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Topic: A rule about Media Mail in bubble envelopes?

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Subject: A rule about Media Mail in bubble envelopes?
Date Posted: 8/9/2008 3:59 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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Is there a new postal rule against packaging media mail items in  padded (bubble) envelopes? I usually wrap books (in plastic and then wallpaper) to mail, but the other day had a flat book that I slipped into a bubble wrap envelope, which I then marked as media mail. The lady at the post office substation said I couldn't mail media in that type of envelope -- it was against regulations. Rather than take it back home to rewrap, I mailed it first class ($2.53). Media in the "right packaging" would have been $2.23. 

Is she crazy or am I? While I don't usually use bubble wrappers now, I used to (before happening on the wallpaper solution), and I've received quite a few books that were shipped that way. 



Date Posted: 8/9/2008 4:16 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
Posts: 25
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I have only been a member of this site for a short time. However, I only use bubble wrappers and have never had a problem.
Subject: Bubble wrappers
Date Posted: 8/9/2008 4:47 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,448
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You can use bubble wrappers to send media mail. That worker was uninformed.

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 6:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/18/2008
Posts: 1,051
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I use them all the time.

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 6:48 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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That worker was uninformed.

I was pretty sure she was wrong, but her mention of a new regulation made me think, well, there's another hoop the post office wants us to jump through. ;-)

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2005
Posts: 4,136
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I'm constantly amazed by these random, incorrect proclamations by various post offices.  How can there be so many people misunderstanding the rules so badly?  I know that the postal regulations are voluminous and complicated, but it's always possible for an employee to ask a supervisor if they don't know something.  It doesn't seem to be a question of people not remembering all the the regulations, it sometimes seems like they just make up new ones at random.  I don't mean to make sweeping generalizations about all postal workers, I know there are many conscientious staff members.  There does seem to be an organizational training problem though.

Date Posted: 8/9/2008 9:32 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I had a postal worker insiste one time that audiobooks could not go media mail. I took them to another post office and they said I was right and they could go media mail.

I use bubble mailers all the time and have never had a problem. I bought 2 boxes of them at Office Max when they had a BOGO free on them.

Date Posted: 8/10/2008 7:12 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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to ask a supervisor if they don't know something

LOL, now that's a good one!!

Date Posted: 8/10/2008 11:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 25,497
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I'm with you, Connie!!!  As a postal worker I can almost guarantee you that the clerks know a lot more about the rules and regulations than the supervisors.  The majority of supervisors started in the PO as mail carriers, not clerks.

The clerk who told you not to use bubble mailers for media mail was wrong.  There is no such regulation.  He (or she) was probably confused by something else we received in a memo from mgmt about bubble mailers.  Of course that info was wrong too!!!!  LOL


Date Posted: 8/11/2008 6:48 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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The public doesn't understand the way USPS 'chooses' it's supervisors. We currently have 4 204-Bs (all from the carrier craft), 3 of whom have injuries which keep them from performing their full duties. And one has less than a year's experience with USPS.  A former 204-B, since returned to carrier duties, lost his license due to DUI and became an instant supervisor!! But for the most part, our office uses these temporary supervisors on the carrier side.

Date Posted: 8/12/2008 9:26 PM ET
Member Since: 10/23/2005
Posts: 7,719
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How about asking them to show you the regulation? I have a clerk in my local PO that I would love to do that to, but I am sure she would revel in the time it would take her  to drag out some dusty tomes and proceed to spend 3 or four hours reseaching the "rule" she is always tossing out. I try to avoid her most of the time, but sometimes I have no choice but to stand there and suck it up. I saw her in the supermarket yesterday, and had an overwhelming desire to pull the giant Pepsi display down on top of her. I resisted, but it was so tempting.

Date Posted: 8/13/2008 12:10 AM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2008
Posts: 25,497
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ROFLMAO!!!!  I would have loved to see that Pepsi display coming down!!!! 

Subject: Hey don't beat up on us poor Supervisors too much! :)
Date Posted: 8/13/2008 12:43 AM ET
Member Since: 5/19/2008
Posts: 562
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I started working for the USPS in November 2004 as a SSDA PTF Clerk at Okolona, KY, after retiring from the Navy, and was picked up and graduated from the ASP program in October 2006. The drawback for me was that I was assigned to the Lexington, KY P & DC plant which is 89 miles (one way) away from my house. Thankfully for my fuel bill and quality of life I start on the 29th of August as a Customer Service Supervisor at E-Town, KY. Since E-town is only 28 miles away I will free up two hours a day from my commute! As much as I like listening to books on tape I will appreciate not having to listen to them as much.

I agree with both Connie and Cindy that, on the average, a Window Clerk does know more than a large percentage of Supervisors in the field. A window clerk should be the Subject Matter Expert for his or her position.

204B's can be good or bad just like any other person in the Post Office, I think a lot of it is properly training them for supervision and I do not think we always do so. My plant has had three EAS Supervisors transfer to other positions in the last month, and I will be number four. One of our regular 204B's decided that he wouldn't put up with the hassle any more (I don't blame him) so we are scrambling to pull up 2 or 3 more Craft to be 204B's and train then well enough to survive.

I also wonder sometimes why we do the things we do and seeing someone mess up and effectively get "promoted" really makes you wonder. I can see someone on Limited duty being placed in higher level so that we could keep that person gainfully employed,  it may be the right thing to do money wise but if they don't apply themselves to learning that position and doing the job properly, then morale suffers as well as the mail service.


Date Posted: 8/13/2008 9:43 AM ET
Member Since: 6/10/2008
Posts: 28
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 I only use bubble envelopes and never had a problem.

I must be spoiled rotten. We have some of the nicest Post Office workers here. If they don't know something they are up front and go and find someone who does know.  They even point out If it cheaper to send it another way. 


Date Posted: 8/13/2008 6:35 PM ET
Member Since: 4/11/2006
Posts: 1,032
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That was funny about the "no bubble mailers allowed for media mail".  That clerk is so off base she is out of the ballpark!  I've heard some weird stuff from several of my local post offices too and sometimes I ask for the supervisor's name so that I can discuss the issue (I always research and have my back-up documentation ready) with them when they are available.  Generally I try to not utilize the counter clerk as much as possible and use the APC instead.


Date Posted: 8/13/2008 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2008
Posts: 340
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I love the people who work at my post office.  They are usually the one to suggest that I use media mail to save myself some money.  The first time I took a bubble envelope in with a hardback book inside, I didn't seal the envelope so they could easliy check it and see that it was indeed a book.  The guy behind the counter looked at me kind of funny.  He didn't even look inside the envelope and said "Aren't you going to seal it?"

So, in my experience, bubble envelopes are just fine to use for media mail.  I do it all the time and have never had a problem doing so.

Date Posted: 8/13/2008 7:50 PM ET
Member Since: 4/7/2007
Posts: 663
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Generally I try to not utilize the counter clerk as much as possible and use the APC instead.

Ah, but we don't have an APC, so that's not an option for me. Rather than fight the crowd at the main post office, I most often go to a post office substation, which is only a few blocks from where I live. 95% of the time, one particular lady is working and she's friendly and helpful, and we chit-chat for a few minutes since NO ONE else is there. ;-)  But the day I took the bubble wrapped package in, another lady was working, and she's, um,... difficult... on the best of days. I should have turned around when I walked in and saw she was working that day.

Thanks to everyone for your helpful comments and information!



Subject: The wallpaper????
Date Posted: 8/14/2008 6:31 AM ET
Member Since: 9/12/2006
Posts: 5
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I use bubble envelopes all the time. What kind of wall paper do you put it on ? Is it inside out ?Some is very shine.I have 20 or so sample books i could  be useing.  Karen M

Date Posted: 8/14/2008 11:55 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2008
Posts: 2,530
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That's crazy! Just today I received 3 books in bubble mailers sent using media mail...from a publishing company. I've never heard of this regulation.