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Author Topic: The US Postal System and IRC coupons  (Read 518 times)
K9KEJ
Member

Posts: 21




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« on: October 16, 2006, 11:16:02 AM »

I apologize out front to those of you who are Hams and are still working for the U.S. Postal System, or are retired from that once great agency.
BUT I am cleansing my soul at the moment regarding the service, or lack thereof by today's window clerks at our local post office branches in the Chicago area.

I work a lot of DX on both CW and SSB. After fifty-plus years of Hamming, I still enjoy collecting QSL cards from DX stations. I send my own QSL card, a self-addressed, return envelope, and an IRC coupon (when I can get them.

That's the sore spot--IRC couponjs.
I went to one postal branch and asked two window clerks for the new IRC coupons. Both just stoof there with a coma-like look on their faces. One said to me, "we don't issue those, whatever they are," she declared. The other clek echoed her statement. It was only when I produced an older IRC coupon issued by this very same branch that they suddenly went pale and changed their tune to, "that couldn't have come from here." (The coupon had the branch's hand stamp on it, but of course I must have been mistaken)

I went to another branch in my area and repeated my request for IRC coupons. There were three window clerks making small talk in a foreign language. They just stood there, lookinhg as if I had asked them to hand over their wallets. A "supervisor", who literally had been hiding behind a column inched his way out and declared to me that there are no such things as IRC coupons issued by the USPS!

I went to another branch two towns over and finally found a clerk who said, "yes sir, I have them, how many would you like?" I took all he had, rushed out the door, clutching the envelope with the coupons close to my chest.

For a long time I believed I had the wrong attitude when dealing with the employees at the local branches.
But that all changed when one clerk refused to help me track a lost package he himself expeditied through the system.
Today's Postal employees are nothing compared to what we had years ago. Today's customer postal service is a mere shadow of what was offered years ago.
And yet several of my area branches are loaded with supervisors walking around, appearing to be doing absolutely nothing, while the lines of customers stretches out the door with just two clerks trying to serve and satify the needs of the people who have to put up with this kind of behavior.

There may be bright spots in your region or town, and maybe not.

Orrin
K9KEJ
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KE6HME
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2006, 09:33:16 PM »

It would make it easier if you could find a ham window clerk in your area as there are other changes also affecting the IRC's that are comming down the tubes

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KE6HME
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2006, 09:33:50 PM »

It would make it easier if you could find a ham window clerk in your area as there are other changes also affecting the IRC's that are comming down the tubes

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KB9CRY
Member

Posts: 4283


WWW

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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2006, 05:41:07 AM »

And this surprises you?

There is no service in the postal service.  And, knowledge of IRCs has always been a mystery for most postal employees.  You need to find the branches (usually going to a larger branch helps) that even stock IRCs and even then you will need to coach them on the procedure.  It's always been this way, in my experience.

That's one reason why I've gotten away from IRCs and just include some nice crisp 2 dollar bills.  ($2 bills are rare and most DX folks view these as a special gift and I've received quick turnarounds by using this unique method.)  You can get 2 dollar bills at the bank and the race track.

Phil
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N8UZE
Member

Posts: 1524




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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2006, 04:17:22 AM »

I've gotten good service from postal employees wherever I have lived.  However, I've always had to coach them on the IRCs but that's never been a problem.  In one of the very small towns (population 300) I once lived in, the clerk would special order the IRCs whenever I asked.  I'd ask them to get a batch of 10 to 20 and always buy the lot when they arrived.
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WA4MJF
Member

Posts: 1003




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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2006, 11:42:07 AM »

Write a letter to the Postmaster/
Postmistress and copy it to the
Congresscritter that got him/her
the job.  Of course,
with what the pundits say, you may
have a new Congresscritter and
new Postmaster/Postmistress soon  :-)

He/she (not the pervert kind)
should have all the IRCs you want
in short order.

73 de Ronnie
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N8UZE
Member

Posts: 1524




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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2006, 05:34:01 PM »

Keep in mind that the International Postal Union only requires that member countries redeem the coupons.  They do NOT require countries to sell them.
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K9KEJ
Member

Posts: 21




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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2006, 02:38:52 AM »

You've completely missed the point N8UZE--I was talking about the service at my local Post Office, not the postal system in Lower Slobovia!
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N8UZE
Member

Posts: 1524




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« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2006, 07:26:21 AM »

Nope didn't miss the point at all.

I was making the point that no matter where you live in this country, you will have to educate your local postal employees on this issue.  I live in the metropolitan area around Detroit and I've educated three different postal branches on this subject.

I was also making the point that despite its size and status, the US Postal Service doesn't have to sell them.  It is NOT mandated that they do so.  So we are lucky that they do make these available even though it can be a pain in the behind to get them.
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K9KEJ
Member

Posts: 21




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« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2006, 08:11:09 AM »

Point taken
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