Thursday, June 12, 2008

Going Postal or How much is an H stamp worth?

Ahhh, the post office. Another fine example of how state and government offices waste an insane amount of time and money. How I wish I never had to set foot in another one.

Let me back track a bit. I was out of work for 4 weeks 3 days with a workers comp injury. They were required to pay me 70 % of my salary during that time (yes, they should have to pay 100 %). After a month had gone by with no pay I called them. I thought perhaps they would send me a check on June 1st as that would be my normal pay day. It did not come. When I called and left several messages a day for 3 days in a row and still did not get a call back I was getting pretty nervous. I had bills due and hungry kids and literally NO money. Finally on the third day I called again and she answered. She told me she had sorta forgotten to enter me into the system so my checks had not been printed. I was supposed to have received a check every week. Sucks for me right. So she entered my info, printed a check for the total amount, and said I should get in in 5 days or so.

We had to borrow 100 bucks from Taylor to buy some food and hope the check would come quickly enough to keep things from being shut off.

Now back to the post office story. I had gone to the store and purchased padded envelopes to send our Father's Day gifts. I got them packaged up and went to put the addresses on them. Can not find the addresses to save my life. My one goal for my Thursday off was to get the gifts sent so they would arrive in time. It took about 5 hours but Jeff finally found the addresses it a box of stuff in the garage. Yes, I tried looking on the Internet address finder but our Dads live kind of out in the middle of nowhere so they are not listed. And yes I could have called and asked them but I am crazy OK. I didn't want to call and admit that we had lost their addresses. Somehow in my mind loosing someones address gives the impression that you are an uncaring disorganized boob. While I am still a bit disorganized (we are making progress on the garage) I care very much about the Dads. I just wanted to get the packages sent already.

By this time the post office is closed but they have that handy little drop box for after hours packages. I put them on the scale to see how much the postage would be. 5.60 each. I have no money remember. I brought all the stamps we had in the house and some change to purchase more if needed. I ended up covering the entire package with stamps.

I had to call home to find out what the H stamp is worth. I thought it would be at least 2 cents. I mean what is the point of printing a stamp that is less than that? I thought the rate hikes went up by at least 2 cents each time. But the H rate stamp is only 1 cent. So I ended up being short by 65 cents. I had to go back home a scrounge up some more change. I finally got the rest of the stamps affixed and dropped the packages into the open drop box.

When I closed the door I saw the label. It says that due to heightened security you can not drop off stamped mail that weighs more than 16 ounces. You can only see this label after you close the door after depositing your package. Well, I can't get them back out. So despite my best efforts the packages will not be going anywhere. They will get pulled as a security risk and be held for who knows how long then be returned to me. At that point I will have to return to the post office and hand deliver them to someone who will throw them in the same bin they were already in and ship them off.

The only difference will be that now they will have me on camera delivering the package. I could also use the drop box if I purchase metered stamps with a credit card because then they have a name to trace. So what is boils down to is that they don't plan to search my package or X-Ray it (in which case they would see it is only a photo album with pictures of the kids). They don't really care if I blow someone up they just want to be able to find me later if I do.

This is what your envelope ends up looking like when you are broke.

Here is a interesting site that details the postage increases over the years.

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