For quite a while now, I have been an Amazon Book Seller -- I list books on Amazon through their seller program (used books, new books, books found at garage sales, books given to me -- whatever I can get my hands on); Amazon sends me an email when a sale is made, I ship off the book and every 2 weeks Amazon tranfers the money I have earned into my bank account.
Slick little money making thing, and for 3 years it has been painless -- I buy $1.00 stamps from the post office (usually ordering through the mail), weigh the book on my postal scale, look up the correct Media Mail postage amount on USPS.com, slap the stamps on the book and put it out in my mail box for the postal employee to pick up.
Recently, however, here in our ultra conservative, "there's a terrorist under every bush" little up tight town, the powers that be at the post office have tightened up their policies and made my life a lot more difficult for this endeavor.
It began simply enough. I got an email from Amazon telling me that one of the books I had listed had sold and I should ship it out. I did my usual thing -- this particular book weighed 2 pounds and 4 ounces as it was a thick hard bound one -- put the book out in the box, went on my merry little way.
But wait! Two days later, there it is back in my mail box with one of those obnoxious post office sticky notes pasted over the mailing address tell me that any piece of mail that weighs over 13 ounces and has postage stamps on it must be taken to the post office and handed to a post office employee. Not just drop it in the post office box either, nooooo, stand in line for half an hour just to hand them my already weighed and stamped package. Say WHAT!?
First off, what's with 13 ounces? I mean, why not say, 10 ounces, or 14 ounces or 3 ounces.....and the bit about "because it has stamps on it"......meaning if I could afford a postage meter and print those little tape thingies like the post office does I'd be able to just put it in the box. And then there is the question of "what's in the package?"
I had this whole discussion with the postal clerk at the desk -- I asked her "how do you know what's in the package just because I carried it in here?"
I got this whole song and dance from her about how since 9/11 the airlines won't let the post office put a package over 13 ounces with stamps on it on an airplane if it didn't come into the office. HUH?! Give me a break lady, I may be older but I'm not senile, and that is a CROCK -- like the airlines are going to look at each and every package in that big sealed container of mail that gets put on the plane....don't give me that!
And then again, consider that if I really was a terrorist and wanted to put a bomb in a package I'd probably be well funded enough to have that little postage machine and print those little tapes and then I could just send off my little package anyway.
One more piece of evidence that I was right when I said that 9/11 was the day the whole world lost its mind.............