Package Center No Longer Following Murphy’s Law

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Rejoyce, fellow Columbians! Peek your heads out from Ulysses (after you ditched the Odyssey, right?) and sprint over to the Package Center to be first in line. Just kidding—there is no line.

Although the crates behind the counter are still strewn about like the plot line of Finnegan’s Wake, employees at the Package Center happily report that they “have improved their system.” When interrogated pressed further, a reluctant employee yielded the following information:


  • Packages were sorted by last name, leading to multiple crates with the same letter, adding to search times
  • Also a bottleneck occurred when PrezBo, last name Bartlett, and last name Boone decided to get their packages at the same time


  • Packages are given a number and a letter prefix, e.g. B25, and this code is recorded on the computer
  • When a student uses the kiosk for multiple packages, an employee can see exactly which crates need to be searched to assemble all the packages
  • The Package Center concede that having to search through multiple crates for multiple packages must be lesser of two evils
Whether this will keep lines to a minimum in the long run is yet to be seen. Carpe diem!

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  1. Anonymous

    Wow. What a mess those packages are.

  2. Anonymous  

    This is called industrial engineering, and it needs to happen *everywhere*. Such simple yet non-intuitive changes can have such a great effect.

    • Anonymous  

      Looks like maybe I spoke too soon and it isn't really fixed. If not, they need to do some more industrial engineering. (Hopefully, it's just bwog sending everyone there at the same time that made lines emerge again...) You don't need a degree to do it, just an inquisitive nature and courage to try mixing things up a bit...

  3. Anonymous  

    I just went and the line was to the door of the hall and about to be spilling out...

    • Anonymous  

      I think there's only so much of an improvement that can be made with only 3 fucking registers...

      Columbia seriously needs to spend some fucking money on their students and provide more than 3 registers to sort the mail for the entire goddamn university...

  4. Anonymous  

    Innovation is a beautiful thing... When it happens on time.

  5. Anonymous

    I think this system had already been implemented when I went to pick up my package two days ago (I was like B14 or something, it tells you in the email)
    Literally I could see the box and I used the kiosk and it still took me an hour to get my package.

    So wow I really hope the line is nonexistent when my Amazon book package comes! Also they could process packages faster than like 10 days after arrival...

  6. yeah right  

    still took me 40 minutes to get my package the lines are just as long I was just there

  7. Anonymous

    If they computer didn't tell them before what box things are in what were they looking at on the computer?

  8. but wait

    this is false. the regular line was as long as ever today, and the kiosk line was longer.

  9. anon  

    the only answer is to just put a fucken package center in the lobby of all dorms and just let student’s ship packages to their dorms, fuck this central system bullshit they cant handle the load

  10. Anonymous  

    one thing: the kiosks should say if your package is in carman or lerner

  11. Pertinent Question  

    Columbia has one of the top-ranked IEOR programs in the country. Yet we can't get some students to fix the mail center as a semester-project?

  12. I had a dream last night...  

    ... that I'd received an email from the Lerner package center. I actually stood in line for 15 minutes this morning before realizing that THERE WAS NO PACKAGE.

    This is the extent to which the trauma of the package center experience has permeated into my subconscious.

  13. so apparently...  

    if you use the kiosk and while you're waiting in line for it you receive another package (yeah, the line is THAT long)... they don't tell you about the new package. so you get to wait in line all over again.

  14. Anonymous  

    How about them guys in the package center whick one is single??

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