I went today to the US Postal Service central processing center in Miami to help out my Rabbi with a bulk mailing he is doing for his non-profit organization, Hachesed, in honor of the upcoming High Holy Days.
OMG, what a mission that was! We had some pieces that were just letters, and those were a piece of cake to deal with. But then we had about 900 pieces which included a small booklet inside, and those would have to be treated as flats (not a letter, but not quite a parcel) and that meant a completely different set of instructions, from the way they had to be bundled together to how the had to be packed, sacked and processed.
With the help of a very patient lady named Liz Hunter we got through the whole process, but wow, what a headache. I eventually ended up taking control of the whole operation because, while the Rabbi’s father was calm and collected, my Rabbi has a very nervous personality as it is, and dealing with this mailing just sent him over the edge a couple of times.
Three and a half hours later the whole mailing was bundled, packed, sacked, paid for, processed and in the hands of a USPS employee who would then spend some quality time verifying the amounts I noted down on the shipping manifesto.
Again, thanks to Liz and the ladies in the Customer Service dept of the Bulk Mailing Facility over at Miami USPS Central Processing for their awesome help and patience. Without them, this could have been an 8 hour ordeal, no doubt.
All I know is that any further bulk mailing the Rabbi does, or even that I do, in the future, will only consist of letters. If flats or parcels are involved, I will gladly pay another company to take care of it.