View Full Version : Post Office -- duh!?
06-29-2000, 08:53 PM
Our post office (yes, we only have one) recently installed a new scanner, and the scanner's having problems with window envelopes. (I'm talking about mail from work.)
The scanner rejects some of the envelopes, and they have to be dealt with by hand, by a real live person.
Know what the real live person does with the envelopes? Sends them back to us.
This has been going on for a week. We've called the PO. We're too embarrassed to ask why they don't just send our mail on to its destination. It's such an obvious solution, but we don't want to make the PO feel stupid for not thinking of this themselves.
We just don't get it. Any postal employees out there have a logical answer?
Sorry this isn't much of a rant.
Hitching shoulders, pulling jeans up, swinging head in a semi-circle: Okay you needle-dicked bug-fuckers*, what are you being paid for, sitting there watching people tippie-toe around you for fear you'll "go postal". Well, I don't care, bring it on you chihuahua felching vulture squickers."
06-29-2000, 09:09 PM
Just my WAG,
The USPS uses OCR (optical character recognition) to route mail that is not already bar coded. Sometimes the plastic in the address window confuses the reader.
06-29-2000, 09:18 PM
For a rant it started off kinda slow, but did have a good finish. Rant-o-Meter says : 6.8 Thanks for playing, we have some lovely parting gifts.
06-29-2000, 09:18 PM
That's probably it, BigJoe, but why does the PO return it to us?
I assume the machine spits out any envelope that the scanner can't read. What happens next? Does a person touch it? If so, that person could manually scan it, couldn't they? Send it on its way?
Or does the PO have a machine that reads the return address on "undeliverable" mail and re-routes it back to the sender?
Dang, if our dinky little PO has that kind of technology, maybe I can get some help with my DVD player.
06-29-2000, 09:38 PM
Hellifiknow Auntie, maybe anything not addressed to the local zip gets sent to a "central processing node" or some such. It gets rejected there and then returned?
We've got to have an actual Postman here, my he (or she) can help.
06-29-2000, 09:52 PM
Ooops! Nearly forgot I was in the Pit.
Fuckin' lazy calf fuckers (cuz they man enough for a heifer).
06-29-2000, 10:23 PM
Once again, I tiptoe into the pit. The scanners do have a problem reading through the windows. It does read it .. it just reads it incorrectly. Then it sprays an incorrect bar code on it and sends it to the wrong place, at which time the person who receives it rejects it. At this point the bar code should be either blackened out or pasted over with the correct bar code. If that's not done, it will eventually make it's way back to you, sometimes after the third or fourth attempt to the wrong barcoded address. Yes, the system sucks. I had a check wrongly barcoded to Buffalo once and it took 11 days to get back. There was no explanation, and the only reason we knew where it went is because we have a person in the office trained to read barcodes. I bitched (loudly) because this was an elderly couple that seriously needed their check. I mentioned that I could have walked to Buffalo and picked it up faster than it took them to return it. Nobody cares.
You need to go bitch at the Postmaster for your area. Loudly. Don't bother with supervisors in individual offices. They have no incentive to care about the problem. If you do talk to them, though, ask their name and double check the spelling, and tell them you are just noting who you have talked to in case the problem is not resolved. Okay, I'm outta here.
Duck Duck Goose
06-30-2000, 05:08 PM
Eh, Pam, I wouldn't go downtown and start bitchin' at the Postmaster just yet. I ran your question past my friendly local letter carrier when I saw him at lunchtime, and he sighed a sigh of vast patience and said two things.
One is that yes, the machine frequently doesn't work right, and yes, a real person then has to deal with your letter. He says you ought to hear the postal union on the subject of the magical mystery machine that will supposedly outdo the human clerk. They cost millions of dollars and have yet to work right. Nobody likes them except the bureaucrats in Washington, who point to them proudly as "cost effective" and "efficient", both of which they aren't.
The second thing is that he wishes to point out to the general public that, on the other hand, it sometimes isn't the machine's fault. If the address isn't exactly centered in the window, the machine either makes a best guess according to how much of the address it CAN see (which is what accounts for letters addressed to Widgeon, Michigan being sent to Pigeon, Michigan), or it simply rejects it. He says, "Make sure you've got the letter right down against the bottom of the envelope before you seal it; that helps hold it in place for its trip through the machine. Then pray."
06-30-2000, 06:01 PM
Yeah, a bit of delicacy in dealing with the PO is probably a good idea.
The magic machine replaced real people, huh? Okay. Sigh.
Still not sure what's going on with our particular problem. There are no bar codes anywhere on the envelopes when they get back to us. No part of the address is obscured. Seems like they're booted out very early in the process.
AP (oh wow, my initials are the same as Accounts Payable!) just wants it fixed, cuz if we don't pay our bills on time, we lose discounts with some vendors.
If it keeps up, I think I'll volunteer to visit the PO and ask how we can help solve the problem. If you don't hear from me after next week, it's been fun. :) And thanks for the help.
06-30-2000, 06:39 PM
The bureaucrats like the machine that has replaced humans, but, as with anything favored by the bureaucrats, it doesn't work. The remaining humans have to use the bureaucrats machine, they point out it doesn't work, but bureaucrats being bureaucrats don't listen to humans who work. The remaining humans resign themselves to using the machine even though it doesn't work, and the remaining humans let the machine foul up the process because the bureacrats fail to listen to them. The customers are not happy, the remaining working humans are not happy, the bureaucrats do not care and the machine keeps screwing everything up. Sad picture isn't it?
06-30-2000, 06:44 PM
Auntie Pam, I work in procurement and we are switching to electronic payments. This has made the accounts payable persons job easier and ensures the vendor gets the payment on time and we keep the discounts. We like it, the vendors like it, it is easy to reconcile and is always ready for an audit. Maybe your company should investigate this method.
06-30-2000, 07:35 PM
Wow, Archer, talk about psychic connections! Or not, probably just a coincidence. But I was thinking the same thing driving home from work today. And I will act upon your suggestion.
A couple of months ago, my dept. (HR) was moved from the shop floor to the "ivory tower" (finance, engineering, IT, etc.) and I was flabbergasted to see for the first time the confabulations necessary for us to pay our bills.
Every Thursday, all day Thursday, two AP clerks, at least one AP manager, the controller (!), and one or two techs struggle with our "state of the art" system that results in a printed check. Sometimes. Usually. If nothing goes wrong. AP is always in the plant on Saturday (at time and a half) fixing foul-ups.
Any special hardware/software/? I could recommend for this electronic payment system, to make someone think I'd done my homework? (Not that picking Dopers' brains shouldn't count as homework.)
Is it just a matter of exchanging account information? Like direct deposit paychecks?
06-30-2000, 09:22 PM
Auntie Pam, American Management Systems of Virginia and the buysense program are what we use.
06-30-2000, 10:37 PM
Thanks, Archer -- and thanks everyone. This was pretty boring for a pit thread, so your input is especially appreciated. I'm gonna go see if American Management has a website.
And JBurton99 -- only 6.8? I thought "needle dicked bug fucker" was worth that all by itself!
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