Photo: Matt discusses (with Nik and Mike, out of frame) which size of shipping box works best for the Techonauts.
Matt is the Shipping Lead here at TOM BIHN; here, he's interviewed by Matthew, our Documentation Lead (who also often works in the shipping department alongside Matt.)
Can you tell us about the work you do here at TOM BIHN and how long you've been doing it?
I'm the Shipping Lead, so I'm the one who puts all the stuff people order in the boxes, puts the labels on it, and sends it out the door. That's the simplest explanation. I've worked at TOM BIHN for 6 years.
Matt stacks boxes during the busy holiday season.
Are there any aspects of your work you think would surprise most folks?
People might be surprised what one person can do in a day, or they might be shocked at how little a person can do depending on the day. It can swing either way. Nothing too surprising though, it goes in the box it goes out of the door.
Shipping masks in 2020.
In 2020, we shipped a lot of masks! What was it like pivoting from only shipping bags to shipping masks or bags and masks?
It was a very big pivot. We changed basically the entire way we processed labels, processed orders, the way we put orders together, the way our entire day worked was changed around. Basically everything in shipping changed and we've only really settled down in the last six months from that.
The way we print labels was different, the way we packaged things was different; we had to get a whole new envelope that we weren't using beforehand to accomodate masks, then had to change it again for other issues. The paperwork is different now, basically everything was different.
So, it really changed how we did things. Do you think it will continue to inform how we work going forward?
Certainly with masks. On a broad scale, it ran as its own separate system, and it will stay that way. The masks are segregated in their own filter, their own print system, everything.
It's improved our relationship with USPS because we send a lot of more through them than we used to.
What do you carry from day-to-day?
I carry a Medium Cafe Bag with my coffee mug and my water.
General little items I carry:
- I've got my Tylenol, ibuprofin, and cold medication because I'm an old person who gets sick.
- I've got my Leatherman Skeletool, in case I ever need it for random things.
- I carry a couple of pens, a flashlight, hand sanitizer because COVID, and a spare mask, a hat.
- My headphones
- Usually whatever book I'm reading just in case I'm in a spot where I have extra time, I can read my book.
That's about it, plus whatever I need on a given day that I don't need to carry normally. Whether it's toys for my children, extra food. Whatever's necessary, my bag isn't so full that I can't add something I need to it if necessary.
Wearing a scarf crafted by a member of the TOM BIHN Ravelry group. The group knits and gifts wearable art for our crew every holiday season.
What are some of your hobbies outside of work? What do you like to do for fun?
Well I'm a big sports fan, season ticket holder for the Sounders so aside from the last year and a half I usually go to every game.
I have two kids that I'm raising, that takes up a lot of my free time.
Whenever the world opens up again, I'll start playing sports again. I usually like to play soccer and softball.
I like videogames; Diablo II: Ressurected just came out, so that's currently what I'm playing.