And you think you get a lot of mail…

In the holiday movie “Elf,” Will Ferrell’s character describes a mailroom as “Santa’s workshop, except it smells like mushrooms and everyone looks like they want to hurt me.”

But what really happens with all of your parcels and packages when they are delivered to the University of Detroit Mercy, and who is handling them?

Marvin Thomas is in his seventh year of working with Mail Services (and no he does not smell like mushrooms or want to hurt anybody). 

Simply put, Thomas’s job is to make sure any mail or packages that come to the university get to the right people and anything going out does so quickly. 

“We receive everything from USPS, UPS and FedEx,” he said. “Then we process it and get it to whatever department or building it is addressed to.”

Mail Services uses a system called Venturer, which allows the department to electronically scan all packages that arrive.

The packages are put into a system that categorizes them for the students or faculty members who are meant to receive them. 

Once the packages are in the system, an email is sent to recipients to notify them their packages have arrived.

“When mail comes in from the Postal Service we break everything down by building,” Thomas said. “Then we deliver the mail to each building or department it is addressed to and then an employee in that building will deliver it to whom it is addressed.”

As for students who live in the dorms, their mail is delivered to the Student Union Mail Service office, located in Quad Commons. Each student is assigned a box with a combination and is able to receive letters, magazines and newspapers.

The McNichols campus Mail Services office receives and delivers mail to the university’s law school and dental school, as well. While this may seem like a fairly simple task, it can often be a tedious one.

“We receive anywhere from 300 to 500 packages in a week,” Thomas said. “As far as mail goes, we receive between three and four large tubs in a day, so anywhere from 15 to 20 tubs in a week.”

Despite these long work days and hours of sorting through mail and packages, the four people employed by Mail Services remain some of the friendliest on campus.

“Willy is the man who delivers all of the mail to Calihan,” said Cam Meyer, an athletics department employee sometimes responsible for receiving the mail that comes to Calihan Hall. “He’s extremely friendly and is on a first name basis with everyone in the office.”

And not at all like the guys in “Elf.”