By: Nikita Golizdra
The first week of the 2017 spring semester proved to be frustrating to many students at Goucher, mainly due to the inability to receive textbooks required for upcoming classes. The moving of the bookstore off campus and the introduction of the new locker system led to delayed package delivery.
Goucher students were not able to receive their mail on time due to an influx of incoming packages at the post office. Maia Maclin, the post office supervisor, addressed student concerns in an interview with The Goucher Eye.
“We are trying to make this process a little better,” says Maclin, “the lockers are a new system, and it will take some time to adjust.” Maclin has been the post office supervisor for the past three years.
After accepting this position, Maclin’s main goals were to make service more customer-friendly and fix the errors of previous supervisors. Errors that Maclin mentioned included a lack of productivity and a lack of communication between Goucher students and the post office. Maclin says that the post office became more user friendly.
Currently, Maclin supervises 12 student workers, each carefully trained in order to keep up the work flow “I might be very biased” said Maclin, “I think that the best Goucher students work at the campus post office”. The recent move to Dorsey Center also proved beneficial – unlike Mary Fisher it has more space. “We needed more space, we definitely needed more space, especially when freshman ship their entire lives at the beginning of fall semester.”
The move to Dorsey, however, did not help with the recent influx of packages that halted the delivery process. This delay happened because of two factors: the move of Barnes and Noble bookstore, and a large number of students not clearing out their lockers within 72 hours. “Barnes and Noble shift was a big change, and I am working on my very best to get more lockers. If the textbooks are always going to be shipped, I want us to have more lockers,” Maclin said. “I wanted to have more lockers before the Barns and Noble shift. We are trying to meet students’ expectation with what they need in order to get their items as quickly as possible.”
During the first week of classes, over 1,500 packages flooded the post office, while there were only 120 lockers in place. This meant that each locker had to be emptied 13 times in order to deliver each package. After a locker is filled, students have 72 hours to receive their package – not doing so will result in longer waiting time as the package moves to the back of the line (unless the student communicates with the post office).
Maclin explained that the delivery system is different on campus compared to someone’s home. When a student receives an email from Amazon or UPS, saying that their package has been signed for, it does not mean that the package is ready for delivery on campus. “This is a campus, and I sign for every single package coming in at once. So when the truck pulls up, and we receive the packages, there might be five of them or 500 that day. Once I sign for those 500, it says that Maia signed for it. It’s not in any particular order, and we’re doing our best to clear it for you and get it to you as fast as possible. You are one of several people who got an item today, so I’m doing my best to get it to you.”
Maclin said that usual delivery time (including processing) takes up roughly six hours. During the first week of class it took as long as twenty-four. “I’m legally responsible for [someone’s mail] as a Goucher employee. I can’t just give it to anybody who just walks up – I have to make sure that it’s tracked in the system, and that somebody picks it up,” she said. “I could be violating a lot of federal rules. What if it’s your medication, or legal documents? What if you ordered your I-Pad and I didn’t process it correctly, and John X gets it instead of James X. We have to do our due diligence and get it to you.”
According to Maclin, the shift to the locker system is a step to the right direction. Even though some people liked the old system (picking up packages at the counter), it is important to understand that the counter closed at 4pm and did not work during weekends. “Students can still pick up their items until 9 pm. It’s also a good way to check whether their items are not available, instead of asking at the counter. With the old system, a lot of our long lines dealt with people who were saying ‘yes, my package is here’, and we never sent them an email, so we’re taking time out of our day to look for something that’s not here.” Maclin also added that students are starting to get used to the locker system. “As soon as a locker frees up, we’re stuffing it with another package.”
The package influx has been resolved after the first week, and the post office staff are doing their best to prevent this problem from occurring again. With the current count of 120 lockers, Maclin hopes to expand the system and place more lockers on campus.
**Edited to include cut-off sentence