You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 21, 2007.
Beth commented on the last post that she feels a bit of guilt motivating her to consider tipping her mail carrier. She asked what the rules are, and yes, there are rules. Your mail carrier is a federal employee and so there are strict guidelines on what is acceptable as far as gifts.
Scroll to the bottom of the page here to find some pretty accurate words on the subject from CNN. There is a footnote to the USPS row in the grid, which says…
*Civil servants are not allowed to receive cash tips. But if you wish to recognize your mail carrier, the U.S. Postal Service asks that your gratuity not exceed $20 in cash value.
Cash is not allowed. We are not permitted to accept cash. In fact, if we receive cash (and we do) we’re supposed to give it back. Starbucks gift cards (for $19.99) are good, a tin of chocolates is nice too. If half the people on my primary route gave Doug $19 gift certificates, he’d receive the retail equivalent of $3610, which is pretty darn good. That never happens, but it’s nice to think about.
Cash gifts are verboten, though.
Let’s leave it at that, okay? I’ll let you figure out what actually happens.
And I am definitely not going to read or buy one after today.
Unless you live underneath a Sorcerer’s Stone, you know that today is THE day. The last book is officially out, all 700 odd pages of it.
Our local post office was tasked with delivering approximately 500 of these monsters today. Today. It had to be today, even though they were all shipped by the booksellers at bound printed matter standard rate (on the postal food chain, this puts those precious books one step above garbage, so all you postal haters out there should be happy that you got your book today… you shouldn’t have based on what the shipper paid for postage).
Before I lambaste a particular bookseller, I want to commend amazon.com for not only making the package small enough to fit into an average mailbox, but also for including a delivery confirmation barcode that our scanner could read. Every Potter book from Amazon in my parcel hampers (5 of them today on two small routes) scanned fine and fit easily into its mail box.
Barnes and Noble, we need to talk.
BN boys and girls, next time you’re shipping thousands of massive titles on the same day could you please be economical in your use of cardboard. It doesn’t need to be just big enough that it won’t fit in a mailbox. This seems to be a continuing issue with your company, and not simply limited to this title. And for the love of Dumbledore, do whatever it takes to make sure your friggin’ delivery confirmation barcodes can be scanned!
What’s worse, you knew the barcodes were bad when you shipped them. Not to worry though because your nice friends at the postal service got the word out to all the carriers across the country who today received a TEN STEP procedure for hand entering the barcode into the scanner. Thankfully not many people were foolish enough to buy the book from you so on the little routes I did today, I only had to hand enter 1 bar code on 1 package. It took me 6 minutes to get the thing to read. The other carriers had anywhere from 5 to 15 of your idiotic barcodes to scan. You do the math.
As for you book buyers, did you get a Harry Potter book from Barnes and Noble today? If so, be extra special nice to your mail carrier. Maybe write him or her a thank you note. Your carrier, not the shipper, is the one who got it to you on time.