Going Postal

I didn’t really go postal this morning but the thought did cross my mind…ok not really but there was minor irritation and that has to count for something right?  A thought that really did cross my mind was, “Where did the stamp machine go??”  I had two cards I wanted to mail and thus needed two stamps.  That’s it.  I didn’t want a booklet, I didn’t need a special rate, I didn’t need anything weighed, I just needed two little stamps.  Easy enough.  Back in the day you could just walk into the post office and drop your money into a stamp vending machine and viola! stamps.  I was counting on this and for the first time in a long time I wasn’t dreading the post office.  Because of e-mail, myspace, facebook, texting, blogs, online banking, automatic deductions, and the phone I NEVER send actual mail.  I almost forgot what it was. And maybe that’s why I was not aware of this new development.  Or maybe it’s not new, I have no idea.

So in I walk looking for the “vending” machine and instead I see a more updated, hip, cool looking machine with touch screen buttons offering me stamps.  Ok whatever as long as I get my two stamps I don’t care what the machine they come in looks like.  I touch the “I want to buy a stamp button” thinking it will ask how many and then spit them out.  But instead I’m asked to place my card on the machine to be weighed.  Uh, ok.  Then I’m asked if my envelope fits one of the following options which included different possible sizes for my envelope and if there is anything liquid or hazardous inside.  None of their options fit my need so I pushed the “none of these apply” button.  Then at some point I had to enter the zip code I’m sending the card to, accept some sort of liability page (what??), accept terms and conditions, and sign away my first born.  I lost track after question 5 or 6 the whole time thinking “I just want two little stamps!!”.  I thought about pushing exit and going to a teller but there was already a line inside.

Finally after answering all their questions, the machine doing an eye and fingerprint laser identification scan, and having my background checked for any priors, I am deemed an acceptable member of society to purchase stamps.  Would I like to purchase one stamp, three stamps, or a booklet?  Sigh.  None of the above thank you very much I only need two.  But since I didn’t want to go through the entire process again I opted to buy three stamps.  It is at this point I realize the machine DOES NOT TAKE CASH.  Oh for the love.  I looked over my shoulder to see if the line with the tellers had dwindled but it hadn’t so I now have a charge for $1.26 on my card.  Lame.

So much for new modern advanced technology.  Where did all the old stamp vending machines go??  And why??  That’s what I’d like to know.


16 thoughts on “Going Postal

  1. I suppose this is where small town living is bonus. No long postal lines. And if it’s not the regular carrier’s day of, I can toss the card/letter in the mail box with some change. She’ll put the stamp on there for me.
    No, the town is not called Mayberry… but it probably could be.

    Oh, and for the record, even here our little stamp vending machine is gone. If the post office is not open, then no stamps for us!

    Holy cow, really? Your carrier will put the stamp on for you? That’s convenient. I probably should just buy a book of stamps. But then again, I mail things so infrequently that prices would probably go up before I used them.

  2. I can identify with your stamp acquisition problem. Simple things just aren’t anymore. That goes for a lot of mod tech. Then I’m slightly older than dirt. I’ve thought of trading my computer back on a chisel, mallet, and slate tablet, but my arthritis protests too loudly.

    Technology has done a lot of really great things but it’s like people went crazy with it. Things that were so simple already have to be changed and “improved”. Some things just need to be left alone. A slate tablet might not be such a bad idea.

  3. so much for “advanced civilization.”

    No kidding. Some things are WAY better now but others should have just been left alone how they were.

  4. That IS annoying — I must say, though, that I got sick and tired of putting cash into those stamp vending machines and then the machine not giving me any stamps at all!! (always happened at non-post office places like wal-mart and such…ANNOYING. The post office should really send me a check for about $20.00 to pay me back.

    That would get on my nerves more that this did.

  5. lol Yes, she really will put a stamp on for me.

    Buy the book of stamps if you can get to the post office. Ask for the “Forever” stamp. Even if prices go up, that stamp still works. You’ll never have to try to figure out if it’s the “right” stamp again.

    Ok next time I’m going in and asking for a “forever” stamp book then I won’t have to deal with this. Thanks for the info!

  6. My wife has me get stamps at the local grocery store. They sell them in books. I have seen these machines you speak of…credit or debit only!

    I haven’t actually put a stamp on something in years. We do on-line banking so a book of stamps last a coouple of months.

    I’m thinking next time I’ll go in and buy a book of stamps and try out this “forever” stamp so I don’t have to worry about the prices changing. But I have no clue when I’ll need a stamp again.

  7. All good suggestions. Can’t you also buy postage online?

    What does Sarah Palin have to offer on this issue?

    I have no idea if you can buy stamps online. I’m going to have to look into this b/c it very well could be my solution.

  8. Yeah welcome to the age of technology. Although with no power not much can happen with all the fancy technology.

    Some of the post offices I visit have the new machines (which is way faster than an 8 person line), but they’ve always had the old vending machines too. The new machines do allow you to mail packages when the post office isn’t open which can be convienent.

    I do hate the fake looking (but legit) book of stamps that come out of the new machine.

    It is better than an incredibly long line but not by much. And I guess it would be convenient if I had a package to mail but for just a stamp it’s a little ridiculous. You’re lucky the have both machines at your post office.

  9. I AGREE! I was never so freaking annoyed as to see I needed to use a mac or credit card to buy a stamp! It’s so stupid! I refused to do it and stood in line for like a half an hour. It’s an outrage! We should picket or something:)

    We should picket! I’m sure they would change their machines then…maybe not but I might feel better about the whole thing for at least trying.

  10. It is insisted in my family that birthday cards and such must be mailed by snail mail. Since going to online bill paying over a year ago, I honestly can’t remember the need for a book of stamps. Luckily I’m lazy and Hallmark is, while overpriced, convenient. If you buy cards from one of their stores, they will ask if you need any stamps. I’ve actually gone in once or twice just to buy one or two stamps.

    Hmm, Hallmark hasn’t ever offered stamps to me. I’m going to ask them the next time I’m in their store!

  11. Stamps?! what are those. They actually still make them?

    (just kidding) I too was faced with a similar situation just recently although I was apparently not deemed a functioning member of society and it wouldn’t give me my stamps.

    It wouldn’t give you the stamps? Well that’s just rude!

  12. I’m a postal employee, and I hate those machine’s too. On ours you can’t even buy just one or 2 stamps, your transaction is a $1 minimum. I always buy a book or 2, gotta support the cause ya know.

    Forever stamps rule.

    Our carrier will stamp our things for us too, but I’m on a rural route. As a city carrier we’re not required to, but I often do, espically if I have some with me.

    I’m starting to think that the best solution is to buy a book of stamps or buy a bunch of forever stamps.

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