Columbians send and receive the darnedest things. This week, Postal Service (remember?) groupie Sarah Camiscoli slipped into the Package Center on the fourth floor of Lerner to beat the morning rush.  She sat down with the Package Center Professionals, Ralph, Jason, Alex, and Louie. Below, the Professionals list the most bizarre mail and people they’ve encountered.

Packages: Bundles of joy that become burdens of shame.

  • Thanksgiving dinner sent to Africa, returned by customs exactly one year later
  • Fresh coconut with stamp
  • Bouncy ball with a taped message that reads, “Have a ball!”
  • Cell phones that friends and parents turn on before sending and ring continuously for days
  • Game buzzer that resulted in a bomb scare involving Public Safety
  • A bimonthly shipment of pineapple juice that leaks out of the box every time
  • Jason’s favorite: a box that fell from the shelf, revealing several items of “clothing” and a dildo sent to a summer intern

People that “we treat specially”

  • Individual who repeatedly mails packages to himself, perplexed by the placement of the return address box
  • Young lady found sobbing outside the center door at 5:30 after realizing they were closed
  • Student who came in expecting his only birthday gift from his parents and instead received administrative documents
  • Boyfriend who walked in to find that his girlfriend was receiving flowers from her ex

  • Enthusiastic student who continuously shows the contents of his packages to the employees and at one point attempted to change into a new clothing item at the desk
  • Female who shows her ID by placing it on her glasses for effect
  • Another female who “very seriously” tries to replicate the expression on her ID each and every time she picks up a package
  • Friendly lady who asked one of the employees for his number after reading his name on the receipt

Favorite quotes from core-indoctrinated students:

  • While on the phone with the manager because he could not purchase stamps on the third floor, one particularly brawny student threatened an employee with, “I will embarrass you” and demanded that he “put a jar of quarters so all students can buy stamps.”
  • After facing an obstacle in an administrative process, one student shouted, “The vagaries of colonialism!”