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Topic: Question about Holidays

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Subject: Question about Holidays
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 2:28 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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I haven't been on this site very long so this is my first real complaint. 

Yesterday was Columbus Day and the post offices were closed preventing me from mailing a book.  The previous day was Sunday, couldn't mail the book then.  Saturday I didn't have time to get the book packaged and I didn't recall the holiday on Monday until I actually got to the post office on Monday and discovered it was closed.  That being said, my transaction was canceled. 

I feel like PBS needs to have some sort of built in calendar so the automatic system doesn't forget the holidays.

But what can I do at this point?  I lost the chance for a transaction because the post office was closed two days in a row.  I don't click the "mailed" button until I actually do it because I feel guilty if it hasn't been mailed. 

Thanks for listening.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 2:31 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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You have 48 hours after you click the "Mailed" button to actually mail the book.

I "mailed" 15 books Sunday. (I bought postage from the APC machine and dropped them in the box, too). Once they are at the PO, no matter what day of the week it is, they are mailed.

PBS just wants senders and receivers to be considerate of each other  .... you are perfectly OK to mark the book mailed in a situation like that so that the orders don't get cancelled.

Sorry you had trouble with this! Next time, just click the botton. It will be OK! :)

Last Edited on: 10/13/09 2:35 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 2:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/1/2009
Posts: 15
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Oh....I could never understand what people meant by "48 hours from".  Okay, you've explained that from me.  I just don't want to get blackballed or anything. 

Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 10/13/2009 2:59 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,150
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PBS really can't take local Post Office schedules into account, because they're all different. My closest P.O. is closed on Wednesdays and on Saturday afternoons, but there's one not too far away that is actually open on Sundays. Also, I use printable postage and mail everything from a blue drop box that's very close to my home. I can mark something mailed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of weekends and holidays, and it really has been mailed.

Even if PBS only recognized Sundays and Federal Holidays that are observed by USPS, I still think it would be really confusing for people who request books. There are so many questions in this forum about "how come my book hasn't been mailed yet?" I can't even imagine how much more agitation there would be if some books could have 14 or 16 days from the request date before they had to be marked mailed.

I think the best thing to do is to think about your own schedule and any upcoming "no mail" days when you accept requests. Use the I Can Mail Later button and pick your mailing date accordingly and then do your best to mail on or before that date. If life gets in the way and you don't make it by the promised date, think about whether you'll be able to mail within 2 days before you click that Book Has Been Mailed button. If yes, go ahead and click it. If no, it's more polite to cancel the request and repost your book later on when you have more time to participate in PBS.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 3:34 PM ET
Member Since: 5/17/2009
Posts: 71
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Try not to worry to much. I did the same thing yesterday! Only I marked it mailed on my way out the door. I figure I will just send a note and send it first class. Not much difference in price on these small books!

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 5:30 PM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,602
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I go ahead and mark mailed on Sundays and holidays if I do drop it in a blue box on those days, even though I know that it won't actually get "into" the mail until the next mailing day. However, I sent one at a blue box yesterday (Columbus Day) and the weird thing is, there was a scan at 9:53 last night at one of our local mail processing centers! So, even though we didn't get personal mail, I guess the mail still moves behind the scenes.


Date Posted: 10/13/2009 7:27 PM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,805
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When you accept a date to mail the book it might be wise to make sure it's not on a Sunday or holiday.  You do have several options.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 9:30 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,178
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I always pick Sunday as my mailing day. That way, I have the whole weekend to get them mailed.

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 9:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/13/2008
Posts: 13,147
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and the weird thing is, there was a scan at 9:53 last night at one of our local mail processing centers! So, even though we didn't get personal mail, I guess the mail still moves behind the scenes.

Yes it does. My uncle drives a semi truck that moves the mail on Sundays and holidays. It's still making it's way to you! :)

Date Posted: 10/13/2009 10:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/19/2007
Posts: 2,408
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I got up yesterday and planned to mail four books.  Three were regular MMPBs so I slapped stamps on them and dropped them in the mailbox.  My DH said that he would mail the third (a HB that need to be posted at the PO) so I marked all four mailed yesterday morning.  Imagine my (and my DH's) surprise to find that the PO was closed yesterday!  The fourth book went out today.  No big deal.  Holidays happen.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 10:40 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2009
Posts: 1,411
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I've been in the same situation. I mail PBS books out from my college mailroom, which closes promptly at 5PM and is never open on weekends. Sometimes class keeps me over that the mailroom closes before I can get there. Sometimes I have to make a choice between sending a book that day and getting food before the dinning hall closes. I've done it that I hit 'Mailed' and then send the book the next day. Sometimes it takes me two or three days but I have never sent a book later than that; thats just rude.

So judge for yourself and dont feel too guilty. People do understand that life gets in the way of the fun things in our everyday lives, such as sending PBS books.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 11:19 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 11,697
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Even when the PO is closed, there are still people working behind the scenes 24/7 to move the mail along.

If I'm mailing on a Sunday or a Holiday, I try to actually go to the PO and drop the item in the lobby dropbox because I know there are people there still sorting mail.

You can always get in the habit of choosing the latest mail by date.  That gives you 5 days to mark mailed and the extra 48 hr grace period after marking mailed gives you a whole week from the time you accept the request to actually get the book in the mail.  That should be plenty of time for anyone to get a book in the mail.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 1:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I always, always choose the last mail by date.  You just never know what's going to happen in  your life.  Like a kid getting sick or a storm knocking your power out for 4 days.

You can even let a request sit for 5 days it you want to get extra mailing time. I don't make a habit of this.  But there's been times where I let it sit for a day or two because I'm visiting relatives for the weekend and have computer access but I want to double check the book before I accept (and want those extra mail days).  Or I've got a WL book cycling through wishers before it gets accepted.  Then I can just mail them at teh PO at the same time.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 1:36 PM ET
Member Since: 6/20/2007
Posts: 5,052
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I mail from an APC a lot, so I can mail on Sundays and holidays.  I often run to the PO and use the APC while DS is at Sunday school.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 2:11 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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For a while I was working near the 24 hour post office so I did a lot of mailing at odd hours.  Everyone's situation is different.  I too always pick the last date just in case.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 3:39 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Like you Kimberly, I prefer to mark books mailed after the fact.  But also like you, I've lost a transaction due to the PBS system not recognizing non-mail days.  So a situation like the long holiday weekend....I've learned to suck up the guilt and mark the book mailed the day before.  I figure it's better than making the requesting member wait while the transaction rolls over to another member, who knows how long they might have to wait then! 

IMO Kimberly, this is the type of situation that PBS admin considered when allowing the 48 hour mailing window.

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 8:04 PM ET
Member Since: 8/19/2007
Posts: 4,410
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Colleen - when I worked for the PO mail was sorted 7 days a week.  Pat

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 1:58 AM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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We have a PO lobby that the APC is open 24 hours a day.   I really like going in when there are no lines.  Just have to remember my media mail chart as the APC does not offer media rate as an option.  Have the buy a single stamp with my chart handy.

My nearest PO has limited lobby hours and locks up the APC.  

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 11:38 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Envious...my two closest PO's have no APC or after hours postage purchase options whatsoever.

Date Posted: 10/16/2009 12:47 PM ET
Member Since: 8/18/2005
Posts: 7,977
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If the book is under 13 ounces, and you don't have an ARC machine inside and just need to mail the book, you can weight it at home and go to...


And figure out the postage. You can usually mail a good sized book media mail (or even first class) for six stamps. Then just drop it in a blue box anytime you want. A lot of times its faster and easier for me just to use regular stamps than to worry about parking and going inside rather than worry about the extra 10 cents or so difference.

You can get some cheap kitchen scales that'll weigh anything less than five pounds pretty accuarately.