THE MAIL TELLER General Duties and Organization of Mail Teller's Department In modern business a large part of the cash deposits in banks is made, not over the receiving teller's counter but by mail through the mail teller. The mail teller is called the "fourth" teller. His department varies in its relative importance with the size of the bank, with the personnel of its depositors, and with the number of its out-of-town depositors, particularly with the num ber of its bank correspondents for whom it handles collections and acts as financial adviser. In metropolitan banks in reserve and central reserve cities the mail teller's department assumes great proportions; the volume of mail becomes large and its position complex. A certain Wall Street bank in 1917 received daily from 2,000 to 4,500 cash letters alone, containing from 3o,000 to So,000 items. Tuesday is the day of lightest receipts, and Mon day (or a day after a holiday) is the day of heaviest receipts.
The incoming mail is customarily sorted into three classes by the department: i. The personal, official, and departmental letters.
2. The foreign mail.
3. The letters containing cash and collection items for credit.
It is the general function of the fourth teller to receive, open, acknowledge, prove, record, distribute, and charge the items of the cash letters. The foreign mail is turned over to the foreign division, and the personal, official, and departmental mail is given to a special force of clerks for distribution through the bank.
Since the cash letters represent millions of dollars and affect vitally the accounts of the bank and in turn their customers, ex pedition in handling this mail is of prime importance. To this end the day's mail in a metropolitan bank is handled in three lots: the night mail, the morning mail, and the afternoon mail. About midnight a force starts to sort and list checks received in letters delivered since bank closing hours; this work of the night men is continued until about eight o'clock and its details are almost identical with that done by morning men. The afternoon mail is
such mail as is received after ten o'clock, that is, of ter the prepara tion of the exchanges.
The department is under the general supervision and direc tion of the mail teller. That part of it which is devoted to the preparation of the items for the clearing house is commonly called the "assembly rack" department. A rack is a sorting table with its pigeonholes, but by a figure of speech the work is spoken of as the preparation of "racks"—the assembly rack, the A. AI. rack, and the P. M. rack. As a rule the same room and desks and sort ing fixtures are used in the preparation of the three different racks, but the work of each rack is done and proved by its own clerical group. The mail department is assisted in handling the morning mail by clerks from other departments, such as the accounts current men from the check desk, the special collections clerk and the returns clerk from the transit department, etc.
Sorting the Morning Mail The mail teller and his assistant arrive at the bank early in the morning in order that some of the larger cash letters may be ready for sorting as soon as the clerks of the racks arrive. The foreign, personal, official, and departmental mail is first laid aside, and then the work consists in the sorting of the cash letters (the large letters first), the sorting and proving of the enclosed items, and the charging and distributing of the items to the departments of the bank.
This work is facilitated by dividing it into sections. The regu lar cash letters are sorted into section boxes arranged, say, as follows: Section 1. National banks, A-C.
Section 2. National banks, D-M.
Section 3. National banks, N-Z.
Section 4. State banks.
Section ,. (a) Trust companies and savings banks.
(c) Credits for the collection ledger (remittances from collections).
(d) Doubles (letters enclosing credits for two or more banks).