Steve: Mike, do you need anything from the basement?
Mike. I have been with this company for almost seven months and I still have no clue what is in the basement.
Steve: Some people say that the most important division is down there.
Mike: What's that? Sales, marketing, accounting or human resources?
Steve: None of those! Why not come downstairs with me and meet all of the guys and gals from the mailroom?
Mike: The mailroom! What do they do there?
Steve: They take care of sending all of our mail and making sure that incoming letters find the right people.
Mike: Why would I want to go there?
Steve: Many great careers have started in the mail-rooms of world famous companies!
1) Basement: the bottom floor of a building
ex:The basement of our building is said to be haunted but it's just a ghost story.
2) No clue: no idea, something that you don't know
ex:At school, my economics teacher said that I had no clue about managing money - and he was right!
3) Mailroom: place that incoming and outgoing mail is sorted for delivery
ex:My first job was working in a mailroom sorting mail.
4) Career: a job with progressive achievements for which you have training
ex:These days, choosing a career is almost a full-time job itself.
The flow of information within an organization is absolutely vital to the success of any company. Without a smooth flow of ideas and information, a company can miss opportunities for profit.
Before the invent of fax machines and email, mail was the only way to send information. To manage the inflow of large amounts of mail, companies established separate divisions just to sort incoming and outgoing mail.
Mail-room staff would sort and record every piece of mail coming or leaving. They would take the outgoing mail to the post office for mailing and distribute incoming mail to the right person.
Because mailroom staff saw every piece of mail and other important information they often knew what was happening better than anyone else. This gave them a small amount of power that could be used to work their way out of the mailroom into a better job.
Famous business managers who have started in the mailroom and slowly become business leaders include Victor Kiam of Remington (the razor company) and Jac Nasser the Chief Executive Officer of Ford Motor Company.
The invention of email, fax machines and even the telephone have all accelerated the death of mail rooms within companies. Today, most mail-related jobs are done by secretaries and mail rooms have completely closed.
Beth: I wonder what it was like to work all day in the basement of a huge building sorting mail.
Sally: Oh I don't think the mailroom staff stayed in the basement all day.
Beth: When would they leave the basement?
Sally: To take all of the mail to the various floors of the building and the right offices on each floor.
Beth: Hmmm - so they spent a lot of time in the elevators?
Sally: I suppose so, but they do get to see and hear all of the office rumors and gossip.
Beth: And that way they get to all of the company secrets?
Sally: Now you're thinking! How else do you think they work their way from the bottom to the top?
Beth: Hard work - like the rest of us!