You've got mail and if you need to reply the meter cutoff is 3 p.m. so behave accordingly.
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You’ ve got mail and if you need to reply the meter cutoff is 3 p.m. so behave accordingly.

Matthew chan /  Courier
Matthew Chan / Courier

Jennifer Ortiz operates the mailroom hub of the Office Services in the C building and is in charge of connecting people with their information.

The mailroom is located in the first floor “the bowels of the C building, it’s a little more relaxed here,” Ortiz said. In the mailroom the low ceilings open up revealing a large vault like space, well lit, picturesque and productive.

Images posted on the walls and the music playing in the background not only welcomes but also draws you in, this is all Ortiz’s doing of 13 years of feeling inspired and sharing her distinctive style.

“I get to listen to music, good music kiddo, anything from USC’s classical station, jazz to classic rock. Music connects to a different part of my brain so I can focus on what I’m doing,” said Ortiz. She makes up her mind in the morning as to what to listen. “Zeppelin is always wonderful but Cat Stevens very much.”

Matthew Chan / Courier Jennifer Ortiz in the Mail Room.
Matthew Chan / Courier
Jennifer Ortiz in the Mail Room.

Decorating the walls are postcards of different parts of the world from friends and co-workers, pictures of loved ones that have passed, colorful graphics, interesting photographs, she points to one profile of Ansel Adams propped up on a roof of a car with his camera, “somebody actually took a picture of him,” said Ortiz. “Things in the past that I don’t want ever be forgotten, that I feel connected to.”

Besides certified mail with legal documents, payroll and financial aid checks there are a lot of visuals and interesting articles that come through here. For Ortiz having access to the communications, whether visual or reading, is one of the unique features of the job. “It’s always interesting to look at this stuff,” said Ortiz.

In between the mailroom and the copy center Office Services Supervisor Eladio Fernandez has his office and is quick to welcome and is hands on his job. “The flow of mail and packages can range from 300 incoming to 500 outgoing,” he said.

Investigative and memorizing skills are vital to the work. According to Fernandez, Ortiz remembers everyone’s names and what office they work at.

“I do it by memorizing, the lady who taught me is Barbara Pancoska at the front desk, she has a mind like a steel trap and has been here for 30 years. I keep mental notes of where people move within departments,” said Ortiz.

Mailing services include Priority, Express, International, and Bulk Mail, as well as Federal Express and UPS. This place is PCC’s very own post office plus. The mailroom is connected to the copy center that offers all the services of a Kinkos for faculty and student clubs; indeed, the precious commencement booklets are printed here.

A typical day in the mailroom can be either fast pace or very slow. Ortiz is on a schedule and has places to be and people to see. After receiving and sorting the mail, Ortiz begins her delivery route through campus at 11 a.m.

“In the afternoon using with my space shift like machine I meter the outgoing mail,” said Ortiz. Again the meter cutoff is 3 p.m. and make sure to have change ready. “If you have mail kiddo, come on over.”

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