The May Bundle was stuffed yesterday by your faithful three: Ivan, Laurie, and me. I took it to the post office today and it's on its way to you! I'm going to devote this news article to giving a brief overview of what I do each month, so that you can see that YOU TOO COULD BE THE OFFICIAL MAILER! You see, I love being the mailer, and I enjoy printing the envelopes (in fact, when YOU are the mailer, I will continue to print the envelopes if you want). However, this last year has fried my brain, friends. I have had a total of 4 days away from my charming children, out of more than 365 now. My house feels like a mouse cage. I can't tell if my kids understand what a pronoun is, even when I'm shouting.
In an aside, they are doing very well at proof reading! I looked at the bundle envelope over and over. My husband looked at the bundle envelope over and over. The day before bundling, my daughter looked at it and said "that looks nice, but why does it say 2020 on it?" Smartypants.
So, I don't even know what year it is, I need a break from some of my duties, and I hope that people will step forward. It's pretty fun and not that hard, especially if there are more than one of you. If you have a friend who would join you every month to help, sign them up, and I'll pay their membership for a year.
Through The Month: I get a tub (not a tote, or a bin, but a tub) from the post office, and as the packages come in, I put them all in there. These days I order stamps online, because post offices don't often stock the quantity and type we need. I print the envelopes. We usually use either a 2 oz. or 3 oz. stamp, sometimes more, so I usually get a bunch of "additional ounce" stamps too, and a couple sheets of dollar or two dollar stamps for foreign ones. I also keep some 5 and 10 cent stamps to make the right amounts on the 6 foreign ones. Once a month, there is also a AAPA board phone call that lasts 30-60 minutes.
On Bundle Day: The submissions get placed around the table, and then we go around the table, attempting to take one of each, and stuffing the envelope. Then, Laurie and I usually seal them with glue sticks (water is too messy) while Ivan puts labels on (Ivan prints the labels for me since I don't have a printer, and John Carvalho sends him the updated member list every month in a printable format). Then I weigh the bundle on my kitchen scale. If it is at all close to a new ounce/new price, I take one to the post office before I put all the stamps on, to ask them how much it costs and make sure I'm right. USPS.com is my best friend in all these matters. I spend a lot of time at "calculate a price." Then, when everything is stamped (which happens in the car in the post office parking lot OFTEN), I take them into the post office in the tub, and put it where you can put stamped packages. No need to wait. Then, I get another tub (they will not understand you if you ask for a bin, or a tote) to start filling for the next month. I send the postage receipt to John Carvalho, and he sends me a check to reimburse me.
Sometimes: People occasionally tell me they didn't get their bundle, or that they would like one sent to a potential member, or to hold their bundle for a few months, etc.
Things That Are Fun: Having Laurie and Ivan over once a month to do the bundle, getting notes from AAPA members, feeling more connected to all the members and to the organization, trying to stack the bundle so that it looks just right when you take it out, getting to see everything first. HA! Also, writing this every month is fun. It's like getting something in the bundle without having to print it!
Things That Are Not Fun: Doing the bundle alone during a pandemic. Also, unfortunately, some postal workers don't know very much about stamps and their value, especially since now they don't put a monetary value on them. I frequently know more about what stamps are worth than they do, and things get confusing at the post office when I say I need 140 3-ounce stamps. I once had a clerk tell me to just put a stamp worth 10 extra cents on, because that was what they had in stock. This makes sense if you are just mailing one item, right? But not 140 of them. However, there is this guy Warren at my favorite post office here, and he's like a friend now. He knows everything. Sometimes, when I have to go to someone else's counter, he looks over at me and rolls his eyes in apology. That part should go in the Things That Are Fun section, because seeing Warren roll his eyes is fun.
That's it. When YOU become the new OFFICIAL mailer, I'll tell you more!
Take care everyone, Heather
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