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Topic: so, if the wrapper offends you....

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Subject: so, if the wrapper offends you....
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:26 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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What do you do?  Is it worth a comment to TPTB when you mark the book received?  Ignore it? Send a PM?

No, I'm not going to say what about the wrapper offends me because it doesn't matter. Everyone is offended by something, probably.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:43 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Yeah, I would put it in the bottom comment box for sure. 

I've got to say though, I'm horribly curious as to how a mailer could be offensive. At first I thought "how the heck can a mailer be offensive" but right away I thought of a few good ones.

Was it wrapped in porn? :)

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:44 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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Well, it sort of depends on what is offensive about the wrapper, and the degree to which it's offensive to you. 

If it's something that is bordering on hate crime worthy, I'd report it to TPTB and possibly the authorities. However, if it's something that is not commonly considered offensive, (e.g. someone used Christmas-themed wrapping paper in a package to a devout  observer of another religion) I would let it go, or at most write a note in the box for comments. 

If it's the quality of the wrapping,  I would just make an objective note of it in the comment box and perhaps PM the other person with a "just for your information, your package arrived in <blank> condition." But that isn't something that is personally directed at you or a member of a group of which you identify as a member, per se.

Good luck. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:49 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
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I think it would depend on what was on the wrapper that I found offensive.  It's hard to say exactly where the line is that, when crossed, would cause me to respond in some way.  I have received things included with books I ordered here that made me raise my eyebrows, such as religious paraphenilia, and while I certainly didn't appreciate it, I wasn't so offended that I felt the need to report it.  Easier just to ignore something like that.  I guess if a book came wrapped in pages from Penthouse or some kind of white supremecist literature, I might feel differently.  Hard to say without more specifics, though.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:53 PM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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No, it's not the quality of the packaging, it's the "content" but it's nothing that would fall into the "hate crime" category.


For example -- and this is *just* an example, not the specifics in this case -- if you were a vegan, or simply squeamish, and the wrapper was a recycled calendar page from Butchers and Beef Cutters 2008 featuring a [to you] gory full color photograph would you comment and/or complain?

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 6:57 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
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In your hypothetical example, probably not, unless the sender knows me personally and deliberately used that for wrapping. I'd chaulk it up to someone finding a creative way to save some money on mailing supplies.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:00 PM ET
Member Since: 12/31/2009
Posts: 3,995
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I think I know the sort of thing you're talking about. I was once sent an eBay item that had religious stickers plastered all over the package. When I opened the box, the item itself was padded with literature and there were several disturbing tracts included with my order. I wasn't expecting an attempt at conversion when I was bidding on a vintage rooster-shaped planter.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 2/21/2009
Posts: 2,925
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I have to say that I wouldn't. I've participated in Ebay for many years, but have received the most "unique" packages here! It's not worth it to me to wonder about their motives (if any) - mostly, I'm happy if they made it here unscathed.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:18 PM ET
Member Since: 7/23/2006
Posts: 15,930
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If it's wrapping, there's not much you can do about it, IMO, unless it was excessive and an obvious way to push an agenda.  But if it was added (like tracts), then you can report it.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:20 PM ET
Member Since: 6/15/2005
Posts: 1,218
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No, based on your example, I'd ignore it and let it go. I might, however, make note of the person who sent it and make sure I didn't order from them again. But as someone stated, it is possible that they were simply recycling and it happened to be something they themselves hoped to get rid of.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 8/6/2006
Posts: 1,619
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Except for a padded mailer that I plan to reuse, my book wrappers go in the trash.  Unless it was something extreme (child porn maybe) or the sender sent me something that they knew I personally would find offensive, I wouldn't sweat the small stuff.  Maybe they're just recycling.

Briana -
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 9:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/8/2009
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Last Edited on: 3/23/12 3:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 7/19/2008
Posts: 15,485
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I don't think that politics, sex, or religion should go on my book wrappers.  Or be added as book markers. 

Well, with the exception of game swaps from specific forums.  If I was in a game, then getting items or stickers related to that swap would be welcome.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 9:48 PM ET
Member Since: 1/17/2009
Posts: 10,085
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I would just toss it if you don't like it. Unless you think somehow it was directed at you personally.

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 10:59 PM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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I still don't see anything wrong with mentioning it in the second text box where you send feedback to PBS, that is what it is for. Issues that you don't necessarily want to make a formal complaint about, but want PBS to have on record. 

Date Posted: 3/3/2010 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 7/28/2006
Posts: 4,984
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Liesl is right.  If it's something you are concerned about, place it in that second box for the record.  It won't have any impact on the senders account unless there is something the Team needs to go back and review the account for later. 

Other than that, it's just a wrapper, and chances are fairly good they were just recycling. 

Last Edited on: 3/3/10 11:49 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/3/2010 11:53 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2006
Posts: 14,177
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Interesting discussion.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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Based on the given example I wouldn't really give it much thought. The only time I would find something disturbing is if it was pornographic or something akin to a hate crime.

It's most likely a case of recycled paper. However, even if they included religious tracts or whatever, you get handed those all the time anyway. I can't count the number of times I've received religious tracts, pro-life pamphlets, literature on the evils of killing and eating meat, etc. just walking around my college campus or outside Wal-Mart. Those last two are often disturbing, but I just throw them away. It's a piece of paper, it can't hurt me. I wouldn't record the inclusion of any sort of those materials with my book in the PBS comments. What will it accomplish? Will PBS really suspend or cancel a membership if all they're doing is sticking a piece of paper inside the books they send out?

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 6:16 AM ET
Member Since: 12/21/2007
Posts: 1,642
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I don't think I'd mention it if it was the wrapper. In your hypothetical example, how can someone know that the person they are sending to is a vegan? I think if somone has a particular squeamishness that would disallow certain types of wrapping, then a RC can be written that says please only use the PBS wrapper and/or bubble mailer with no stickers. Or something like that.

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 7:00 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
Posts: 2,625
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If the USPS thought it was OK, then I guess it's not something PBS' TPTB should be concerned with, and I'd try not to be either.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 7:15 AM ET
Member Since: 8/27/2007
Posts: 3,326
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Rick, in this case, it was on the inside of the wrapper, so there is nothing for the USPS to see. And I disagree that just because it's okay with the PO means that it should be okay with PBS.  After all, I *could* glue an address label directly to the cover of an unwrapped book and 90% of the time (or better) it would be delivered successfully by the USPS. Should PBS be okay with that method?

Emily wrote: "I don't think that politics, sex, or religion should go on my book wrappers.  Or be added as book markers."


and I agree. I'm going to assume that since it was the wrapper only and upon further examination it does appear to be poorly printed/copied that it is simply a case of recycling something from the trash and not directed at me as an individual.

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 8:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 1,442
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Not an expert on Media Mail, but if they sent some form of advertisement inside the package, it could be a postal violation.  In that case, they are probably doing it to their other sent books too, and should be informed of the violation (if not reported, too).

Date Posted: 3/4/2010 9:22 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,601
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I always think of "offend" as such a strong word, and was inclined to respond that very little offends me--I'm annoyed by a lot of things, but not offended. But when I looked up the definition of offend, annoy is actually a synonym.  

to irritate, annoy, or anger; cause resentful displeasure in: Even the hint of prejudice offends me.
to affect (the sense, taste, etc.) disagreeably.
to violate or transgress (a criminal, religious, or moral law).
to hurt or cause pain to.
Hmmmm. Well, I see a LOT of things every day that irritate and annoy me...so I suppose technically I'm "offended." But that doesn't mean those things are reportable to anyone in particular. Without particulars on what you're talking about, it's hard to say what I would do in your situation.
Was the book wrapped in religious tracts labeling you a sinner heading for the fires of hell unless you accept Jesus? Annoying as all hell, but not a biggie. Was it wrapped in white supremacist literature? Annoying and personally (to me) sickening, but just as with the religious mumbo-jumbo, with free speech laws, not illegal. If the book's in good re-postable shape, I'd probably mark it received and move on. Then again, I'm a menopausal woman prone to fits of mood, so I might not. LOL
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 9:59 AM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2007
Posts: 2,015
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Last Edited on: 2/3/15 6:03 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 3/4/2010 10:56 AM ET
Member Since: 9/13/2007
Posts: 2,520
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Amee, yes, the rules specifically state that including such tracts and similar with the books you send can jepordize your account. This is because including such things is a violation of Media Mail rules as well, and if the package is inspected (which is happening more an more often these days) the book may be delayed, returned, or charged a parcel post rate and arrive postage due. Even if it is sent first class, inculding such things is against PBS rules, and I for one am glad of that.

Last Edited on: 3/4/10 10:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1