Sunday, November 22, 2009

My Run-ins With the Government

First, I think that the US Postal System is one of the best in the world. Aside from the annoyance of the cost of a first class stamp rising so frequently that I can't even tell you what the cost is. (The Mister always buys the forever stamps, to try to mitigate the irritation of the price increases.) Our system is usually reliable and pretty cheap, when you think about the cost to take a first class letter anywhere in the country. Compared to other country's systems, I think ours is 'first class'!


In the past year, they have been scamming me.

Actually, scamming Dearest Sis

It seems lately (in the past year, anyway) every time I send her a parcel, it is delivered postage due.

Besides the embarrassment of sending something without enough postage, it also means that the delivery is delayed. I suppose the stamping of the front of the envelope or parcel is done by a person who only works certain days?

And the most annoying thing? I used the machine at the post office to tell me how much postage to put on!

Last December, while doing some post holiday sale shopping, I found a 'bubble gum machine' that had tiny trucks and construction equipment. I bought a couple and sent them to DS to use under her tiny beaded tree. Several weeks went by and they did not arrive. Finally, after a month or two, they showed up - postage due!

In the past week or so, she and I have been discussing button choices for the Baby Surprise Jackets that she has been working on. I have a pretty reliable vintage button stash, so she asked if I had any that would be perfect for the BSJ's. I looked through the buttons and picked a couple of styles that looked likely and mailed them off in a padded envelope. I weighed the envelope, which weighed less than 2 ounces and figured the postage from the on-line postage store on the weight of 2 oz.

When they arrived - sure enough, 51 cents postage due!

And, since I had not asked her to describe the colors, just relied on the blog photo, I was looking for the wrong button colors!

So - back to the button stash!

I picked out these.... (push-pin for size comparison)
...and these and sent them to her.

But this time, I made The Mister take them to the counter and have a postal worker put the required postage on the package.

DS confirmed that they arrived today, with no ransom required.

I foiled their scam by making one of their own deal with a customer (and for some of them, that seems to be quite a cross to bear!)

The next time I send something to her, I am going to the counter to find out how much postage is required, then go to the self serve machine to purchase it. If it ends up with postage due, my theory will be proven!

And I will expose their shenanigans to the world! (or maybe just post about it here...)

(DS said she might post photos here of the BSJ's with the buttons, so we could advise her on which ones look best. Check for other de-stashing efforts here!)


Martha said...

Hmm....that is mysterious. I have never used the self-service machine, and now I think I probably never will.

Isn't it great when your sister needs some sweet little vintage buttons, and you can just go into the room where no sewing occurs and find the perfect buttons to send. It makes the collecting all worthwhile.

Debbie said...

I'm glad to know that; thank you.
Here's another problem; My daughter now lives in Maine and I in the Midwest. Each time (and it's been often) we send her a little 'joy' package, the PO quotes me a price for 3 day delivery. Otherwise, it 5-7 ground. Now I once paid the extra, but when it got to Maine, the guy on my daughter's route would not deliver it to her condo, but instead left a notice in her box indicating he could not reach her and that she would have to pick it up at the office. She was home, watched him put the notice in her box, and drive off. He not only didn't attempt to deliver, he didn't even bring it with him because it wouldn't fit in the box and he didn't want to walk up and ring the bell. Each time she has to follow him back to the PO, she complains; and it does absolutely no good. So I just send it by the cheapest way possible and pray that he doesn't decide to throw it away! We have had the same mail carrier lady for years and she is great!

Iron Needles said...

It IS great having Jan's vintage button stash as my own! In defense of my mail carriers...they aren't trying to scam me! They are great and cheerful people! I think it's the difference in altitude from desert crazy town to the clear clean skies of the Rockies!

Allie said...

It's fear of just this happening that I always go to the counter, lol!
Want to hear something crazy? The next street over from me has the exact same address numbers. As long as our regular guy delivers, we get our stuff, no problem - if there's a sub, they don't pay attention to the street and frequently mess up! Thankfully there are some nice folks living on the other street at our address, lol.
Love the buttons!

Kate said...

Oh, isn't that a hoot!? I think everyone in my little town has it out for the same slacker postal worker. Me included. You're a clever girl, foiling that scheme...