Central Receiving and Mail Services working on-site during their busiest time of year

Note: This is the second in a series of stories about how some of the departments and units at Brock University are operating during the COVID-19 pandemic measures. If you would like to tell your department’s story, please email stapp@brocku.ca

While life has seemingly slowed down as the majority of businesses have closed due to COVID-19, some workplaces have become busier than ever, and this is especially true for Brock University’s Central Receiving and Mail Services.

Central Receiving and Mail Services Supervisor Kevin Lawr and Mail Clerk Steve Anderson have been at Brock since the University’s operational change to keep the everyday operations running smoothly. 

Central Receiving is still operating from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday as mail, couriers and shipments for the Brock community continue to flow on and off campus. Mail Services is continuing to function, but is offering very limited mail delivery by prioritizing the most critical and time sensitive shipments.

“It is a whole new way of doing things for us,” said Lawr. “Normally we receive shipments and then distribute them around campus, but now we are still receiving tons of shipments, but they are being held in Central Receiving. We have had to organize shipments in new ways and have added shelving to hold packages. Our regular system no longer applies.”

When the operational changes began, accommodations were made with the major shipment companies, like FedEx and UPS, to ensure the deliveries would only be made within Central Receiving’s new business hours.

Lawr and Anderson have also implemented their own new protocols to create the safest work environment possible. To maintain physical distancing guidelines and limit any exposure, they have locked the doors to Central Receiving to restrict access to the area and are exchanging shipments on the outside loading area only.

“We are wearing gloves and using plenty of hand sanitizer,” said Anderson. “The shipping doors remain locked and we keep an empty cart on the loading dock. When a truck pulls in, the delivery driver will unload the boxes on the cart and will sign for the items themselves. Once the truck drives away, we open the door, bring in the packages and then send out a clean, empty cart for the next delivery.”

What is traditionally Lawr and Anderson’s busiest time of year due to the fiscal year end, which means last minute purchases and shipments, is proving to be even busier this year. Lawr says that the challenging part is not knowing how long this will last, but the key is to continually make adjustments as time goes on to stay on track. 

“There’s an old saying about how no matter how bad the weather is, it can’t stop the mail from going through, and I guess now we can add COVID-19 to the list,” said Lawr. “No matter the outside situation, the mail is still getting through.”

Mail that has been delivered to Brock is being safely held in the Mail Room. Inquiries for pickup arrangements can be emailed to klawr@brocku.ca

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