You guys know that I'm working a temporary job for the State of Arizona in the unemployment office.
When I saw the original posting for the job it mentioned data entry and some other duties like answering emails or phone calls from claimants.
Nothing was mentioned about opening and sorting mail.
But that is basically what I've been doing since I started back on May 4th.
And my temporary assignment that was supposed to end June 30th has been extended to August 31st which I agreed to do so I'm working at least through the end of August there.
I'm not sure if you are familiar with it, but there are flat bins that mail gets delivered to businesses in. The bins are probably about 20 inches long and 5 inches wide. They hold comfortably the #10 size envelopes.
At the beginning of the shut down when there was massive unemployment the office was getting 200 such bins of mail daily. 200 BINS! I'm not sure what they averaged before but I'm sure it was not 200 bins.
Obviously there was no way a small department could process that all so they got temps to help them.
There are about 20 forms that come into the unemployment office but when we are opening mail we only sort about 6-8 of them and leave the others for the regular employees to sort through.
Its repetitive monotonous work but its not stressful and it gets me out of the home LOL.
But of course I have thoughts about mail as follows:
People fold mail incredibly wrong. They have a regular size envelope that they could easily take the piece of paper and fold it into 3's to fit in the envelope but they fold it to the tiniest way possible so there are tons of flattening that needs to be done to get the mail to lay straight.
People want to make sure the mail is kept together with the various papers in the envelopes. They staple the papers together and then to ensure things don't separate they also put a paper clip on it. I have to remove all paper clips and staples from mail being sorted.
Some people tape their envelopes shut so it is virtually impossible to open them without scissors.
Mail is dirty. I've washed my hands a lot. A LOT!!
Mail that is not the regular #10 size envelopes and odd sizes are called "uglies" because they can't be opened through the letter opener machine. I never saw so many different sizes of envelopes in my life. The funniest one I saw was made from a brown paper bag from a local grocery store.
Foil lined envelopes are very hard to open.
Nowadays we get the most bins on Mondays (about 20) and they get less in number as the week goes by. There are 5 of us temps doing mail.
The regular employees in the department work REALLY hard. They are working 12 hour days Monday through Friday and 8 hours on Saturday to process the claims so people can get their unemployment.
They truly are heroes.
So next time you need to mail a letter, don't tape the envelope, don't staple the stuff inside, and don't use a foil lined envelope.
And if you pray, say a prayer for those hard working employees not only in the Phoenix unemployment office but any other unemployment office in any other state. I'm sure it is the same any place where things were closed due to the lock downs.