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 labels.
"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 group.
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
"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."
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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