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

NSS News, other caving publications, and books.

Moderator: Moderators

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

Postby Teresa » Dec 21, 2008 11:58 pm

Ernie--
I'm responsible for the subscriptions for a monthly outdoors newspaper, so what I've said isn't dated at all-- I'm one of the people who has, so far, successfully dealt with the P.O. because I know you have to work the system. I've taught my boss a thing or two, and he gets better results from the USPS, too. I actually did a research paper on the old POD vs the USPS, and found out how the system works-- I've got all that stuff in my head. I've talked with people currently working for them, (I'm at the PO counter 2 to 3 times a week now as a business customer) as well as listening to my dad, a letter carrier, now deceased, gripe for years and years. It helps that I know the questions to ask. Nearly everything I learned back then has stood me in good stead as I wrangle with my USPS issues now in 2008. Not much has changed, except for the transfer from 1st class to 3rd class in bulk-- It was always 2nd and 3rd class which paid the bills, as it is now. A lot of stuff they've transferred to their website actually works better than in the bad old days. I've never known USPS workers to have more than 4 weeks of vacation (after 20 years) which isn't out of line with private industry office workers (at least the one I was before they got rid of the entire company I used to work for.) Maybe the unions have gotten more time off,but I also know the general public doesn't see the 10 and 12 hour days they sometimes put in for weeks at a stretch.
The whole point is: an occasionally trashed piece of mail is par for the course. If it is a constant thing, or on a constant piece of mail,the best thing to do it is take that piece of mail, march to your local PO, and ask to see the postmaster or supervisor of delivery. Be reasonable, but firm,and you might be amazed at what progress can be made when you treat them like people, and not like functionaries.
happy holidays yourself!
Teresa
Teresa
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec 31, 2005 9:06 pm
  

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

Postby NZcaver » Dec 22, 2008 1:05 pm

xcathodex wrote: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.

Yikes! :yikes:

A couple of semi-random thoughts:

As some of you know, I move around a lot. I would guess that minor damage (small tears and creases etc) affect 2-3 issues of my NSS News each year on average. I think I've only received a total of one or two badly mangled issues over the years. Ernie, for what it's worth I just dug out my issues from the latter part of 2005 and they are all in perfect condition. I mention this because I was living in southern Oregon when I received them.

Assuming your issues from 2005 are undamaged, and taking into account comments from Phil and others about the USPS automated mail processing, I'll make a wild-@ss guess. I suspect USPS has recently installed (or replaced, or adjusted) sorting machinery somewhere local to you. This apparatus may be set up in such a way that it doesn't "like" the NSS News cover material, and so it chews it up and spits it out. Maybe it's something about the exact paper thickness and texture of the cover?

Have you tried contacting other NSS members in your area to see if their issues regularly suffer from a similar fate?

This topic has morphed into some interesting insights about the USPS from Teresa and others. I admit I use the Post Office a lot for sending and receiving packages (and regular mail), and I often use the on-line Click'n'Ship service. Any minor delivery problems I may have had over the years are insignificant compared with that incompetant cluster that calls itself UPS. I could say a lot more about that, but I won't. At least not all private carriers seem to have been cursed with the same stick, so I guess there is hope.

I have found USPS employees to be both the best and worst the Postal Service has to offer. I have met some fantastic employees who have really gone out of their way to be helpful to customers. However, I've also experienced some problem people. Here's a recent example.

Earlier this year I had to patiently educate my local post office counter people when they (all of them) were insistent that my properly-sealed Priority Flat Rate Envelope was "too bulky" and that I'm not allowed to tape over the flap after sealing it. Their assertions (backed up by their supervisor) contradicted postal regulations, and they were basically making up their own rules and demanding customers comply. And this wasn't the first time I've encountered USPS employees who do things like this. In my experience these people are the rare exception rather than the rule, but it does happen.

So I made phone calls to the Postal Service 800 number, and to the people at the local area sorting center. Each time I went back to my local post office to mail this type of item, I carried a printed reference from the Domestic Mail Manual (DMM 300 - 123.1.4) to politely present to the counter person if they took issue with the item. It was an odd thing to do, but it worked. Months later a friendly postmaster in another town told me an official memo had recently been circulated to clarify this exact issue. So long story short, sometimes persistence and a little research does pay off.

Incidentally, sometimes my NSS News issues never arrive. Usually when I've just moved. I'm very diligent about doing the change of address process (with the post office and the NSS), but it seems the post office seldom forwards the News to me. Perhaps it's too difficult for the machines or for the employees to figure out. At least I got my December issue, on time and unharmed. I wouldn't exactly call it a "great Christmas present" (no offence, Ralph) but it has some nice articles and photos.
User avatar
NZcaver
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Sep 7, 2005 2:05 am
Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Name: Jansen
NSS #: 50665RL
  

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

Postby Mike Warshauer » Jan 17, 2009 8:23 am

jaa45993 wrote:Why don't we have an electronic delivery option? Seems we could save thousands of $'s that way.

Dave, care to weigh in?


I second the motion! :clap: No torn covers or waterlogged pages! No postage! Worldwide distribution at a fraction of the cost. Save some trees! :banana_yay:

Sincerely,
Mike
Cada loco con su tema
Mike Warshauer
Occasional Poster
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Oct 2, 2007 3:12 pm
Location: Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, México
Name: Michael Warshauer
NSS #: 4428 F, LB
  

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

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » Jan 17, 2009 10:26 am

Well, in a very, very quiet way :shhh: we (the EC) are working on a project to test this as an option for the international folks. Guess this isn't so quiet now, is it?

Postage for international members, as you can guess, is incredibly high. Don't be too surprised if we offer an electronic option for them by year's end, and possibly for our domestic members. :kaver:

We currently spend ~$60 per member per year. This includes all publications, postage, printing, office staff, building costs, etc. Luckily we have an excellent (volunteer) investment team and other donations that allow us to make up the difference, which we draw against. That said, approximately 36% of of the $60 is solely for publication costs, or $21.60. International folks cost us more, but they pay the difference in the postal rate. Thus, it is logical to start with them and see if we can make a secure PDF method of delivery for them. Why worry about a "secure" method? Well, we want to make sure that those who are supporting the NSS are getting what they pay for, among other reasons. Of course, even (if/when?) we get the kinks ironed out, paper copies will still be available to those who would prefer them.

We welcome your input on this. Please contact me directly if you have suggestions, comments, concerns, etc. about this (test) project. Feel free to post here, of course, and I'll make sure that the EC takes everything into consideration. The NSS EC is here to serve you!
Stay tuned as we continue to make the NSS greener and still deliver the high quality that our membership has enjoyed over the decades... :calvin:
Cave Softly and Carry a Long Rope - TAG!

Wm Shrewsbury
:bat sticker:
Wm Shrewsbury
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Feb 11, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: Harrison, TN
Name: Wm Shrewsbury
NSS #: 22677RL, FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Chattanooga Grotto
  

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

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 20, 2009 5:32 pm

A "secure" PDF format for current issues is great. But it should be easy enough to offer "aged" issues say from last year in plain old vanilla PDF?
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

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

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » Jan 20, 2009 7:41 pm

Actually, thanks to Cheryl Jones for initiating the project, and Lee Stevens and others for donating their collections, we have already started scanning the NSS News from issue 1 up until 5 years ago. We chose this "5 years old" based on input from other magazine publishers who have similar periodicals. It will take a while, but the University of South Florida is busy making PDFs right now. Once we get a few years up we'll post them on the NSS website with a member login (just like the business pages) and keep on scanning.

Thanks for the input - I hope we were quick enough to respond to this request :cavechat:
Cave Softly and Carry a Long Rope - TAG!

Wm Shrewsbury
:bat sticker:
Wm Shrewsbury
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Feb 11, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: Harrison, TN
Name: Wm Shrewsbury
NSS #: 22677RL, FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Chattanooga Grotto
  

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

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 20, 2009 7:57 pm

hmm o.k. but why not make them available without a login? 5 yrs old shouldn't detract from people buying real subscriptions and if they were easily accessible by the public might not some (or a lot) of non NSS members decide to join up?
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

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

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jan 20, 2009 8:03 pm

Geeeezzzzz, guys and gals, maybe I can just forget about getting my NSS NEWS in the mail and just read what's on line, huh? I might go bleary-eyed after awhile, but...at least I wouldn't be complaining about the condition that my magazines arrive--STILL! Yep, the January issue arrived with the little tear on the back page, just like the December issue...and many others before, as I've complained about. :yikes: Today, my Climbing magazine--about the same size and thickness--arrived in A-1 shape, so...go figure. My wife's magazines arrived and those that are about the same size, arrived in A-1 shape, also! The others, like Sunset magazine--much thicker--arrived in A-1 shape, so...I believe it's the P.O site where my NSS NEWS are being mailed out of. The P.O. offices around here swear that it's not their machinery. :doh:
Ernie Coffman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Sep 10, 2005 12:07 am
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
  

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

Postby Wm Shrewsbury » Jan 20, 2009 8:30 pm

Ernie - Are you sure it's not you doing the tearing and crunching? I can just see you grabbing it out of the mailbox, running with glee :banana_yay: into the house to read it while clutching it with your iron fingers so that no one else gets it! :big grin: Just kidding (I think)...

And the reason for the login... Well, we're gathering feedback about that also. Once it's online I'll ask for some serious feedback. :cavechat:
Cave Softly and Carry a Long Rope - TAG!

Wm Shrewsbury
:bat sticker:
Wm Shrewsbury
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 259
Joined: Feb 11, 2006 10:25 pm
Location: Harrison, TN
Name: Wm Shrewsbury
NSS #: 22677RL, FE
Primary Grotto Affiliation: Chattanooga Grotto
  

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

Postby Ernie Coffman » Jan 20, 2009 8:36 pm

:clap: Really cool, William, really :kewl: You think my fingers are iron fingers and so excited about Dave's mag, that I rip and pull the pages out of the mail box, huh? Oh, you kid! :rofl: Wait 'til Texas, and when I see you, you'll know its me, 'cuz I'll call you "Bill," or anything but "William." :laughing:
Ernie Coffman
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 1145
Joined: Sep 10, 2005 12:07 am
Location: Grants Pass, Oregon
  

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

Postby wyandottecaver » Jan 20, 2009 8:39 pm

At least his daddy didn't name him Sue :)
I'm not scared of the dark, it's the things IN the dark that make me nervous. :)
User avatar
wyandottecaver
NSS Hall Of Fame Poster
 
Posts: 2902
Joined: Aug 24, 2007 8:44 pm
Location: Indiana
  

Previous

Return to Publications

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users