Let me start this off by saying that I in no way am placing any blame on the staff and employees of the postal service window. They provide an invaluable service to our community and work tirelessly to provide us with our mail. But if we’re going to discuss the new system at the post office, then simply put, there are some problems.
Now, speaking as a senior, I will admit that I and many of my peers are pretty stuck in our old ways. I mean, look at the reaction to changes at Marketplace (I don’t think they’re that bad, but that’s an argument for another day). In regard to the new mail system, I’m sure that I am not the only one who was frustrated to find a 30-to-40-minute queue when trying to pick up packages last week. Yes, people returned to campus and everyone was trying to get their stuff, but the wait was almost unbearable. I walked in only to give up and try again another day. The few times that I did decide to wait, shuffling one tile forward solicited a reaction akin to scoring a goal in a soccer game.
Now, my colleagues on The Flat Hat and I have been back this past week to find less horrible lines, but there is one other major issue in the new system that I’d like to bring up: there is no way to determine how important a package or delivery may be. The email you receive for that Amazon package you’ve waited for all week is the same notification you’d get for a free Kilwins promotional coupon. So instead of being handed your ever-so-important mail, you’re given something that will most likely go in the trash and you’re left to just come back and try again. While I know the mailboxes will not be reopened (which would just return us to the old system), I feel this could be simply fixed with a few different email options that students could receive. While being too specific in regards to the piece of mail would be unbearable for the employees due to the sheer amount of mail received every day, even just simply differentiating between “you have a package” and “you have a letter” would help leaps and bounds in my opinion.
While I am writing this simply as a customer of the system and have no idea how the internal workings of our post office function, I feel that this implementation couldn’t be that hard to achieve. This would help students decide if they need to go visit the postal window today or if they could wait for another piece of mail to arrive or possibly just wait for a better day, cutting down both waiting line times and student frustration. Not only that, but I would hope this would make the jobs of the staff a little less stressful as I am sure they can be when the line wraps up and around the spiral staircase in the Sadler Center (not an exaggeration, I promise).
Jamie Holt ‘22 is a senior double majoring in photojournalism and French & Francophone Studies. She is a photos editor for The Flat Hat, a photographer for Tribe Athletics and a member of the Panhellenic community. Email Jamie at firstname.lastname@example.org.