postal clerk, is retiring from Wesleyan after 28 years.
Postal Clerk Helps Patrons Find Best Way to Mail Packages
|Q: Ilana, youíre
retiring from Wesleyan June 30. How many years does your Wesleyan career
A: I started at Wesleyan in September 1984. I was an administrative
assistant in the Psychology Department part-time for two years, and then I
was an admin in the Dance Department part-time for 14 years. I came to
Wesleyan Station eight years ago as a full-time postal clerk.
Q: Do you remember what stamps cost then?
A: Oh, I donít know. Maybe 33 or 34 cents.
Q: What have been the biggest changes at Wes Station in the past eight
A: Things have become a lot more automated. We can assign all packages
computer IDs now. Computers have speeded up several processes around here.
Q: What goes on during your day?
A: When I get in, I make sure thereís money in the cash register. I get the
post meter machine and computers running. During the school year, the window
opens at 9, and I work at the window until lunch time. The other postal
clerk, Holly Nicolas, works at the window when I am at lunch and on breaks.
We service the university community and public for mailing things out. When
we donít have customers, we sort mail and supervise any student workers. The
window closes at 4:30.
A: What is the busiest time of the day?
Q: We get the most customers right around the lunch break. We donít get too
many in the morning.
Q: What will you miss the most about Wes Station?
A: I will miss working with Holly and the students who were always thankful
when I was able to find them a cheaper or faster way to send something. I
will miss my regular customers. I will miss meeting people. Everyone comes
here. Even Michael Roth has come here a couple of times to buy stamps.
Q: What wonít you miss?
A: I wonít miss the students who come rushing up to the window five minutes
before we close on Friday with a resume that needs to be mailed to Hong Kong
and they donít have enough money and the line is too long at the ATM.
Q: What are your thoughts on the new Wesleyan Station inside the Usdan
A: I have really enjoyed working in the new space this year, not just
because it is new, but I can look out and see daylight and people. When Wes
Station was located in the basement of the old Davenport Campus Center, I
felt like I was working in this little tiny cubicle behind a cage. It was
extremely cold and uncomfortable there. Here, at Usdan, it is completely
different. Weíre also on two floors here, so there is a lot more space.
Q: Where did you go to college and when?
A: I went to Queens College in the 60s. That was during the anti-Vietnam
era, you know. I wore a lot of hippie clothes and listened to that type of
music and I protested against the war. I majored in sociology.
Q: What did you do before Wesleyan?
A: From 1972 to 1984, I was able to stay at home and raise my kids. But
thatís the way it was back then. Most mothers did stay at home with their
kids. You donít see that too much nowadays. Now thereís even that nice
preschool right here on campus. We sure didnít have options like that back
Q: Your husband work here too?
A: Erhard Konerding is my husband. He is a documents librarian in Olin
Library. He started at Wesleyan in 1972.
Q: Will he be retiring too?
A: No, he wants to work at least a few more years. His mother worked until
she was 82. I tell him he canít stop working earlier than his mother did.
Q: What are you looking forward to doing during your retirement?
A: Iím excited that I will be able to spend more time with my family. I have
a son and granddaughter in California, and a daughter and granddaughter here in
Connecticut. I hope when the grandchildren turn 5 or 6, I will be able to
take them camping. I also love to garden, and I have lots of work Iíd like
to get done on my flower beds. It seems every day that was a beautiful day
for gardening, I had to go into work. I'm also looking forward to spending
more time at the Freeman Athletic Center in the pool doing water aerobics. Later on, Iíd like to start
volunteering at a humane society once a week. Erhard and I have a
14-year-old dog, and we donít want to get another dog, so at least if I work
at a humane society I can keep in contact with dogs. Iím not a cat person.
Olivia Bartlett, The Wesleyan Connection