7 December 2007

Working in the Mailroom

An email comes around from the Mailroom staff, "Would the person who put an unaddressed envelope in the outgoing mail please let us know who this should be addressed to".

Working in a service area of an organization can be a challenge, but in particular in the Mailroom. We try to courier packages to post office boxes. We leave incomplete instructions on the photocopy request forms and then wonder why it was done wrong. We put our registered mail in with the regular mail and then are upset because it didn’t get registered. If a courier package does not make it to its destination, we are quick to make the Mailroom staff feel that it is somehow their fault. But most importantly, when we need something done we need it done NOW!

How can the assistant and the Mailroom staff work more effectively together?


If you know of a big photocopying job that you will need done, let your Mailroom staff know so they can prepare for it and adjust their schedules to accommodate your requests.

Is it really that urgent?

Be honest! Do you really need that job done in the next 30 minutes. Be realistic in your expectations. Is there a possibility you have the time to do the job yourself? It may be quicker and less stressful for everyone to do it yourself if you see the Mailroom staff are particularly busy.

Who took the last yellow sticky?

If you take the last item in the supply area of your Mailroom or notice that there are only a few items left, let someone know so more can be ordered.

It has to go out when??

If you are working on an urgent document that needs to be couriered out and it is getting close to the end of the day, let the Mailroom staff be aware of that so they will know that you will be rushing in with your courier package at the last minute. A good suggestion would be to give them the address or addresses you will be sending the package(s) to so they can prepare the courier slips ahead of time. They will appreciate it.

The busiest time in the Mailroom can be at the end of the day when all the courier companies are arriving for their last pick up and we are all arriving wanting to get our package in that last courier run.

We are a Team

Working together as a team will make our work lives easier! If you are fortunate enough in your organization to have team meetings, invite a member of the Mailroom staff to participate. Communicate to them big jobs that are coming up or problems that need resolution. Having your Mailroom prepared ahead of time with this information will make everyone’s job less stressful.

The Mailroom is the final checkpoint before a document leaves your organization. Appreciate that! They can pick up on errors before the envelope leaves the door.

Bottom Line

Communicate with each other! Show respect for each other! Assist when necessary! Appreciate each other’s deadlines and schedules. And realize we are all working towards a common goal to do the best job possible.


Anonymous said...

Good if only if this was true !

I work in a mailroom under payed and no one cares .

It this is the life of a mailroom.

If only if we cound work to gather !

respect that what it all about

and more money !!

Patricia Robb said...

I hear you Scott. I do however appreciate our Mailroom staff very much. They are the experts in what they do and I rely on them. I am always joking around with them and after reading your comments I will be sure to tell them how I do appreciate them so they don't think I am taking them for granted. Sometimes it is good to be reminded and I thank you for that.

I do agree that everything works better when we work together. I wrote about that in my article Will you be my Buddy? The Importance of Teamwork and the Buddy System: