occasionally a parent calls wondering why her child hasnt received a box of cookies or a birthday card with a check inside. Usually, Magaw said, the employees ride over to the residence hall and find the check really is in the mail at the residence hall, but it hasnt been sorted and placed in the students mailbox yet.
Magaw said theres no noticeable reduction in mail volume since the advent of e-mail, but he said the Universitys growth might offset any actual reduction. He said, however, that the number of parcels went down quite a bit after the World Trade Center was bombed.
Mail Services employees deliver to 207 campus departments, and admissions is by far the biggest customer. We do just about anything to get their mail out for them, Tom Magaw said, because without admissions, without the students, the University wouldnt be in business.
Its the daily interaction with people on campus that they enjoy most, Mail Services employees said.
In a lot of jobs, youre kind of stuck in an office. In this job, you meet the whole gamut of people. You meet the highest executives on campus to your coworkers in, say, support services or facilities management. And you meet people on a more casual basis, Bruce Magaw said.
They might call you by first name, and theyre one of the highest executives on campus. You have a mix of personalities on campus. Some people are more businesslike, and some people are more pleasant. There are some people who just really enjoy being around people. They have an aura you can spot a mile away. You look forward to seeing those people.
We are here to try to expedite the mail, and, if they cant find the information they need on the University web site, they should give us a call. Even if they think its a silly question, were happy to help, Bruce Magaw said. That will make things easier for everybodyincluding us.
For more information, visit [www.udel.edu/SuppSrvc/mail/index.html].
Article by Kathy Canavan
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