Wes Station: a plea for change in mailroom service

wes stationIf you’ve been to Wesleyan Station to pick up a package in the past few weeks, it’s likely that you’ve had a longer wait than usual.

The Argus reported last week that Wes Station’s staff has downsized and that hours have been cut due to a budget shortfall, but according to Ben Firke ’12 of the WSA, a key reason that the quality of mailroom service is suffering is the fact that no students were consulted in the decision-making process.

The administration typically consults the WSA when its decisions directly affect students, but it seems that no such effort was made in the decision to cut mailroom hours.

Read Firke’s call to help Wes Station serve students better:

I began to work on the mailroom project when I received the all-campus email announcing the changes to Wesleyan Station this summer. It was the first I’d heard about it, and I didn’t know if the WSA had been consulted. I began an email discussion with Allen Alonzo, who runs the Cardinal Technology Center, and I learned the decision was a by-product of the recent budget cuts. The WSA was indeed never consulted.

Since ITS lost Ganesan Ravishanker and Wesleyan Station lost Lisa Davis, the lack of communication is slightly understandable, but the WSA still should always be consulted on student life issues. By not doing so, the final result of the Wesleyan Station hours change is worse off for students. If the WSA had been consulted, the hours almost certainly would’ve been more convenient for Wes students.

A few days ago this issue was blown wide open by unprecedented levels of poor service at the downstairs package window in Usdan. Since the mailroom staff was downsized from 6 employees to three, students this year have complained of long lines––literally winding up the stairs––and unacceptably long delays in processing. The congestion is far worse than in previous years, so this doesn’t seem to be a regular “back to school rush” situation.

One student told me that he tracked his package electronically and received confirmation from the shipper that it had arrived at Wesleyan Station. However, he did not receive his confirmation email for another three days, and had to wait in line for a half-hour before receiving it.

A second student complained that her textbooks were caught up in the processing delays. She also tracked her packages and determined that all three were in Usdan; however, she received only one confirmation email. She decided to wait until receiving all three confirmations, so she didn’t have to wait in a thirty-minute line on three separate occasions. Meanwhile, she didn’t have any books to do her work with.

A third student waited in line at 2:30 on Tuesday for thirty minutes and then was told that his package had yet to be processed. When he returned at the end of the day, he had to wait another thirty minutes, only to discover the package still hadn’t been processed––and, the window was closing early. The package of homemade cookies was overnighted from his mother at a cost of around $40, so the mailroom window essentially cost his family about thirty bucks.

This whole mess represents a significant blow to student life, and I’m doing everything in my power to try to correct it. While the WSA may have been excluded from this conversation so far, the WSA Executive Committee and I are working hard to broker an equitable solution to the inexplicable decline in quality of in a vital student service.

If anyone has any more horror stories, feel free to email me at bfirke@wes. The WSA is going to lead the charge to fix Wesleyan Station, and any student input at all is crucial and appreciated.

74 thoughts on “Wes Station: a plea for change in mailroom service

  1. johnwesley

    there’s a whole tracking system that requires imput at a terminal. pressing the send button is the least of it.

  2. johnwesley

    there’s a whole tracking system that requires imput at a terminal. pressing the send button is the least of it.

  3. johnwesley

    there’s a whole tracking system that requires imput at a terminal. pressing the send button is the least of it.

  4. johnwesley

    whatever happened to just putting a sticker on your mailbox door? Seems simpler and less time consuming than sitting down at a computer terminal every time a student receives a package.

  5. johnwesley

    whatever happened to just putting a sticker on your mailbox door? Seems simpler and less time consuming than sitting down at a computer terminal every time a student receives a package.

  6. johnwesley

    whatever happened to just putting a sticker on your mailbox door? Seems simpler and less time consuming than sitting down at a computer terminal every time a student receives a package.

  7. johnwesley

    whatever happened to just putting a sticker on your mailbox door? Seems simpler and less time consuming than sitting down at a computer terminal every time a student receives a package.

  8. Chewbacca

    Yeah, the whole having to know exactly where your package is thing is kind of bullshit. More bullshit is being unceremoniously turned away when the clock hits 4:28pm, without having even been given a warning during your entire and unsuccessful half-hour wait in line. Even so, I can cope with those.

    What is simply inexcusable is finding out from your tracking number that your package has been delivered a week ago, never receiving an email for it (the emails I get from them are sporadic, often coming only after I’ve picked up a package, so you never know which email relates to what…), having them look it up by the tracking number, being told its not there, then spending near hours on the phone with customer service TRYING to get refunded for what was apparently a package lost in the mail…and then getting an email from Wesstation 3 days later. They’ve got it. Go at 4:15. Can’t get it.

    The insult upon injury upon kicking you when you’re down is a bit much.

    Whoo. Got that off my chest.

  9. Chewbacca

    Yeah, the whole having to know exactly where your package is thing is kind of bullshit. More bullshit is being unceremoniously turned away when the clock hits 4:28pm, without having even been given a warning during your entire and unsuccessful half-hour wait in line. Even so, I can cope with those.

    What is simply inexcusable is finding out from your tracking number that your package has been delivered a week ago, never receiving an email for it (the emails I get from them are sporadic, often coming only after I’ve picked up a package, so you never know which email relates to what…), having them look it up by the tracking number, being told its not there, then spending near hours on the phone with customer service TRYING to get refunded for what was apparently a package lost in the mail…and then getting an email from Wesstation 3 days later. They’ve got it. Go at 4:15. Can’t get it.

    The insult upon injury upon kicking you when you’re down is a bit much.

    Whoo. Got that off my chest.

  10. Chewbacca

    Yeah, the whole having to know exactly where your package is thing is kind of bullshit. More bullshit is being unceremoniously turned away when the clock hits 4:28pm, without having even been given a warning during your entire and unsuccessful half-hour wait in line. Even so, I can cope with those.

    What is simply inexcusable is finding out from your tracking number that your package has been delivered a week ago, never receiving an email for it (the emails I get from them are sporadic, often coming only after I’ve picked up a package, so you never know which email relates to what…), having them look it up by the tracking number, being told its not there, then spending near hours on the phone with customer service TRYING to get refunded for what was apparently a package lost in the mail…and then getting an email from Wesstation 3 days later. They’ve got it. Go at 4:15. Can’t get it.

    The insult upon injury upon kicking you when you’re down is a bit much.

    Whoo. Got that off my chest.

  11. Chewbacca

    Yeah, the whole having to know exactly where your package is thing is kind of bullshit. More bullshit is being unceremoniously turned away when the clock hits 4:28pm, without having even been given a warning during your entire and unsuccessful half-hour wait in line. Even so, I can cope with those.

    What is simply inexcusable is finding out from your tracking number that your package has been delivered a week ago, never receiving an email for it (the emails I get from them are sporadic, often coming only after I’ve picked up a package, so you never know which email relates to what…), having them look it up by the tracking number, being told its not there, then spending near hours on the phone with customer service TRYING to get refunded for what was apparently a package lost in the mail…and then getting an email from Wesstation 3 days later. They’ve got it. Go at 4:15. Can’t get it.

    The insult upon injury upon kicking you when you’re down is a bit much.

    Whoo. Got that off my chest.

  12. Sam

    Oooh, mail room horror stories. Too many of these to count. In general, I’ve never had a positive interaction with an adult staff member of the mailroom that went beyond me buying stamps or sending a letter.

    The students who work there aren’t all good either (although most of them are great): I went to pick up a package a couple of days ago. There were two students working at the window, and there was one student waiting in line behind me. I had forgotten which location my package was in, and the student who was ‘helping’ me refused to look it up, telling me I had to go and do so myself.

  13. Ben Post author

    @Emily: Oh yeah, I should also add that the (non-student) staff at the computer store were very un-helpful when I tried to go there to get stamps (since Wes Station was supposed to move there). Is it really that hard to explain that they decided not to move the post office to the computer store instead of just giving me a cynical “No”? Not directly post office-related, but worth mentioning.

  14. Ben Post author

    @Sam: Considering they’re on city streets, I would assume that you can have mail and packages delivered to woodframes, but some (such as mine) don’t have mailboxes. It’s certainly worth a try though.

  15. MF

    the new hours are terrible – did they even look at class schedules when they changed them? i have class or meetings every single time they are open besides two random hours per week.

  16. MF

    the new hours are terrible – did they even look at class schedules when they changed them? i have class or meetings every single time they are open besides two random hours per week.

  17. MF

    the new hours are terrible – did they even look at class schedules when they changed them? i have class or meetings every single time they are open besides two random hours per week.

  18. MF

    the new hours are terrible – did they even look at class schedules when they changed them? i have class or meetings every single time they are open besides two random hours per week.

  19. Ben Post author

    @A.D.: Agreed. The highlight of my Wednesdays always used to be the arrival of Sports Illustrated; now I’m lucky if it arrives by Friday. I thought about including something about that in the post, but I didn’t want to stray too far from Ben Firke’s comments.

    @Emily: Yes, I’m pretty sure you’re correct that the employee in the picture is the one that seems to have attitude problems. To be fair, though, it presumably gets pretty frustrating when student after student pays no attention to the package e-mail, and I’ve seen plenty of students act just as harshly.

    @JL: With all due respect to everyone who works there, the post office has pretty much seemed to be completely out of touch with the rest of campus throughout the time I’ve been here. I can understand timing the closing of the upstairs window to the Middletown post office’s last pickup, but there’s no reason for the package window to have its current hours. If it’s going to be open 7 1/2 hours a day, it should be something like 11:00-6:30, instead of 9:00-4:30. Open when most people are actually awake, and have longer than a half-hour window after the end of class.

  20. Sam

    Does anyone know if seniors can have packages or mail delivered to woodframe houses? It seems like that could take a lot of burden off of the Wes Station staff.

  21. Sam

    Does anyone know if seniors can have packages or mail delivered to woodframe houses? It seems like that could take a lot of burden off of the Wes Station staff.

  22. Sam

    Does anyone know if seniors can have packages or mail delivered to woodframe houses? It seems like that could take a lot of burden off of the Wes Station staff.

  23. Sam

    Does anyone know if seniors can have packages or mail delivered to woodframe houses? It seems like that could take a lot of burden off of the Wes Station staff.

  24. M

    I had a package that was delivered on Thursday according to UPS, and I received the notice on Monday. Fortunately, there was no line when I went to pick it up, but when I did I was given another package (a textbook that I desperately needed) that had, according to its label, arrived the previous Wednesday, but whose arrival I had never been informed.

    If I hadn’t happened to be going to the mail room to pick up another package, I would never have known that it arrived.

  25. M

    I had a package that was delivered on Thursday according to UPS, and I received the notice on Monday. Fortunately, there was no line when I went to pick it up, but when I did I was given another package (a textbook that I desperately needed) that had, according to its label, arrived the previous Wednesday, but whose arrival I had never been informed.

    If I hadn’t happened to be going to the mail room to pick up another package, I would never have known that it arrived.

  26. M

    I had a package that was delivered on Thursday according to UPS, and I received the notice on Monday. Fortunately, there was no line when I went to pick it up, but when I did I was given another package (a textbook that I desperately needed) that had, according to its label, arrived the previous Wednesday, but whose arrival I had never been informed.

    If I hadn’t happened to be going to the mail room to pick up another package, I would never have known that it arrived.

  27. SK

    I ordered a package Thursday the week before last. I still haven’t gotten an e-mail telling me it is in, but I tracked the UPS number and found out that it was delivered to the mailroom on the 16th.

  28. SK

    I ordered a package Thursday the week before last. I still haven’t gotten an e-mail telling me it is in, but I tracked the UPS number and found out that it was delivered to the mailroom on the 16th.

  29. SK

    I ordered a package Thursday the week before last. I still haven’t gotten an e-mail telling me it is in, but I tracked the UPS number and found out that it was delivered to the mailroom on the 16th.

  30. SK

    I ordered a package Thursday the week before last. I still haven’t gotten an e-mail telling me it is in, but I tracked the UPS number and found out that it was delivered to the mailroom on the 16th.

  31. Emily

    To clarify- The student workers are fine, as are all of the adults save one guy. I’m fairly sure the guy in the picture is the one with the serious attitude problem.

  32. Emily

    To clarify- The student workers are fine, as are all of the adults save one guy. I’m fairly sure the guy in the picture is the one with the serious attitude problem.

  33. Emily

    To clarify- The student workers are fine, as are all of the adults save one guy. I’m fairly sure the guy in the picture is the one with the serious attitude problem.

  34. Emily

    To clarify- The student workers are fine, as are all of the adults save one guy. I’m fairly sure the guy in the picture is the one with the serious attitude problem.

  35. anonymous

    One kid who works there, however, is adorable. I don’t know his name but he made my day by being really friendly and cute.

  36. anonymous

    One kid who works there, however, is adorable. I don’t know his name but he made my day by being really friendly and cute.

  37. anonymous

    One kid who works there, however, is adorable. I don’t know his name but he made my day by being really friendly and cute.

  38. anonymous

    One kid who works there, however, is adorable. I don’t know his name but he made my day by being really friendly and cute.

  39. Emily

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been waiting on several packages for well over a week. I’ve tracked them and they’ve been delivered but I still haven’t received an e-mail. Furthermore, when I’ve gone down to the mail room to try to talk to them I’ve been treated with extreme disrespect and have witnessed one employee act incredibly rude and condescending towards several students.

  40. Emily

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been waiting on several packages for well over a week. I’ve tracked them and they’ve been delivered but I still haven’t received an e-mail. Furthermore, when I’ve gone down to the mail room to try to talk to them I’ve been treated with extreme disrespect and have witnessed one employee act incredibly rude and condescending towards several students.

  41. Emily

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been waiting on several packages for well over a week. I’ve tracked them and they’ve been delivered but I still haven’t received an e-mail. Furthermore, when I’ve gone down to the mail room to try to talk to them I’ve been treated with extreme disrespect and have witnessed one employee act incredibly rude and condescending towards several students.

  42. Emily

    Thank you so much for writing this! I have been waiting on several packages for well over a week. I’ve tracked them and they’ve been delivered but I still haven’t received an e-mail. Furthermore, when I’ve gone down to the mail room to try to talk to them I’ve been treated with extreme disrespect and have witnessed one employee act incredibly rude and condescending towards several students.

  43. A.D. '12

    I have not had this problem with my packages at the mailroom so far this year, and I definitely count this as a blessing.

    What I am really concerned about is my other mail that ends up in my box. Every week since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve looked forward to receiving my copy of the Economist, which is promptly delivered every Friday morning. Last Friday, my magazine wasn’t in my box. I only received it earlier today. I can only assume that my netflix films have been lost in that mess as well.

    While a thirty minute wait for a package is definitely a wrong that needs to be righted, I think that the delivery of non-package mail is bigger concern because that is what most of us receive more frequently. And I don’t like waiting four days for a weekly magazine and netflix. Besides the inconvenience, there is money wasted as well. If this problem persists, I guess I’ll just have to cancel my netflix account.

  44. A.D. '12

    I have not had this problem with my packages at the mailroom so far this year, and I definitely count this as a blessing.

    What I am really concerned about is my other mail that ends up in my box. Every week since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve looked forward to receiving my copy of the Economist, which is promptly delivered every Friday morning. Last Friday, my magazine wasn’t in my box. I only received it earlier today. I can only assume that my netflix films have been lost in that mess as well.

    While a thirty minute wait for a package is definitely a wrong that needs to be righted, I think that the delivery of non-package mail is bigger concern because that is what most of us receive more frequently. And I don’t like waiting four days for a weekly magazine and netflix. Besides the inconvenience, there is money wasted as well. If this problem persists, I guess I’ll just have to cancel my netflix account.

  45. A.D. '12

    I have not had this problem with my packages at the mailroom so far this year, and I definitely count this as a blessing.

    What I am really concerned about is my other mail that ends up in my box. Every week since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve looked forward to receiving my copy of the Economist, which is promptly delivered every Friday morning. Last Friday, my magazine wasn’t in my box. I only received it earlier today. I can only assume that my netflix films have been lost in that mess as well.

    While a thirty minute wait for a package is definitely a wrong that needs to be righted, I think that the delivery of non-package mail is bigger concern because that is what most of us receive more frequently. And I don’t like waiting four days for a weekly magazine and netflix. Besides the inconvenience, there is money wasted as well. If this problem persists, I guess I’ll just have to cancel my netflix account.

  46. A.D. '12

    I have not had this problem with my packages at the mailroom so far this year, and I definitely count this as a blessing.

    What I am really concerned about is my other mail that ends up in my box. Every week since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve looked forward to receiving my copy of the Economist, which is promptly delivered every Friday morning. Last Friday, my magazine wasn’t in my box. I only received it earlier today. I can only assume that my netflix films have been lost in that mess as well.

    While a thirty minute wait for a package is definitely a wrong that needs to be righted, I think that the delivery of non-package mail is bigger concern because that is what most of us receive more frequently. And I don’t like waiting four days for a weekly magazine and netflix. Besides the inconvenience, there is money wasted as well. If this problem persists, I guess I’ll just have to cancel my netflix account.

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