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United States/Covers & Postmarks : Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

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philb
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30 Oct 2014
09:34:43am

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The stamps on this envelope i received yesterday are clearly cancelled..postmarked..so why would an ambitious postal clerk mutilate the stamps? Is it possible someone resents stampcollectors ???Image Not Found

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Noernberg
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30 Oct 2014
01:24:45pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

But clearly an affinity for Abe!

Grrr... don't you just hate when this happens!? At Wits End

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philb
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30 Oct 2014
02:04:09pm

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re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I mail 1 or 2 6x9 manila envelopes to Canada or Europe each week..under an ounce i am normally charged $1.15..last week i was charged 2.29 each for 2 similar envelopes..the clerk insisted that anything larger than a #10 envelope going overseas is considered FCMI large envelope. I went back to the postmaster to complain and he said he did not know what to do in this situation..he took my phone number...i will never hear from them. from now on i will "gluestick" them to death !!!

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michael78651
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30 Oct 2014
06:09:51pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

USPS Rate Notice 123, pages 65 and 66 provide the dimensions for international mail.

For first class international letters, the maximum size is 6 1/8" x 11 1/2" with no more than 1/4" thickness, and not heavier than 3.5 ounces. If any one of the three sizes or weight is exceeded, then the item goes as a larger envelope (unless it's too big or heavy for a large envelope, where it then goes as a parcel).

The $2.29 rate is valid for first class international letter weighing at least 2 ounces, but less than 3 ounces sent to Mexico. It is also valid for first class international large envelope weighing less than 2 ounces sent anywhere in the world

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philb
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30 Oct 2014
07:27:29pm

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re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Thanks, i will quote that to the folks at the post office !!!

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michael78651
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30 Oct 2014
08:58:23pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I hate it when I have to tell postal clerks how to do their jobs. I have told many that they were wrong. They didn't like it, but the Notice 123 is their pricing form.

Here is a link to the notice:

http://pe.usps.com/text/dmm300/Notice123.htm

It is current through October 6, 2014.

I print out the pages from it that I need and put them in a binder. If I encounter a problem from a clerk, I retrieve the book and show them. I usually don't get any arguments after that.

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larsdog
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APS #220693 ATA#57179
31 Oct 2014
01:25:00am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I know we all have complaints about a postal worker not knowing the regs, but allow me to relate a story I told on StampWants several years ago.

I went to the counter with an envelope, with stiffener, that weighed less than 2 ounces, so I had the one ounce rate, plus the extra ounce, plus the non-machinable surcharge franked on cover. The clerk said it had to go Parcel Post and I said it didn't. After a few moments I said, "Fine. I have to get back to work so just tell me what I owe you." It was small change so I paid it and moved on. The very next day (I go to the PO daily for my business) that same clerk stopped me and apologized. He said he looked it up and I was right. I thanked him for his diligence and I was always glad to see him at the window from then on.

Sometimes we hit the clerks with stuff that is unique to them and their initial reaction will likely be negative out of instinct. That's understandable. Not every postal worker knows every single reg, not every police officer knows every single law, and not every politician knows ... well, I'm not sure what, if anything, most of the politicians from my state know, except that a woman can't get pregnant if it's "legitimate" rape. (i.e. If she got pregnant she was "asking for it" or she just didn't resist with enough effort).

In light of ignorance and stupidity like that, I'd say USPS is doing a fairly good job!

Lars

expletive deleted

Sorry, Moderator. I don't recall using an expletive, but if I did I apologize!

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TuskenRaider
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31 Oct 2014
07:37:33am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Hi Everyone;

I think that clerk has every right to be unhappy and have an attitude. According to the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean (average) hourly wage for a postal clerk is $22.87/Hr.

What a pity that someone has to work for such low wages, considering the difficulty of standing or sitting at a post office window and placing stamps on letters and making change.

We should all take up a collection to buy him a big jug of Vodka, for him to drink, to kill that big bug up his b***. Rolling On The Floor Laughing

I will offer him a position as barkeep at the Mos Eisley Cantina
TuskenRaider

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sheepshanks
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31 Oct 2014
11:03:35am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Maybe I should get a job as a postal clerk then as my wage is $18.38 an hour here in Manitoba. I work as a treater in a timber plant and winter sees me working outside in the fresh air at minus 40. We also have to provide our own winter clothing!
Trouble with the postal service is that they have made things too complicated. Much simpler when everything was by weight.
vic

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philb
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31 Oct 2014
12:21:02pm

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re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

i agree with all of you..we have 4 counter clerks at our little post office..two ladies and two men...the women are ALWAYS great...the guys...well..i am not the quickest thinker in the world..i could have grabbed my two parcels back and came back to another clerk and saved a big $2.28...instead i paid and stewed about it !I Don't Want To See

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malcolm197
08 Nov 2014
06:22:57pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

One of the problems with the "suits" who run all big organisations, is that they are all university-educated boffins who issue instructions which can only be understood by university-educated boffins to people who are paid so little that anyone with half an ounce of education can get a better job!

OK its an oversimplification - many people in low paid menial jobs are better educated than their superior's deserve ( I was one until I retired! ), but instructions should be simple enough, few enough, and clear enough to be understood by all employees who meet the minimum educational requirements for the job. It is the employer's responsibility not the employees to ensure that they know the job.It is not always the employees fault - sanctions should not be used on the grounds of inability- only on the grounds of attitude. I speak as someone who has been a manager, a supervisor and the man at the bottom of the heap. Bad employees are usually the result of bad man-management,and lack of adequate training

Malcolm



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TuskenRaider
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24 Nov 2014
07:51:40pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Hi Everyone;

@ Anglophile;

I guess your sarcasm detector was switched off that day eh?

TuskenRaider

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philatelia
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APS #156650
30 Nov 2014
03:01:03am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I hesitate to defend a surly clerk, but after witnessing some of the abuse they get from rude customers, I can see where they might not always be cheery rays of sunshine. And - maybe they really - I mean REALLY need a break (if you get my drift) and a special request that takes a lot of extra time is, uh, literally painful?

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne
30 Nov 2014
12:11:11pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

One women who worked in a postal outlet that I went to was always nasty. Even if you just said hello to her, she would look at you with a snarl on her face like she wanted to bite your head off.

The one day I was sending a larger parcel and it needed 2 of the $5.00 stamps. I said it was going to a stamp collector and asked if she could put the stamps on in a certain spot so that they would stand a better chance of getting though the postal system with less chance of being damaged.
She really didn't pay any attention to me. She grabbed the stamps and ripped the one down the side. Before she put it on, I said I'd like another stamp that wasn't damaged, and again said they were going to a stamp collector.
She glared at me and replied, " They will be a lot worse then this when they get there so what difference does it make? " as she stuck the stamp to my package.
I stayed calm and said that I had just told her they were going to a stamp collector, but I said just mail the package and forget about it. I wasn't nasty about it, just sort of sighed and resigned to the fact that's how it would have to be.

As I walked away, I could hear her talking to one of the other clerks, " Don't pay any attention to her. She comes in here all the time and always acts like a witch (not her exact word )." So because the outlet is in a drug store, the pharmcist, is boss. I went to him and told him what she had done to the stamp, and I had heard her say. Then I left.

A few days later I went back. And surprise, she no longer worked there. Now it's a pleasure to go to that outlet. The employees were always "ok" when "she" was there, but I think some of her nastiness wore them down, because now that she is gone, they are a lot friendlier, and seem a lot happier with their work too.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
30 Nov 2014
12:34:42pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

WOW you handled that so well! I'm not sure if I could have contained my Irish temper. Good for you for speaking up and going to her boss.

On the other side of the coin, when a clerk does an exemplary job, tell their boss. I remember writing a letter to the postmistress at the main PO in Flint - a large city and a large PO facility, too. The clerk sent the nicest thank you - via her boss who didn't give her my name or address. She said that it is a rare thing and really encouraged all the other clerks she worked with that their efforts were appreciated. Maybe if we all take the time once in a while to write the postmaster when someone does a good job there might be ripples sent through to everyone else there, too.


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michael78651
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30 Nov 2014
04:57:13pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

If you are in retail sales, there is no place or excuse for bad customer service.

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malcolm197
01 Dec 2014
10:32:55am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Nor is there any excuse for the Customer to be abusive !! Dignity and politeness is two-way traffic! Those who complain about employees attitude should also examine their own attitude.I was always told that it takes two to start a quarrel!! Also some people (on both sides of the counter) take a disagreement or refusal as a personal affront ! Not so (usually !). Of course some people are deliberately rude for no reason, and they should be stamped on - but it should also be noted that some people are control freaks or on a power trip, and delight in provoking a situation, so that they have an excuse to complain. One of the qualities of a good manager is to know his staff well enough to realise when a complaint is justified, and when it is just mischief.

In my experience complaints made in a reasonable manner usually get a better response than those who thump the table - and quite right too. Most people,when spoken to properly have a natural instinct to be helpful - and those who do not have no place in a service industry. The time to thump the table is only when the other kind does not get the right response. We should all,employees, employers AND customers behave in a civilized manner towards each other. If you wish to complain, the time to do it is not in the heat of temper, but in the cool of day. When you initiate a complaint you should always note times, dates and names of people you speak to, and don't lose your cool. You must always keep the moral high ground

Fortunately here in the UK, the message is getting through - employers do try to protect their employees from customers abusive behaviour, while at the same time clamping down on employees shortcomings. It is not unknown for employees to be physically assaulted by customers.

Malcolm

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michael78651
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01 Dec 2014
09:43:36pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I agree with that as well. When I was managing the convenience store, I kicked a few customers out of the store. They were being rude to my employees and/or other customers. Several were drunk/high at the time.

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rvangorder
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APS life member of 25+ years
02 Dec 2014
01:54:30pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Postal employees are not taught customer service skills. Postal employees who do not have access to the customers have no concept of their job as it relates to customer satisfaction. So mutilating stamps should not surprise any of us in the collecting community. Also, Canadian postal employees are even worse.

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smaier
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Sally
02 Dec 2014
09:48:24pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I don't agree that Canadian postal employees are worse than those in the US. I think it really depends on the individual. Several years ago, my husband was in New Brunswick, Canada and took the time to visit the tiny post office in the area. The clerk was friendly, helpful, and took time with him. He is a non-collector but left with several stamps as a surprise for me....the clerk dug around and found some past issues as well as current ones in themes my husband thought I might like (horses, birds, etc). I was amazed - he had a great experience and came away with a very positive impression of Canada Post.

Sally

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doodles69ca
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Suzanne
03 Dec 2014
10:54:28pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Quote:

"Also, Canadian postal employees are even worse."




Just wondering have you been to EVERY SINGLE post office and talked to every single postal employee in Canada and United States to compare them, so that you can make this comment?
Not trying to argue the point, just wondering how you came up with that information.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
04 Dec 2014
12:06:13am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I get the occasional mutilated envelope, but I do not believe that such justifies "postal employee" bashing. I have encountered very few rude or antagonistic postal employees, on the contrary, the vast majority have gone out of their way to be polite and help me in any way they could. I do not know anything about the Canadian postal service, but it is my belief that the USPS does an outstanding job moving the mail.

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yakimaboy
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04 Dec 2014
01:18:01am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

On my one and only visit to a Canadian PO, in Victoria BC, the clerk was friendly and very helpful. When I only bought about $40 worth of stamps she seemed almost disappointed that I did not stay and ask for more, and there was line behind us.

I will say that my expectation of a Canadian PO, was somewhat naive. I thought there would be a stately building with "Oh Canada" playing faintly in the background, but it was just a little hole in the wall place. Was there ever such a stately place?

regards, Theron.

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BobbyBarnhart
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They who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety. -Benjamin Franklin
04 Dec 2014
01:24:39am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Quote:

"Was there ever such a stately place?"


I remember well the main post office in Austin, where I was raised. It was just such a stately place! But, alas, as Austin grew, and downtown property values made maintaining the building unmanageable, the building was abandoned for a more modern facility in a less expensive neighborhood.

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philatelia
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APS #156650
04 Dec 2014
11:12:16am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I have similar memories of the main post office in Kalamazoo, where I grew up. My mom would stop by and purchase a plate block of every new issue for me when I was a little kid. It also had other federal offices - I think the style was Greek revival with all the columns and decorations.

They just finished a new federal building in Fort Pierce, a town near us. Actually looks nice - but the front is full of massive concrete "decorations" that are mainly barricades.

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Suzanne
04 Dec 2014
11:49:25am
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Hamilton used to have a beautiful post office. The building is still there, but I'm not sure what they use it for now.

The post office was 4 or 5 stories tall. It even had the pneumatic mail. I used to think that was so great watching the containers zip up the tubes. Even as an adult it was interesting to watch.

The building hasn't been used as a post office for the last 20 years or so. It's so sad.

Now most of the post offices are small boring buildings, with a red and white Canada Post sign in front or on the door.

And almost every mall has a Canada Post outlet either in a drug store, or variety store.

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roy
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04 Dec 2014
11:45:43pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Our local Post Office in Verona, Ontario, where the staff are great.

Image Not Found

In an earlier thread, Bobstamp mentioned that we apparently had permission to hand cancel all our outgoing mail. Not so. We just have great people in the Post Office, who voluntarily hand cancel all our mail (sometimes 50 packages a day!)

Roy

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Tom in Exton, PA
22 Feb 2015
12:44:15pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

Back around 2000 I had a thriving eBay business and every Saturday, I'd mail 50-100 pieces, 9x12 photo mailers, containing the antique car brochures I sold. I'd go right when they opened, way before the crowds showed up. I originally went to the post office in the town I lived in. Older building, hard to get in and out of the lot and even no outdoor mail boxes for after hours! The clerks there had attitudes. One even told me that I had too many pieces and they didn't have to accept them. Imagine that, the post office refusing mail!

So I discovered that the post office in the next town was actually closer to my home. It was a newer building with a great parking lot. The clerks there couldn't have been nicer. They addressed me by name and were happy to help me. One was interested in eBay so I actually invited him to my house and showed him how to sell. A much better experience, and so inconsistent for two offices a mile apart!

I now live in PA and the local office always has a long line. There are four clerk stations, but usually only one or two open. The clerks do their jobs but aren't really cordial. I do notice that they prefer to print out a postage label rather than deal with stamps. I do a large postcard mailing once a year and wind up with half a roll, to a roll of the 34 cent stamps. I was mailing out t-shirts in bubble mailers, and knew they'd be over $4 each to mail. So to get rid of the 34s, I put 10 of them on each envelope. I asked the clerk to weigh them and add the extra postage. That was met with a hostile look. He asked, "Just how much postage is on them now?" Like he couldn't be bothered counting. I responded that there were ten stamps on each. He got loud, "And how much postage is that?" like he didn't know that ten times 34= $3.40.

He weighed one and told me it was $4.11 and wanted me to tell him how much extra postage to add. So I got out my phone, and used the calculator. The rest of the transaction (5 envelopes) went like that, along with comments that I shouldn't be using stamps on mail, the meter was easier for him, and that I shouldn't be at a clerk I should be using the self service machine in the lobby. My final thought was that if he directed everyone to the self service area, there would be no reason for him to be there at all!

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michael78651
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22 Feb 2015
01:17:22pm
re: Postal clerk anti stamp collector ?

I always write on the envelope/package the total dollar amount of postage that I affixed to it. The clerks really appreciate that, especially when I use alot of low face value stamps.

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