December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 8, 2008 12:24 pm

Gotten my news (in good shape) today. Wow it's a really good one. Lots of convention photos and info.. including the rope climbing contest results which were a plus.
Enjoyed Vern Bowden (an old caving friend of mine) story on the Sheep Rescue... the smell must've indeed been pretty baaaaaad :roll: :laughing:

Great issue, great job Dave!
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 13, 2008 1:25 pm

I thought it was a great issue, also, Ralph, but...back to the condition of its arrival perturbs me. Again, it looks like it went through the milling machine with one large tear and a little ruffled feathers on the cover. Guess we've got a screwy machine handling it at the PO, for I know it doesn't happen when it's sent out. :down: I've complained at the PO and they say it happens before their center gets it, so...what am I to do? :shrug:
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 14, 2008 12:54 am

Good gosh, gee whiz! First it was a bunch of my NSS NEWS magazines arriving with tears; and, now today, look at my Journal of Cave/Karst Studies and tell me I've got a problem. I've gone to the P.O. with my NEWS and they just say it must be in one of the machines that they're going through. This, though, looks like it was dunked in a bucket of water or used as a stopper in a bath tub. :yikes:


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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 14, 2008 11:19 am

Ernie Coffman wrote:Good gosh, gee whiz! First it was a bunch of my NSS NEWS magazines arriving with tears; and, now today, look at my Journal of Cave/Karst Studies and tell me I've got a problem. I've gone to the P.O. with my NEWS and they just say it must be in one of the machines that they're going through. This, though, looks like it was dunked in a bucket of water or used as a stopper in a bath tub. :yikes:


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Wow that's terrible.
Agreed that something that needs to be addressed. Mine have been arriving in very good to good condition. But again, yours is not a singular problem... others have experienced less than satisfactory results with their deliveries.
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 14, 2008 5:20 pm

Folks,

It is a PO problem and it is likely to get worse. You may be able to elevate the level of the complaint above your local PO.

The USPO is experiencing declining revenue due to declining pieces being mailed. Largely due to the internet. The same as newspapers in a way.

Services are suffering because of this. PO workers aren't happy either when new machines are installed to automate manual tasks. The new machines are nowhere as good as the manual handling, but they are way cheaper.

Sigh......
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 14, 2008 11:18 pm

Oh, boy, Phil! You hit on a sore subject! :boxing:
The USPO is experiencing declining revenue due to declining pieces being mailed. Largely due to the internet. The same as newspapers in a way.

Services are suffering because of this. PO workers aren't happy either when new machines are installed to automate manual tasks. The new machines are nowhere as good as the manual handling, but they are way cheaper.


You indicated that "the USPO is experiencing declining revenue due to declining pieces being mailed." Have you been to a PO lately and had to stand in line for service? It might be the internet, as you wrote, but...then why do I get so much mail--mostly trash to throw away? The postage has increased and increased...and increased! And, the service is less and less, so...as some folks have indicated in other sites, maybe it's time for the government to get out of the postal service and let a private company take it over. Our mail person is a top man and understands what I'm feeling, but you should see the time this guy gets off for vacation and holidays. I've been told that it's one of the best organizations to work for, just for that happening.

You're probably correct that the "new machines are installed to automate manual tasks," which are probably my and others' problems with the NSS NEWS and now with my Journal, BUT this doesn't happen to any other magazine we receive, so...what's happening here? :shrug: Did I write that clearly enough? NONE of my other magazines and we subscribe to a whole s--t-full of them! Thus, I'm beginning to think that the "new machines" at the site where the NSS rags are going out of are our problems.

Phil, you wrote, also
You may be able to elevate the level of the complaint above your local PO,
so where would you suggest? I'll go there right after the first of the year...or right after Christmas if that will speed things up for all of us who have gotten a taste of torn NSS materials.

And, Phil, I'm not coming down on you, for I know how much you have given of your time to seeing that the NSS is functioning better than it has...over the years...and really appreciate it. Now...get back to the computer business and find out why the hiccup in the Membership Roster this month, that Stephanie sent out. :laughing:
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Phil Winkler » Dec 15, 2008 8:56 am

Ernie,

There are regional postal inspectors who handle complaints, too. My News and Journal always arrive in perfect shape so it can't be our printer's problem. That kind of logic works both ways, of course.

What hiccup in the Membership Roster? I have no idea what you are referring to, but I'm sure there is a reason for ewhat happened. :big grin:
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Dec 15, 2008 10:22 am

Wondering at the possible solutions here:
Find out with the publisher/printer of the News if any of the issues are getting mangled.
Write to the USPS and ask them to look into the problem.
That members who are receiving mangled publications in the mail can get replacements sent to them if they send their mangled news back.

Best to look for solutions than whose to blame for the problem eh?
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Jeff Bartlett » Dec 15, 2008 2:31 pm

I used to work for an unnamed magazine printer. Some of the magazines we produced were having persistent, major problems with arriving torn, or arriving very late (weeks and weeks after they'd been delivered from our facility to the postal hub).

We were able to arrange a sit-down meeting with the Postmaster at the postal hub in Memphis, the nearest to us. What he told us was that his entire work force was worthless, his employees were having sex with each other on the loading docks during work hours, and it was a miracle anything arrived anywhere at all.

:bananabat:

My wife has a friend who is a long-time postal worker, and you wouldn't believe some of the true stories she has shared with us.

The post office is an absolute disaster. Period. The problem with the NSS News arriving torn is not only completely beyond the grasp of the publisher (in this case, us), it is completely beyond the grasp of the printer (or whoever does our mail distribution, AKA labels the magazines and delivers them to the postal hub), it is completely beyond the grasp of the postal hub, and it's completely beyond the grasp of your local post office. The whole system is a chinese fire drill and I consider myself lucky when I receive anything in a reasonable time frame in reasonable condition.

It's not resolvable, and therefore not worth complaining about. The NSS could pay a fortune to have the issues polybagged (like how National Geographic and other magazines arrive in the mail, sealed in plastic), but this would only aggravate the way our organization is forced to hemorrhage money in the name of paper and printing and postage, and it's not a very "green" solution either.

If you're concerned about your copy of the News arriving in pristine condition, I suggest lobbying for an electronic delivery option, which even your local mouth-breathing postal worker can't manage to scuff or rip.
"Although it pains me to say it, in this case Jeff is right. Plan accordingly." --Andy Armstrong
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 15, 2008 2:55 pm

Thanks for that laugh, today, Jeff. Your last paragraph was :rofl: a real kick. I read you loud and clear on the problem and chuckled about what your friends and wife told you about the system. :clap:
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Anonymous_Coward » Dec 18, 2008 1:32 pm

Why don't we have an electronic delivery option? Seems we could save thousands of $'s that way.

Dave, care to weigh in?
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 18, 2008 1:59 pm

It's in the works. We've had that discussion before and Dave is all for it! :kewl:
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby wendy » Dec 18, 2008 2:01 pm

I've only had one issue in the 6 some years that i have been a member that came wrinkeld in the mail, and that was probably back in 2004. Mine come perfect everytime. I guess everyone could just have thier NSS News sent to my house and i can give them to you when i see you. :big grin: which is like once a year, so i guess that won't work.
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Re: December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Teresa » Dec 21, 2008 2:00 pm

You folks just don't seem to get it.

The USPS *is* already a quasi-private company, (Has been since 1970). There is no Post Office department. There is an independent governing board. They are tasked to run it as a business, and do not get federal subsidies (which used to even out things when times got tight.They *do* use a lot of private contractors already. (HC1 means Hired Carrier Rt 1). The major reason it is not entirely private, is, since it is in the constitution as one of the functions of government, it would take a constitutional amendment to totally divorce it from the government. The reason this is highly unlikely, is because a totally private company would almost immediately curtail service to rural areas-- the same parts of the country which still have no Internet,or dialup only, because people don't see it as profitable. Every time someone comes up with a proposal to curtail mail delivery/office service to 5 days a week, there is almost immediately a hue and cry which raises the roof. Merely doing that would cut costs along with service,and improve efficiency. Postage increases have actually lagged general inflation for the last 40 years...if they actually kept up,in 1970 dollars, a 1st class stamp would be about $1.25, not 42 cents.

This concept that the post office has great holidays and days off is B.S. They have the same holidays as all federal offices, and most banks. Carriers are on rotating day off-- Monday this week, Tuesday next, get Friday/Saturday off together, and the next week they work 6 days-- in a 7 week period, they have the same 2 days a week off as a standard 40 hour work week. Both carriers and clerks work mandatory, as well as elective overtime, and they make far less than other blue collar trades. Anyone who thinks clerking or carrying mail is unskilled work ought to try it sometime-- You better have a success rate of 98% consistently, or you're toast, and yes, the accuracy needed requires brains.

As far as the NSS News. Any periodical which is this size is classed as a flat. Phil is correct that flats are worked mechanically at the sectional centers. They are sent to the local P.O. in hampers, sorted by route, where the carrier has to resort the hamper into his or her cases with the 1st,3rd,and other classes of mail. A lot of periodicals(the one I work for,included) got sidetracked in Oct-Nov for all those shiny political ads, which took precedence. (Not fair, but I had to go investigate this; they were considered time-critical, whereas monthly periodicals were only considered timely. ) If an unsecured periodical like the News gets laid on the belt anything but at a 90 degree angle, you will get torn covers, bent pages, etc. I suggest you tour a sectional center if you get the chance-- first class may be decreasing (has been for decades, even before the Internet), other stuff has been increasing greatly. There may be fewer mail pieces per person,but there are more people. You might have gotten a renewal notice from some non-profit 25 years ago-- now they send out 3-4 renewals before they give up. I"m on a no-junk mail list, and I still get a lot of it.

And the pain of all of this is...the USPS can deliver 99.5% of everything on time and in good shape...(and they do) but when that one mangled piece comes though people squeal like stuck pigs. Even at 99.5%, that's still millions of mangled pieces. I know there are irresponsible USPS employees-- but they are greatly outnumbered by people who are serious about their jobs, and who try to the best of their ability "to deliver for you." If you've got an ongoing issue with a carrier or clerk, talk to your local postmaster. If you've got an issue with sectional center, talk with the folks there. If you have issues with periodicals arriving, it is usually because either the address is wrong (I'm amazed how many grownups don't know their correct mailing address,or the piece is not sufficiently coded for mechanical scanning and routing. No, people don't look at many mailing pieces anymore unless they are handwritten.) You can usually work out the problem, if it is better defined. No, I don't work for them. I was threatened (as a small child) with the breaking of every bone in my body if I even considered the idea. But after 44 years of listening on a daily or weekly basis how the system works-- you can get it to work for you. :boxing:
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December's NSS News... what a great Christmas present!

Postby Ernie Coffman » Dec 21, 2008 8:28 pm

Oh, boy! Oh, boy, Teresa...I don't know whether to answer your message now...or wait until after Christmas...or the New Year. :boxing: I'm not going to dwell on it, but:
1) This has been an on-going problem with the NSS NEWS coming to my box.
2) I've gone downtown to the PO and get the run-around, as far as I care. :roll:
3) I haven't marked it down, but...really and truly, my mail carrier--whose a great guy--has more time off than I can think about. In fact, my neighbor, next door, used to work for the PO and she said that PO employees get a great vacation packet, so...don't know why yours would be different than Norm's. :down:
4)
Postage increases have actually lagged general inflation for the last 40 years...if they actually kept up,in 1970 dollars, a 1st class stamp would be about $1.25, not 42 cents.
I had to chuckle at this comment of yours--You're such a young-un, you! :rofl: --for I never thought of going back and checking out the cost of a stamp in 1970, but I do remember sending Christmas cards out for a half-cent (they were light brown colored) if you didn't seal the envelope; and one-cent (green, I believe) if you sealed the envelope. They jumped to three cents for first-class, without going through the two-cent phase...and they've been jumping ever since; and, that was before computers and the Internet. :yikes: And, as for the 42-cent cost, I overheard one of the PO employees down at the office, while I was waiting in line for, yes stamps! That the price was going to be going up, again! :shrug: On top of that, we used to get service twice a day--Not that I need it, but we actually got that back when we had that lesser fee, so...something has happened over the years, that's for sure. :argue:
5) Now, back to the real issue of your message, which I appreciate your burning the midnight oil in gathering all of this PO info :woohoo: but my first thought to CaveChat was about the torn NEWS, so I did some research with others, as well as our great editor, Dave Bunnell. It's out of his hands, so...I won't go any further there. The issue, simply is, that all of my other magazines arrive in A-1 shape, but not the NSS NEWS! Thus, your thought
If an unsecured periodical like the News gets laid on the belt anything but at a 90 degree angle, you will get torn covers, bent pages, etc.
doesn't make me understand the issue any better, even with all of this research information on what happens in the process.
6) Thus, this thought of yours
And the pain of all of this is...the USPS can deliver 99.5% of everything on time and in good shape...(and they do) but when that one mangled piece comes though people squeal like stuck pigs.
doesn't ring my bell at all. I can't believe I'm the only one that's getting these torn NSS NEWS, for I've seen a few others moaning about it, here in CaveChat, but I know that the majority of the members in this organization don't bother to use CaveChat, so we really don't know how much of a problem these torn covers are...or dunked in water and folded back page issues of my Karst rag, as the picture shows...a few messages back. My Climbing magazine arrives in perfect condition and it's very much like our rag, that we're discussing. Sunset arrives in beautiful shape, but of course it comes in a protective cover. My Valley Caver used to arrive in prestine condtion, also, for it arrived in a white envelope and was about the same size or larger than the NEWS. So I'm not squealing like a "stuck pig," really and truly!
7) My periodicals are addressed properly, so no issue there!
8) No issue with my PO carrier for he's great! His subs are something different, though, for "they" can't seem to read the addresses, as you hinted at, but in a reverse mode. :boxing:
9) As I kept looking at the epistle that you were writing, I got the idea that your dad...or mom was in the PO business, so maybe some of that info is a little different today. I've jumped through all the hoops, except for going down to Medford to see what they can advise me on. Our local PO discussions do not appease me, at all. My carrier seems to understand my plight and has made suggestions over the months of all this, too! So...kudos to Norm!
10) Finally, finally...Merry Christmas and a Joyous Happy New Year to you and to anyone else reading this long, but...was planned on being short, epistle of mine. :clap:
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