Wild Mailroom

John Jones reveals amusing tales about the tails that travel through UTSA’s mailroom.

John Jones reveals amusing tales about the tails that travel through UTSA’s mailroom.

It Gets Wild in Mailroom

The varying items that pass through UTSA’s mail services make for a unique workplace

[ This article was originally published in the UTSA newsletter The Roadrunner on August 29, 1988 ]

Not all that passes through UTSA’s mailroom are nondescript envelopes, boxes of books, and bundles of technical journals. However, to a 15-year veteran, sorting the monkey blood from the live chicks may even seem mundane.

“Sometimes it seems like the same bunch of envelopes, but the variety of people we meet is the most enjoyable thing about this job,” says mail services supervisor John Jones, who has been at UTSA since 1973.

And of course, there were the South American toads. The toads passed through the mailroom on the way to a UTSA scientific study, but not before the eight-inch amphibians romped in the mail gurney after working their way out of damp containers.

It’s all in a day’s work for Jones, who directs mail service operations on the first floor of the MS Building, where UTSA students, faculty, and staff have a full-service post office at their disposal.

Jones’ life outside UTSA probably helps him remain unruffled when the mail gets a little lively. Goats, rabbits, and sheep have been part of the menagerie at his three-acre spread on Medina Lake. And while his brother is on tour with his traveling hawk show, Jones has custody of his lizard and snakes, including 10- and eight-foot-long boas.

Jones also has a few calmer hobbies, including a vegetable garden that his coworkers have grown very fond of around harvest time.

And although some very unusual stamps pass through his hands, the mail services supervisor has not become much of a stamp collector. He prefers something with a little more spine. Jones collects native Texas cactus and has hundreds of specimens in his collection.