Letter: Snail Mail

I am writing in order to express my surprise and discontent with regard to GW’s new package retrieval program. I had heard complaints about the new system, and was shocked seeing students struggle back to their dorms with heavy packages, but in my wildest dreams never expected the frustration and inconvenience that I saw there.

I thought having to walk all the way there would be bad enough, considering I had an enormous amount of reading to do, but the 45 minutes I spent sitting inside made the walk seem miniscule. First, I stood in line to give my name, only to be told to sit down and that it would take approximately 10 minutes. For 30 minutes I watched packages come out in roughly five-minute intervals. Three times the man who retrieved the packages came back and informed the students that he could not find their packages, only to go back for another five minutes and find them. Eventually, people started getting their packages who came in after me, so at the 40-minute mark, I politely asked the name taker if they had skipped me, and he went and got my package. I returned to my dorm an hour after I left.

GW disregards the fact that conscientious students do not have an hour to sit and wait for a package to be retrieved. The delivery option appears to be better, but there is a time window of close to an hour, and students who have night class or other obligations do not have the option of sitting in front of their dorms waiting for a package. Furthermore, during bad weather, this option is less than viable.

What took so long for my package to come? Were they understaffed? Is it too difficult to retrieve an alphabetized package in less than five minutes? Is the problem good old-fashioned incompetence? I really don’t think it matters. What I do know is that I now have an hour less to complete my assignments, when last year it took me no more than two minutes to get a package.

The current situation is unconscionable, and regardless of any excuses that may be provided, I doubt that the administration would agree to have their own packages delivered through the student mail services.

-Rich Kaplan

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