July 2, 2004  




SLAC Mail Services: The Life Cycle of a Letter

By Matt Howard

Not very many people understand how the Mail Room works, but everyone uses it. You may use mailing services to send and receive work-related documents, books and correspondence. Processing the large amount of mail moving through the Lab can be daunting, and there are things that you can do to help.

Located in the A&E Building (Ext. 2380, Room 138), the Mail Room is open from 7:30 a.m.-12 Noon and 1:00 -5:00 p.m. on Monday through Friday. The door is closed while staff make deliveries (9:00-10:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.). There is a drop off slot for your use during these times.

Typical Mail Cycle

Mail arrives at the Mail Room via the post office or Stanford delivery, in boxes with a ton of letters, publications, periodicals and junk-mail scrunched tightly together. The mail is then sorted into the respective mail stop box, bundled together and prepared for departure generally in about two and a half hours.

There are three mail stop routes. The first route covers the A&E and Test Lab buildings. The second, called ‘the outside route’, covers buildings and mail stops throughout the site and the third route is the Central Lab building. These three routes combined serve a total of over 100 mail stops. In addition, mail is picked up from all mail stops and taken to the mail room for both internal and external distribution. The average time it takes to complete each route is two and a half hours, making the total time to complete the mail cycle around five hours.
The three people who work the mail routes are Darnell Clay, Rod Harrison and Gary Remerata (all BSD). Each person is assigned one route for a day, and they switch routes every day. This assures each of them knows the three routes for complete site coverage. Although this may seem like a lot of work, they still find it enjoyable.

“You basically meet and interact with the whole site, so you always have to be friendly no matter what the situation is,” Darnell Clay said about going around on the various mail routes.

Use SLAC Street Address

The most efficient way to get your mail is to use SLAC’s street address (2575 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025) and your Mail Stop number. Mail addressed to SLAC’s old campus post office box (P.O. Box 4349) is no longer accepted. If a post office box address is absolutely necessary, use the current campus address (Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, P.O. Box 20450, Mail Stop Number, Stanford, CA 94309). The Post Office Box option will result in delays, so its use is discouraged.

Periodically, you should review materials from your group or department that include mailing information (such as web sites, forms, e-mail signatures, business cards and office supplies). Please do not use outdated supplies (envelopes, letterhead, mailing labels, etc.) with the old campus box number or mail will be returned to sender.

Always Include Your Mail Stop

Please make sure to include your mail stop in all your correspondence. The Mail Room staff tries to locate mailstops for incomplete addresses using the phone directory. This time consuming task is only done for first-class mail. All third-class mail without a mail stop in the address is either returned to the sender or placed in the recycle bin.

Because of the large number of mail stops at the Lab, sometimes it can get very confusing and frustrating for mail room employees. To help mail services run more smoothly, for example, be sure someone changes your mail stop number when you make an office move. Otherwise, mail may not be properly delivered.

“If you have any questions pertaining to mail, just ask,” says Rod Harrison, who’s been delivering the SLAC mail for over 20 years. “If I don’t have the answer in my head, I’ll find out and get back to you as soon as I can.”

For more information, see: www-group.slac.stanford.edu/bsd/Mail_services/Mail_service.html



The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday July 01, 2004 by Emily Ball