Thursday, October 06, 2005

The US Postal Idiots

I went balistic in my local post office yesterday after having succumbed to a mail search while trying to send a manuscript to a NY agent by media mail, formerally known as "book rate." Not anymore. They've always been the most dense PO crew I've ever encountered. It's classic LA, every clerk and ticket seller in town leaps at the chance to berate the public and stop them from getting anything past them. It's about peon importance. Yeah well, better interpret the rules correctly if you're going to play that game.

My submission was rejected because, get this, self-addressed stamped envelopes aren't allowed! I read the code and it certainly is under additional related material. This stuff is SOP for writers. The agents demand it be sent this way loose with the SASE or they won't reply. Both blockers were minority women oblivious to logic. They aren't doing their gender and ethnicity any favors by behaving this badly in a public job. I filed a complaint against the office.

Update: Several go-a-rounds with USPS reps. Each one cites a different incorrect interpretation of the code. Manuscripts are allowed yet none are bound by definition. Same with the related material: allowed as long as the separate postage is paid. With a self-addressed stamed envelope it is. Morons.

5 Comments:

Blogger Peter L. Winkler said...

Simple solution: quit enclosing SASEs. I stopped doing this years ago. Don't always have to play by agents' rules. The people who wanted to read my proposal called me. Even without SASEs I got blow-off form rejections by paper mail or e-mail.

7:07 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

They ruled that loose manucript pages aren't media. My goal is to never send any if I can e-mail it. It has to be bound to qualify.

7:09 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

Several go-a-rounds with USPS reps. Each one cites a different incorrect interpretation of the code. Manuscripts are allowed yet none are bound by definition. Same with the related material: allowed as long as the separate postage is paid. With a self-addressed stamed envelope it is. Morons.

11:41 AM  
Blogger Michael Turner said...

It's fun here in Japan, too. For years, I was sending money back to my bank in the states using Japan Postal Money Orders, much cheaper than a wire transfer. In the "purpose" box, I wrote, "Bill payment," since that pretty much was the reason.

A few months ago, I was told that this reason was insufficient, more detail was required. "Like what?" I asked. They mumbled. I asked if it was the law. They said yes. I asked if I could see the law. They took 20 minutes to copy four pages from a manual that didn't cite any law. And they apparently had to get on the phone to somebody to ASK PERMISSION to show me what their manual said. I asked what the purpose was of the requested detail. Tracing terrorist money transfers. And when did this "law" go into effect. Shortly after 9/11, it turns out. So who had been breaking the law, I asked, all these years since 9/11? Me, for putting insufficient information on the form? Or the Japan Post Office, for sending the money order without the required information? By this time, the clerk behind the counter was sniffling, on the verge of tears.

The really stupid part is that, if I were a terrorist, transferring cash for nefarious purposes, I'd just smile sweetly and LIE on the form. But because I'm legit, I feel like it's an intrusion on my privacy. And because I have a BRAIN, I feel that, in complying (finally, after being informed) with this stupid "law", all I'm doing is contributing to somebody's false sense of security. After all, the rule has no enforcement power. If they want to trace my finances, well -- I put my account number on every money order, to facilitate deposit. There's their paper trail, if they need one.

Grr.

8:15 PM  
Blogger Mark said...

They finally gave up after citing several passages incorrectly. Thanks for stoppong by Michael.

8:19 PM  

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