Hand Stamping at the Post Office
The invitations for my my son's wedding were mailed yesterday. I had taken them a few weeks ago to the post office on my way to work (not my local branch), for the weight. This particular branch didn't have enough 60 cent stamps for all of them so I bought them at a larger office.
The woman who worked the counter where I had them weighed was a woman I have known casually for over 25 years though the kids' Little League and Boy Scouts. She told me the local office wouldn't hand stamp, but her office would and I should bring them back to her office (not her, particularly). Now I wish she had said, "I'll do you a favor, but keep it between us because I'm really not supposed to."
Yesterday, with a canvas tote full of stamped invitations with a sealing wax imprint of a dragonfly on the back, FDIL and I went to her post office. She wasn't there but the two women that were, told us NO post offices are allowed to hand-stamp anything. I said a woman I know said they could. Then the more knowlegable one (the supervisor, I assume), slid one of the invitations through a slot template of some kind (where the sealing wax got caught) and told me they wouldn't be able to put them through the machine and that I shouldn't have been told they could do that.
She also said I had too much postage on each one, I only needed 49 cents worth, but they don't sell 49 cent stamps and the only way to get that amount in postage is put a bunch of different stamps on or have them metered. Because of the machine problem and that the woman I know said they would hand-stamp, she would now have to "pay someone to hand-stamp ALL these invitations." There were 66 envelopes. I offered to stamp them myself. In the time it took for me to be told why this was such a huge policy, time and expense problem for the post office, they all could have been stamped and processed.
So my questions were: why doesn't the PO tell us that sealing wax is a problem on envelopes? What was the problem with giving them TOO MUCH postage? Would 11 cents on each envelope cover someone's 2 seconds of time with the hand stamp?
Sorry for the ramble, it just took a long time to get it straightened out and I left there more than a little confused. I really am not sure what the advantage of hand-stamping is anyway.
But, hey, they're in the mail and that's one more thing off the list.