I paid a visit to our admin department today. This is a very rare occurance. It was done to try and improve communication between departments. What an eye opener it was too…
In the call centre we often view admin as a basic department where application forms are processed and cheques banked. It was nice to see that there is a lot more to it than just the mundane.
The staff start the day early at 7am. The mail arrives in crates around 7.30am. About 4000 mailings on average are handled each day, by approximately 60 staff. The mail is first scanned or x-rayed to make sure it’s not something we don’t want to be receiving. It’s then placed on one of three machines to be opened and sorted.
Every piece of mail is scanned and logged on to the system with the customer details. The program scans about 40 items in 20 seconds. The scanner is also used to verify the information, and it logs cheque numbers and amounts automatically on to a spread sheet. Not bad for a piece of technology!
In the call centre we are frequently heard commenting on some of the strange and wonderful calls we have. I have even made mention of some of them on my blog. It was interesting to find that our admin department have their fare share of strange and wonderful mail, only it seems a little more sinister.
Metal can tops have been posted to us – obviously in the hope that someone is going to cut themselves. They even had a house brick sent in because the sender knew that we had to pay postage. Mail being mixed up is a big problem too, as they are frequently sending mail back to the post office, meant for local hospitals! Then there are the suspect packages…
They’ve had to call in the bomb squad a few times. Luckily we haven’t received any real bombs, but our admin department have had training on what to look out for. Aparently bombs can now be found in birthday cards – the musical apparatus; A bottle of nail varnish – as you unscrew the top it explodes into small shards of debris; Parcels – anything from timed bombs to nail bombs.
Admin also received a package of white powder a few years ago. This resulted in a panic over anthrax. Admin were put on a lock down. They weren’t allowed to leave the office until they were decontaminated by a small army of people in what looked like plastic space suits.
I went back to my own department thinking how dangerous admin work is.