Receiving Dept. Serves as Essential Employees Work On-site
It has been 15 months since York College transitioned to remote teaching, learning, office responsibilities and administrating in general.
But while most employees had the advantage of working remotely, some colleagues’ jobs require in-person performance. Many of those colleagues and offices have already been acknowledged in this space.
The Receiving department, part of Mailroom Services has also served as essential personnel throughout the pandemic and we wanted to acknowledge them as well. Throughout the many months from March 2020 through June 2021, the Delivery team has remained working onsite from their office near the loading dock, intaking and delivering packages or being available for packages to be collected.
“On March 17, 2020, the College closed, and shortly thereafter, we were informed that we had to return to work on March 23,” said Edwin Rios, manager of the office. “Human Resources sent each of us an email with a letter indicating that we were officially designated ‘Essential Personnel.’"
Without missing a beat, the dedicated team of four went back to work on-site. Asked how the team’s morale has been during the period, Rios said they have maintained their commitment.
“My team and I have maintained a positive outlook given the serious circumstances of the pandemic,” Rios says. “We began to follow recommendations established by the CDC, State of New York, and CUNY.”
Asked how the rest of the onsite departments made it easier for his team to be on campus, Rios had high praises for his colleagues.
“Public Safety screens all incoming staff, students, and contractors with temperature checks and confirmation of the Everbridge app results,” he explained. “Buildings and Grounds (B&G)/Custodial Services continually clean and sanitize bathrooms and other commonly used areas of the College.”
Rios says that while they continue to do their jobs as though nothing had changed, they do miss the “normal flow of activities throughout the campus” and a more direct method of delivering packages throughout. The team also took on additional responsibilities since the pandemic and even more, after York became a vaccination site.
“Last year, we helped deliver critical COVID-19 testing supplies to One Medical in the main parking lot,” says Rios. “In order to keep employees and students safe, York ordered an extensive amount of PPE supplies. My team took on this responsibility by accepting deliveries, counting and sorting every box and product received, as well as distributing PPE to departments according to a spreadsheet created by Business Manager Suzette Foster-Jemmott.”
He added that after FEMA set up the HPE building as a major NYS vaccination site, we coordinated with Public Safety to help deliver the first boxes of Pfizer vaccines to them. Afterward, we coordinated by delivering necessary supplies to FEMA and accepted empty vaccine boxes for return delivery to the manufacturer.
"The members of my team work tirelessly, and they took on additional responsibilities by understanding that what they do is for the greater good," Rios explained. "I also have to give credit to my supervisor Marjorie Brun, who truly appreciates the work we put in day in and day out. Her support has uplifted our morale during these trying times."
Henry Leung, one of the department's most recognizable colleagues, says he is honored to do what he does for York.
“While the rest of the employees work from home, I knew it was time to step up and get the job done,” says Leung. “Actually, it has been easier for me to navigate the buildings because some departments have to schedule pick-ups according to our condensed work schedule. In many instances, however, we work hard to deliver packages to departments that require same-day service. “I am proud for what I have done for York College during the pandemic. I will continue to be a part of our future as an academic institution.”
The other important members of the team are Melissa Ramdin and Richard Heaton and supervisor Marjorie Brunn has expressed pride in her team.
"If I had to pick three words to describe the Receiving team during the pandemic, it would be courageous, reliable, and resilient," says Brun. "They report to work daily with a 'can-do' attitude and they have done a terrific job at keeping themselves safe while performing their duties."