From the marines to the mailroom: Ked Ramer delivers jokes and packages to students, faculty

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With an average of 1,500 to 2,500 packages each month going through the mailroom and into students’ hands, many are bound to see Business Mailroom Clerk Ked Ramer and his team of student workers quite often.  But how much do we really know about our friendly, neighborhood mailman?

Born on Sept. 20, 1963, Ramer is one of nine siblings in his family and grew up in the city of Greensburg, Ind. In his sophomore year, he and his family moved to Indianapolis, where he graduated from Pike High School.

Business Mailroom Clerk Ked Ramer has worked at UIndy for five years in both the student and business mailrooms as well as at Streets Grill  and the Perk I, II and III. Photo by Badar Alageel

Business Mailroom Clerk Ked Ramer has worked at UIndy for five years in both the student and business mailrooms as well as at Streets Grill and the Perk I, II and III. Photo by Badar Alageel

Shortly after that, Ramer spent four years in the Marines as a combat engineer. During his time in the service, he was stationed in North Carolina for one year, Hawaii for one year and spent two years on a ship.

He went to seven different countries while living on the ship: Australia, China, Thailand, Japan, Singapore, Korea and the Philippines.

“[Australia] was my favorite,” Ramer said. “The pace there is twice as slow as what it is here. And they love Americans. I told my kids if I ever went back there that I wouldn’t come back.”

After he decided that being in the Marines was not the right fit for him, Ramer became a service representative for a uniform company in Shelbyville, Ind. and stayed there for almost 10 years. He then served in a management position for a major concrete company in Indianapolis for almost five years.

When the concrete company had to lay some people off, Ramer drove a cab for two years while he was between jobs. He said that he met some interesting people while driving around Indianapolis, especially since he was a cab driver around the time that the Super Bowl was in town. He once even met Eric Estrada from the TV show “Chips.”

When a position opened up at the University of Indianapolis to work in the student mailroom, Ramer jumped at the chance to work at the university. He got the job and stayed in that position for four years.

During his time in the student mailroom, he was in charge of sorting through the student letters and packages and putting the mail in the mailboxes.

One thing that Ramer is well-known for is joking with the students on campus, and in the student mail room, he was notorious for playing one certain prank on students.

“Whenever it was slow [and] quiet, I’d hear somebody doing their combination,” Ramer said. “I’d wait behind there [the mailboxes] and wait for them to open it, and I’d stick my arm through there and scare them, especially around Halloween. Ninety-nine percent of them liked it. I got cussed out once, but she laughed.”

While he was working in the student mailroom, Ramer decided to also work part-time at night at the Streets Grill, because he said he likes to stay busy. He soon got promoted and started working days at the food places in the Health Pavilion and the library, as well as the Perk in Schwitzer.

“Everybody was mad when they transferred me [from Streets],” Ramer said. “Everybody liked my grilled cheese and my grilled chicken. They’d always wait to see if I was cooking. I cared, and I made it with love. I didn’t just cook it and slap it on there. I cooked it like I was going to eat it. And that’s how you should cook.”

Just this year, an opportunity opened up in the business mailroom at UIndy, and Ramer started working there, where he currently works.

He is in charge of managing the student workers’ hours, sorting through campus mail, student mail and returnable mail, scanning in and out packages and making routes for deliveries.

Coordinator of the Copy Center and Ramer’s boss Jane Hoffman said that it was a “no-brainer” hiring him because of his work ethic.

“The thing I love about Ked is if a student didn’t show up, he will do their route,” Hoffman said. “He doesn’t complain about it. [When] he has other things going on, he will stop scanning the packages to go do that. I think that he’ll do whatever it takes to get the job done…. He always is here early. I never see him really take a lunch. He says he does. So, I mean, he gives it a lot of his time. He cares deeply about his job. If someone is missing something [package or letter], he will go to extremes to find what happened to it, even if it’s something that should have been delivered through the physical plant and not from him.”

Ramer has spent five years at UIndy so far and said he plans on retiring from the university. He also would like to start taking some “fun” courses such as history, pottery and sign language at UIndy. Ramer said he loves to work on campus because he feels appreciated.

“You’re not a number here,” Ramer said. “You’re not treated like a number. You’re treated like a person. And I think that means a lot right there.”

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