When rising junior Olivia Smith wanted a job in the Tufts University Mail Services Department, she was able to start working on the mailroom floor just one day after walking in to ask about employment opportunities.
“I strolled in, and there’s actually no process to get hired,” Smith said. “I just talked to Sheila, who was the current manager at the time. She was like, ‘Oh yeah, you can start tomorrow morning.’ She didn’t ask me a single question.”
At Mail Services, Smith would learn that student employees do not receive weekly schedules. Instead, each employee came in to work whenever was most convenient for them on a week-to-week basis, a practice students said often elongated wait times to pick up packages and increased stress in the mailroom. Such were the conditions under former manager Sheila Chisholm, a Tufts University employee of 38 years whose unannounced departure in October formed one of many recent management upheavals the mailroom faced.