TSRI Shipping/Receiving and Mail Room Staff
By Mika Ono
When important new cell lines, rare chemicals, or laboratory
equipment arrive at The Scripps Research Institute, they are
delivered within hours to the individual who needs them.
"Because of the nature of what the institute does, packages
need to be delivered promptly," says Supervisor Dave Kastner,
who oversees Shipping and Receiving, Central Stores, and the
Mail Roomall sub-groups of the Procurement Department.
"Our goal is to move material and supplies quickly and smoothly
through the institute."
Some 1,000 packages a day come into TSRI's receiving dock,
located in the Green Hospital Building. Once the boxes are
removed from the delivery trucks, Shipping and Receiving staff
sort the packages according to the location of the recipients.
Boxes are then loaded onto small trucks or gas-powered carts
and transported across campus. Staff then write up the necessary
forms, deliver the boxes, and obtain a signature upon delivery.
Typically, staff make two delivery runs each day.
One challenge for those sorting the boxes in the receiving
zone is the arrival of packages with missing or incomplete
"Receiving personnel spend a lot of time trouble-shooting,"
notes Kastner. "Several times a day, we come across a box
without a purchase order number or other critical information."
Staff have become adept at tracking down the proper recipient
using information on purchase orders, the campus directory,
human resources data, and e-mail listings. As a last resort,
a staff member may send out a campus-wide e-mail, asking for
help in locating an individual.
"E-mail works very well," says Kastner. "The only time we
don't get a response is when the recipient is at another institutionsay,
The Scripps Institute for Oceanography or another part of
UCSD [The University of California at San Diego]. Experience
helps, too. We can tell right away that if a package arrives
for someone at Hubbs Hall, it is meant to go to UCSD."
Shipping and Receiving staffwho include Eduardo Baruelo,
Keith Dangerfied, Walter Dula, Gary Fousel, Fidel Hurtado,
Guy Gomez, Steven Johnson, and Jose Ramirezrotate monthly
through seven stations. Lead Shipping and Receiving Clerk
Shane Blade helps Kastner coordinate daily activities of the
Six of the work stations involve making deliveries to a
designated area of campus. One of the lighter delivery areas
is combined with work in Central Stores, a central distribution
area for supplies widely used across campus, such as order
forms and ethanol.
The final station is shipping. Here, Shipping and Receiving
personnel handle outgoing shipments, drawing on detailed knowledge
of government regulations and international requirements to
prepare chemical materials, biological samples, and other
goods to be shipped to locations around the world according
to the appropriate regulations.
"Some stations are tougher than others," notes Kastner.
"Rotating ensures that no one is stuck shouldering a heavy
loadlike making deliveries to the Beckman Building.
Rotating keeps people fresh."
The Mail Room operates separately from Shipping and Receiving.
Three employeesMail Room Lead Joe Pangelinan, Rashid
Ali, and Anthony Boydsort 1,500 to 3,000 incoming letters
a day as well as processing outgoing mail. Joe Berbrick and
Gary Santo-Pietro assist the Mail Room staff in delivery of
the mail throughout the institution. Because of TSRI's history
with Scripps Clinic and some confusion among the general public
between the two institutions, incoming mail for the two institutions
is picked up from the post office together, and sorted first
by the TSRI Mail Room.
"Our guys are sharp," notes Kastner. "Our Mail Room does
a bang-up job."
Both Shipping and Receiving and Mail Room staff have reviewed
security issues in light of recent world and national events.
While taking every reasonable safety precaution, Kastner remains
matter-of-fact. "We aim to be vigilant, but to maintain our
level of service to the institute," he says. "We've been through
safety alerts before, for instance, during the Unibomber scare."
Shipping and Receiving and Mail Room staff continue to take
pride in their role serving the institute, its researchers,
and support departments. "Our staff members give their jobs
their best effort," says Kastner. "We've got a great team."
Gary Fousel (front left), Guy Gomez (front right), and Jose
Ramirez (background) are three of TSRI's Shipping/Receiving
staff, who rotate monthly through seven stations. Photo
by Kevin Fung.
Proper labeling of shipments is essential for compliance with
U.S. government regulations and international requirements.
Photo by Kevin Fung.