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Topic: I Marked a Book RWAP, Now I think I Might Have Been Out Of Line

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Subject: I Marked a Book RWAP, Now I think I Might Have Been Out Of Line
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 2:21 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 61
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Okay, so I receive this pb book.  You know those little colored post-it tabs---lawyers use them to mark where you are supposed to sign, I guess you could use them to mark a page, etc.?  Anyhow, this book was bristling with these colored tabs.  Well, let me explain---she used them to mark everytime one of the four main characters came on to the scene.  Okay?  So can you imagine how many of those fluttery little things there were?  It was like a 300+ page novel about four friends.  It was awful!  Okay, I RWAP under the guidelines of PBS book conditions: No writing or highlighting or underlining on text pages

I RWAP.  I mean, it was kind of icky.  A little anal.  Sort of obsessive.  I mean everytime one of the characters appeared?  And I know this because when I marked it RWAP, I got a real snarky little note from her, explaining what each of those tabs were for---oh, did I mention each character had their own color of tab?---and she had left them in place for MY reading pleasure, so I too could keep track of the characters.  Um...thanks?  I don't think so.  I can keep track of such things in my head.  And I wasn't about to spend an hour of my time pulling all the tabs off.  And, like I said, it was kind of weird-yucky.  I threw the book away.  Do I sound nuts myself if I said the tabs and their quantity freaked me out?

But then I had to go in and review the book condition conditions and I see that maybe I was out of line, because maybe highlighting means with only with one of those pens.  Now I am thinking I should maybe send her her credit back.  Now I am starting to obsess about it because I am always telling my son that two of the most important character traits are integrity and accountabilty and I feel like I'm not living up to the standards I am always touting to him.  OH!  I'm so confuuuuused!  Would you return her credit?

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 2:25 AM ET
Member Since: 9/20/2008
Posts: 1,513
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Yes I would. I only consider highlighting/underlining to be with an actual pen/highlighter/etc. Yes the little stickies are gonna be annoying to pull out but afterwords you should have had a perfectly postable book (if you hadn't tossed it). Now if she'd used some sort of tape that would have torn the pages removing, then I can see it as a problem. But those things (generally) come off easily enough with no damage to the pages.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 4:02 AM ET
Member Since: 1/20/2009
Posts: 2,680
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I agree with Cami. In order for the book to be marked RWAP for damage, the damage has to be permanent. If the colored tabs can be cleanly removed from the book without damaging it, then it isn't a RWAP case. Irritating yes, but not a damaged book.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 6:42 AM ET
Member Since: 6/25/2007
Posts: 5,637
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Unless the sticky things damaged the pages in anyway, not a RWAP.  I'd definitely return her credit.

And while I wouldn't send a book like that, if I had and someone marked it RWAP, I think my response would be a little snarky too, maybe. So I can't really blame her for being defensive. I'm surprised she returned the credit, actually.

ETA: If you do return her credit, be sure to submit followup on the swap. I believe there is an option for "I Marked this RWAP by accident" or something similar.

Last Edited on: 4/25/09 6:52 AM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 7:18 AM ET
Member Since: 8/10/2005
Posts: 4,607
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Yup, I would return the credit. The writing highlighting isn't on the book itself, so if you had kept the book and removed the post-its (maybe she's a big Dead Like Me fan? LOL) the book would be perfectly postable....yeah, the post-its sound a bit weird, but even weirder (IMO!) is throwing away a perfectly good book!


Date Posted: 4/25/2009 10:04 AM ET
Member Since: 2/13/2009
Posts: 227
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I would have been irritated to have to deal with those sticky strips too (I know the ones you are referring too).  Why someone would assume you would find these pleasant, is certainly odd.   We all look forward to ripping open our book packages to see that book we have been waiting for.  So, to have it arrive in weird or questionable condition just ruins the moment.  So, I can see why you felt the way you did.   I have had the same reaction before to a few books.   Its the unexpected.

If you have a good book underneath all that garbage, its OK.   You could just let her know that when the book arrived with sticky notes throughout it your first reaction was that it was an unreadable book.   Most books do not arrive in this condition so, the shock of it lead you down a different road. 


Date Posted: 4/25/2009 10:38 AM ET
Member Since: 4/25/2007
Posts: 12,026
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Okay, that sounds too weird.  Probably would have thrown me for a loop also at first.  But, if the tabs can be cleanly removed and there's no other damage to the book, then you were wrong for marking the book RWAP since the tabs aren't permanent.

I'd definitely return the credit and submit a followup via the Transaction Archive if you can so PBS has it on record you mistakenly marked the book RWAP.

Wow, a different colored tab for each main character?  Think of how much all those tabs must have cost!  Wow, just, wow.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 10:42 AM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I would have been very annoyed to find those stickys as well but I wouldn't have marked it as RWP.  I would have put in the comments section of the received survey (and in the remarks to PBS section) how unhappy I was about all these post it notes.

At this point I would mark it as resolved and send the credit back. But in that I would express my unhappiness about having to remove all those sticky notes.  I don't remember if there's a comment part when you mark an RWP as resolved.  But I think PBS needs to know about this incase this person gets other complaints.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 11:07 AM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2007
Posts: 4,058
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Wouldn't have marked it either myself, but blech...  I'm with you all the way on that one.  It's as weird and yucky as you think:P  I'm anal about books & stickers of any kind, so this one would have been especially annoying to me.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 11:46 AM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 3,044
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I think her credit should be returned. I also can't believe you threw the book away. If the sticky tabs are like the ones I use in my textbooks they come off super easy and don't take long at all to remove. It seems just as silly to throw a book with those tabs away as it was for her to send it.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 12:02 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2006
Posts: 61
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Well, in defense of me tossing the book, I'd like to point out it was getting pretty dog-eared so it was coming to the end of it's trading life (imho), secondly, I wasn't about to spend precious reading time pulling out all those tabs, and thirdly, I would not send it to someone else with all those tabs, so it was basically recycling fodder, in my opinion, because I wasn't going to read it. I guess I could have thrown it in the Goodwill box.


But I will return her credit and apologize for marking it RWAP.

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 2:00 PM ET
Member Since: 3/22/2009
Posts: 104
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I do think Darlene may have overreacted, but in her defense the PBS guidelines do say:

Media mail regulations are very strict: only media (books, CDs, DVDs, VHS tapes) and an invoice (page 2 of the PBS wrapper qualifies as an invoice) are allowed to be sent using Media Mail rate.  No advertising, commercial solicitation, political materials, religious tracts, non-Media items, letters, cards are allowed.

I doubt the Post Office would bust this package, but all those post-its are "non-Media items." And PBS implies that they want all books to meet this requirement, even if we're not using Media Mail.

Last Edited on: 4/25/09 2:01 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 1/4/2009
Posts: 69
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To be fair, depending on the quality of the paper, those little tabs can rip a book when you try to take them off. I've had more than one school book that I had to remove tabs from where they stuck hard enough to rip the page when I pulled them off, which means that even if she had spent the time to pull them off, the book still might not have been readable/postable.

Subject: Post it arrows
Date Posted: 4/25/2009 10:34 PM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,487
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I would also return the credit.  It is a bit obsessive of her...but hey, we all have our little quirks??!  DON'T WE??!

Date Posted: 4/25/2009 10:56 PM ET
Member Since: 1/8/2009
Posts: 2,016
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I'm sorry you had this experience. If I have a book with Post-its, I make sure that I remove them before posting or sending it out. It usually doesn't take very long. But I agree that if the post-its could be removed without causing damage, and the book was otherwise postable, no RWAP was necessary. And if those tabs were the plastic type, they are reusable and quite expensive new. Just for future reference.
Date Posted: 4/26/2009 2:02 AM ET
Member Since: 7/7/2007
Posts: 4,815
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Katie sez:

<< those little tabs can rip a book when you try to take them off>>

As a librarian, I know this to be true -- some of the Post-it-Note and other sticky type products out there can damage pages of the book.  And it is, to my mind, a form of highlighting, even if it is removable (so is writing in pencil, but it still isn't allowed). 

I would be irked if I were sent a book and then had to spend an hour removing sticky highlighters, potentially tearing pages, etc.  So, I know I'm in the minority, but I don't see a problem with marking it RWAP -- the sender had the opportunity to PM you before the swap and inform you that the highlighting flags were there to see if it would be an issue, but she didn't. Snarky emails in returns just seem to try to cover up her own misdeeds.

Again, this is my personal opinion and I'm in the minority, but I don't think books should come with an hour of repair/removal work attached to them.


Date Posted: 4/26/2009 2:14 AM ET
Member Since: 3/8/2007
Posts: 2,560
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Darlene, thats great that your returning her credit.  I agree that is the right thing to do.   I appreciate people who are honest like that.  
But, OMG, I have to agree with you, that would of been annoying!! Like a porcupine book or something!