Name: Betty Belding
Occupation: College Post Office Supervisor
Do you live in Williamstown?
No, I live in North Adams.
What do you think are the differences between North Adams and Williamstown?
I don’t do much shopping here in Williamstown. I stay here mostly in the building and I go home. Most of my activity is in Adams and North Adams, so I can’t really comment.
How long have you been working at the College?
17 years tomorrow [Tuesday].
Do you have any kids?
I have one daughter: she’s assistant to the Dean of the Faculty, and two grandchildren. They’re involved in Little League and T-ball, and so that’s many of my nights.
Do you go to every game?
We don’t like to miss any of the games, even though they don’t win too often. Other than that, we bowl. I’m president of one bowling league and secretary of another one, so that kind of keeps me busy. One’s a couple’s league and one is a womens’ league. We just have a lot of fun. We’re champions in one and we’re in the running to be champions of the other.
What’s your average bowling score?
Oh, you don’t want to print that. Wow, this has nothing to do with the Post Office.
Oh, relevance never matters!
Well, it’s not that interesting…We tried to get the [U.S. Postal Service] substation here for the College, but I guess they figured that this wasn’t the time to do it, so we were kind of disappointed. It would’ve been so much handier for the students and the staff and the faculty if they could do all their postal work right here. And I guess the decision was postponed, so, oh well.
What’s the most exciting thing that has ever happened in the mailroom?
Has anything exciting ever happened in the mailroom?
Well, we’ve had a lot of special things come in…like we had a package that was ticking one day, and we had to call in Security, and the police department had to be called. And I think the package was from Taiwan and we had to call the people over there to see what they had packed for the girl, and then we literally had to get the girl out of class, and bring he here to open it. It turned out to be an alarm clock.
Oh, no dynamite, huh?
Nope. And then we had one where it looked like human hair – it was not a wig. The corner of the box was torn and the hair was hanging out the corner of the box…
Ooh, like in Seven? Have you ever seen that movie? Don’t see it.
No – so then we came up, looked inside, and whatever it was wrapped in a blanket, which made it even more, you know, nerve-wracking. So we called Security and they decided that it didn’t look like it was dangerous or anything, so they let it sit here. And so when the student came and picked it up, we asked him what it was, and he just passed it off and said, “Oh, my mom sent it,” and turned and walked away, you know. And then we had another package that lit up – and that happened to be a Halloween package. And I guess it had been juggled in the mail, so when we put it on the shelf, all of the sudden, we looked and there was the light flashing.
Do you know of any evidence of pets being sent through the mail?
Well, no – except we did get live crabs or something just the other day.
For Dining Services?
No, they come in to students. And someone asked me, “Well, what are you doing to do if they’re not picked up right away?” and I said that we usually try to call them and let them know there’s a perishable package here. And the fruit – of course – if they don’t pick that up right away, it just…
Yeah, gets us out of here in a hurry! And we get tires, we get coconuts…Scott Lewis of the Outing Club had a coconut sent to him from Florida, and it came in just like it was – written on and stamped. And we had a piece of art come in the other day and I don’t know how it even got here…it was just like they took it off the wall. It was a gorgeous painting, and they had written the address on the back of it, and stamped and not covered it in plastic or anything, and it came through perfect, not a mark on it.
Have you ever had to be called in on the weekends?
Well, we work on Saturdays, anyway – so no, not that often.