The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa on July 27, 1969 · Page 87
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July 27, 1969

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Des Moines Register from Des Moines, Iowa · Page 87

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Des Moines, Iowa
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Sunday, July 27, 1969
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Page 87
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Money back guarantee. At all drug counters. M I R A < I F I' I A S I I f : denturite VIOBIN gives More Vigor Stamina Endurance Less Heart Stress f tW ¥ You Will when ywu read FREE Bulletin #• 18 years research v World EMpert Physical Fitness v ' REFUSI SUUTITUTtS - Only f Violin Oil proved effective. * VIOBIN. v By YETTA HORN JAY • America's postal system is headed toward a mammoth breakdown, due not so much to the glut of mail as to the negligence and sloppiness of those who mail it. True, our mail volume is staggering: every day our Post Ollice handles more than one piece of mail for every man, woman, and child in our 50 states, moving twice as much mail as all the rest of the world postal systems combined. But unlike private industry, the Post Ollice must take on all comers; it can't reject or control the growing demands made upon it. It is confronting this crisis head-on, using modern technology to help speed 83 billion pieces of mail annually, up from 38 billion in 1945. Postmaster General Winton M. Blount is .planning a complete structural reorganization so our Post Office will serve us most effectively. But our mailing habits are failing to keep pace with these changes — they are often inadequate, sloppy, and downright incorrect. Huge corporations arid Joe Smiths alike constantly make the same errors. A conservative estimate is that one,out of every two First Class letters mailed today is mailed incorrectly. Yet when a letter arrives too late or not at all, we shrilly play the national game called "Blame it on the Post Office." Each of the following cases illustrates at least one major mailing error committed daily by thousands of Americans. Gate I. "Bundling'! Great." One of this country's major mailers sent a number of highly important letters clearly marked "Airmail" and "Special Delivery" and correctly metered. Yet ail arrived from 24 to 48 hours too late. Blame it on Me Post Office? Mrs. Jay worked for the Post Office, as a mail sorter, at intervals over more than four years. She has received several awards from the Post Office for her suKgrstions on improving the service. No. The facts ar^thcse; Like most large firms, this one' bundles its mail into canvas sacks, directly dispatching them to thcxPgst OHice. In this case, its mailroom clerks bundled in reverse: they/put the Airmail Specials in first, then the regular First Class mail, and finally Third Class advertising matter which filled the sack's top two-thirds. On opening the sack, the postal worker assumed that it contained all Third Class mail. Since First Class mail is always handled first, some time elapsed before the contents were processed and the error discovered. Moral: No matter how large or small your mailing, always bundle the most important letters on top. Specials are always processed first, followed^>y Airmail and then First Class mail. Completely separate your First Class mail from other classes. Table workers at the Post Office toss bundled mail into the different bins in split seconds. They judge by the top letter. No one has the time to riffle through bundles. CMC It. "Ounccf and Cento." A nonprofit club mailed several hundred routine monthly meeting reminders. The surprised local members got theirs Special Delivery, and the out-of-town-. ers' were Airmailed. Was the Post Office playing Santa Clous? Hardly. A common metered mail snafu occurred. The meter's prior setting had been for 48 cents. Failing to check, the club's mailer ran these reminders through at the same amount. He then threw the letters untied into the mailbox. The loose letters were dispersed into numerous trays worked by various clerks. Where the mailer's intention is not stated and the mailing is small, the Post Office matches service to postage. Had this mailing been bundled, the Post Office would have phoned the mailer to make sure of its intention. A postage refund could have been arranged. Instead, the club lost over Sioo. Moral: Watch jour postage. American mailers, large and small, are losing 'Ruining money by overpaid mail and losing good will by underpaid mail. Underpaid mail is sent directly to the inailcc, who pays on receipt. Overpayments occur mostly in metered mail — and more than half of all First Class letters arc metered. The meter operator forgets to check the setting or reverses the number. The routine First Class 0.06 zooms to 0.60, or the Airmail o.io skyrockets to i.oo. One of- the greatest underpayment culprits is the First Class heavy -letter weighing over an ounce. Some senders just naturally put 6 cents on everything. Another culprit is the foreign Airmail letter whose sender forgets that these rates are in half ounces. Gate III. "Dead or Alive?" A woman invited her niece, who was visiting a cousin in a nearby city, to visit her. Her niece failed to get the invitation and soon returned to her far-off home. A family feud erupted with the aunt accusing the cousin of withholding the letter. Angrily, the cousin retorted she never saw it. Letter lost in the Post Office? .. No. The letter was sent from a suburban private home to a big city high-rise apartment house. The aunt sent her letter directly to the niece, whose name differed from the cousin's. She also failed to include her own return address. Marked "Undeliverable," the letter was sent to the Regional Dead Letter office where it was opened for ;.i possible clue to the sender or mailce. (Note: this is the sole exception to the rule forbidding the Post Office to open First Class mail.) The letter bore no clues, and wag destroyed. Moral: Never omit your return address. It's a vital part of your letter, and keeps it "alive." In order for a letter to become deliverable these are required: (i) letter returned to local Post Office; (a) letter sent to regional Dead Letter office^ (3) letter opened; (4) clue searched for; (5) letter readdresscd; (6) letter completely reprocessed. And/all this for a mere 0urTostal<$ervice Caw IV. "Dough Re Mi." A loving grandmother mailed her grandson a gift of money. Eventually he got an envelope marked "Damaged in Handling" containing no money. Wails the grandmother, "It must've been stolen in the Post Office" It wasn't. Grandma sent several dollars in loose coins. Not caught in time, the envelope jammed up the stamp-canceling machine; coins flew in all directions, and her letter plus several others got mangled. A machinist had to repair the disabled canccler, the mangled mail had to be mended, the loose money (which letter did it come from?) wound up at the U.S. Treasury after endless paper work. All told, grandma's letter cost the Post Office considerably more than it contained. Moral: Never send loose coins in the mails. This constant Post Office warning falls on many deaf ears. Related is another moral: Mark your slugs. A slug is a bulky letter. You should print "Hand Stamp" on the front and back of the envelope in large red letters. The table worker^ Will then immediately toss it into/the slug bin. Unmarked slujgs aren't always readily seen. Our Ppsf Office constantly, contends with unmarked mail containing lipsticks and other cosmetics, pens, pencils, calendars, material swatches,,combs, bottle caps, razor blades, /always tie your slugs together to reduce the number of table- to-bin i V. "Time is Money." A rising sent a large national mailing announcing a new merchandise line. All the letters were delivered in A-i condition within 24 to 48 hours. That same day a competing firm in the same city put out a similar mailing, which arrived from one to three days after its rival's, and in poor condition. Post Office efficient in one case, inefficient in another? Hardly. The first firm mailed its properly bundled letters, early in the day. All its letters were Zip Coded. The second firm coin mil ted al- most every possible error. It-sent its loosely tied mail out after 5 P.M. To attract attention, it used outsizcd envelopes, and these were poorly sealed. To save time and money, this firm used a window-type envelope. But since the letters were sloppily inserted, the last line of each address wasn't visible. Finally, not one letter was Zip Coded. The first mailing arrived when the Post Office could give it maximum care, the second at'a peak period: Harassed clerks had to tear apart many letters which were glued together; then they had to shake each letter to see the .address. Many had to be returned to their sender for better addressing. With no Zip Code, the mailable letters had to be sorted one by one. And the ^hirty million letters end up in the Dead Letter Office every year. outsized envelopes got bent as the clerks tried to fit them into the pigeon holes. Morals: Mail early in tlu day. Avoid the avalanche. Seal your mail right. Unsealed, partially sealed, and over- sealed wet envelopes (which stick together) constantly eat up time and manpower. Use standard envelopes. Using today's mass methods and equipment — canceling machines, mail trays, pigeon -holes — the Post Office is geared to standard-size mail. Thus undersized mail may get lost, while the outsized get bent and tattered. £ip it! No letter is correctly mailed without a Zip Code. The Zip Code is the most radical change in Post Office history. It's the major solution to our mail deluge and our major hope for speedier delivery. Zipping means mail will get faster transportation. The word Zip stands for Zone Improvement Plan which is the extension, on national lines, of the local zoning idea. Each number in the Zip Code is vital. The first digit stands for one of our country's ten major geographical areas. The second and third digits narrow it down to a sectional center. The fourth and fifth digits pinpoint your local Post Office. Thus a Zip Code for Washington, D.C. is 20037: 2 is the specific geographical region, oo means it's inside Washington, 37 is the local station that delivers the mail. <• The %ip Code plus mechanization mil I bring speedy delivery. Fantastic 'new machines — handling 36,000 letters an hour — are gradually replacing present outmoded hand-sorting methods. But these machines can work best only with correctly Zip Coded mail. The machines can't read the , Zip Code that isn't there, or appears in the wrong place (it should be on the last line, two to six spaces after the state name). Unless we drastically reform our mailing habits today, we'll find our Post Office in trouble tomorrow — even with mechanization. For as helpful as our new machines are, they can't decipher illegible or incomplete addresses, or look through an envelope to see if its contents are fragile, or separate stuck-together mail, or rescue lost contents. The solution is simple: let's start helping our Post Office now. We aren't doing all we can when one out of every five First Class letters mailed has no Zip Code, and 30,000,000 letters end up in the Dead Letter Office every year. Let's weigh, mark, and bundle our mail carefully, correctly, and early, to allow the mechanical improvements to speed mail safely. Let's stop playing "Blame it on the Post Office," and start playing by the rules. D don't throw your vocation away You could, if you let your monthly period slow you down. You can't change your schedule, but you can change the sort of sanitary protec- x tion you use. Get rid of those bulky irri- r tating pads and .start using convenient Tampax tampons. Tampax tampons are worn internally. That means no odor, no discomfort, no worry about where to carry a spare (they fit easily into pocket or purse). Tampax tampons offer lots of other advantages, too. Like letting you swim any time. Wear the sort of clothes you want; • any time. Sail. Ski. Run. Ride. Dance . . . any time. Tuck a package of Tampax tampons in your suitcase. It's like taking a vacation from your period. TAMPAX* TAMPOK9 ARC MAOC ONt-V av TAMPAX INCORPORATED. PALMER. MASS. THIS WEEK Mogarin. / July 27. I»i9 13

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