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Conduct Unbecoming

August 15, 2009

Insufficient postageI had a tantrum this week over something so minor I am ashamed to admit it publicly. I mailed a CD of reunion trip pictures to Joan last Saturday. Tuesday it was returned due to insufficient postage. What? I’d weighed it and put what I thought was extra postage on because we didn’t have any second ounce stamps. But no, the label demanded 20 more cents because it was a “large envelope”. It never occurred to me that 7 inches by 9 inches was considered large for an envelope. For a cellphone or an ipod , yes, that would be large, but for an envelope, no. We sure didn’t have any 20 cent stamps, so I found an old 41 cent-er . It was not sticky enough to attach well on its own, so I tried gluing it, but even that seemed not too secure, so I taped it on with clear tape. (Those of you who know USPS regs are no doubt chuckling to yourselves right now, but I was woefully ignorant at that point.) I put the oh so large envelope back in the mail on Wednesday. Thursday it was back at our house with two demerit stickers on it—a new 20 cents insufficient postage notice and a stern warning about stamps being void when coated, covered, taped, defaced, or reused (mutilating, bending, folding, and spindling were implied, I think). Now, at the time I saw this I was tired and hungry and stressed, but none of that is a good excuse for what happened next. I lost my shit. (Not literally.) I yelled. I cursed. I threw the envelope across the room. I fumed. I told Mr. Karen he needed to deal with it because I was just done. I ranted. He retrieved the envelope from where I’d thrown it and put it out of sight. I ranted some more. I demanded the infuriating object back. I stomped upstairs and ripped the envelope to shreds (destroying all three stamps in the process—oh I mutilated them all right). I chose I new, non-large envelope, put the contents inside, and addressed it, but did not even attempt to apply postage. I went back downstairs and apologized to Mr. Karen, giving him the stampless envelope. He took it to the post office yesterday, where they asked him approximately 4 thousand questions (is it hazardous? fragile? did he want insurance? delivery confirmation? overnight service? etc.) before charging him $1.36 to mail it first class. What? They only wanted $1.05 when it was in a large envelope. I give up. Next time I’m zipping the files up and e-mailing them. I’m sure Joan can learn to use WinZip or something similar.

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