General Etiquette > Life...in general

Friday the 13th at the Post Office

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JoieGirl7:
I went to the Post Office today to mail out some calendars that I made for a fan club I am a part of.  Some people ordered multiple copies and others ordered only one.

The multiple copies went out Priority Mail so I paid for and printed out my postage at home.

That left me with 36 large envelopes to send via First Class Mail.

Of the 36, 34 were uniform in weight.  The clerk took the two that were heavier, weighed them separately and applied the postage.

The remaining 34, she refused to do.  Instead, she started digging in her drawers to find stamps and after about 4 minutes of digging presented me with 34 of four different types of stamps and told me to go affix them to each envelope.

This is not what I wanted to do!

I asked ďDonít you just do stickers for each one like the others?Ē And she said ďwell, how much time do you think that would take?!Ē

I spent a lot of time buying white envelopes and making full color labels with picture on them for sending and never intended that there would be a mess of 4 different kinds of stamps hastily affixed in the corner.

To make it worse, after we left the post office, I pulled out my calculator and found that she hadnít sold us enough postage.  Every single one of my parcels was two cents short.

We went back and I went back inside and pointed it out to her.  She sold me a bunch of two cent stamps and I asked for my parcels back.

She seemed incredulous that I wanted to affix my own postage.  I said ďIf you had just processed them normally, none of this would be necessary.Ē

She said ďMy supervisors at  <main post office> would not appreciate me processing all your packages while other people wait in line!Ē

I affixed my postage and left. 

I am worried that she will try to vandalize them or sabotage them because she must know that I am going to file a complaint.

It just didnít seem like there was anything I could do in the moment.  I didnít want stamps all over my envelopes.  I didnít want to have to put them on in the post office.  And I really wanted a receipt that would show how much each piece cost to send outóitís part of my bookkeeping to have that.

I was happy to affix stickers if she had printed out 34 of them, but it seems she didnít want to type in all the different zip codes.

And in trying to not just do what needed to be done, she almost made it so that 34 envelopes got sent back to me for insufficient postage!

How do others politely insist that things be done according to how you want them.  I still donít even understand how I didnít think that I had the right to have the service that I wanted.  They donít do First Class Mail online, where else would I have gone to send my parcels?

Can they really make you buy stamps when all you want is postage?

And, how does it look to the people receiving the envelopes?  Unprofessional to have 5 stamps affixed for postage instead of the typical sticker?

JoW:
December 13 is 12 days before Christmas.  The post office is overwhelmed.  Asking them to do ANYTHING extra for you right now is way out of line. 

The correct way to "politely insist that things be done according to how you want them" is to wait until they aren't so busy.  I suggest mailing next year's calendars before December 1 or after December 26. 

*inviteseller:

--- Quote from: JoW on December 13, 2013, 09:46:38 PM ---December 13 is 12 days before Christmas.  The post office is overwhelmed.  Asking them to do ANYTHING extra for you right now is way out of line. 

The correct way to "politely insist that things be done according to how you want them" is to wait until they aren't so busy.  I suggest mailing next year's calendars before December 1 or after December 26. 

--- End quote ---

She didn't ask for anything extra.  That is their job when it is packages, to weigh each one and put in the zip code to get the correct postage and a slip.  Customers understand (or one hopes) that there will be lines at this time of year and waiting patiently for each transaction to be done is something we do.  The postal worker was wrong because OP didn't not ask for stamps...the lady pushed them on her because she did not want to do her job.  I would have told her that these were packages of calendars (media rate) and she wanted each one weighed and posted.  And I wouldn't have moved until it was done.  At my last job, we mailed alot of calendars at this time of year (about 20-30 a day) and had one of the admittedly frazzled ladies at the counter done that to me, it would have turned into a battle of who was more stubborn. 

So says the daughter of a mailman.  ;)

Surianne:

--- Quote from: JoW on December 13, 2013, 09:46:38 PM ---December 13 is 12 days before Christmas.  The post office is overwhelmed.  Asking them to do ANYTHING extra for you right now is way out of line. 

The correct way to "politely insist that things be done according to how you want them" is to wait until they aren't so busy.  I suggest mailing next year's calendars before December 1 or after December 26.

--- End quote ---

I'm not sure if it's just that things are done differently in the States (I'm Canadian) but I agree with this.  For 36 letters/packages I would definitely expect to be given the stamps to purchase and apply on my own time (whether in the post office off to the side, or back at home). 

I also don't see why several stamps on an envelope would be unsightly or a problem.  I know lots of people who collect stamps, though, and are thrilled to see this.  Maybe your customers would be the same way  :D

I have no idea why you think she'd vandalize your envelopes.  Even if you were rude to her and made her upset or angry, it seems pretty over the top to assume she's a) a horrible person or b) dumb enough to risk her job by damaging the mail.

sammycat:

--- Quote from: Surianne on December 14, 2013, 01:09:24 AM ---
--- Quote from: JoW on December 13, 2013, 09:46:38 PM ---December 13 is 12 days before Christmas.  The post office is overwhelmed.  Asking them to do ANYTHING extra for you right now is way out of line. 

The correct way to "politely insist that things be done according to how you want them" is to wait until they aren't so busy.  I suggest mailing next year's calendars before December 1 or after December 26.

--- End quote ---

I'm not sure if it's just that things are done differently in the States (I'm Canadian) but I agree with this.  For 36 letters/packages I would definitely expect to be given the stamps to purchase and apply on my own time (whether in the post office off to the side, or back at home). 

I also don't see why several stamps on an envelope would be unsightly or a problem.  I know lots of people who collect stamps, though, and are thrilled to see this.  Maybe your customers would be the same way  :D

I have no idea why you think she'd vandalize your envelopes.  Even if you were rude to her and made her upset or angry, it seems pretty over the top to assume she's a) a horrible person or b) dumb enough to risk her job by damaging the mail.

--- End quote ---

I'm in Australia and this is my experience too. Sometimes the PO person will print out a sticker that says '$2.50' or whatever and they'll adhere it themselves, but the majority of the time I'm just handed $2.50 worth of stamps and I stick them on myself. If I had 20+ of the exact same thing I'd expect them to maybe put a sticker on the first one and then hand me stamps for the rest.

So long as my parcel reaches its destination (or to me), I couldn't care less how many stamps are on it.

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