I am becoming way to informed on bulk mail. One of my responsibilities is to mail out various materials to our parish from time to time. Specifically, a newsletter every 2 months, stewardship materials in November, sometimes invitations or something like that. This year we are also doing an increased offertory campaign, which means more mailing! But this week really tried my patience. I had to mail 3,650 pieces of mail, non profit bulk rate. I get it all assembled, with probably close to 20 people stuffing, labeling, and sealing envelopes. Then it goes into plastic trays and gets loaded into the parish van, since 25 trays do not fit into my little Honda. Off I go with our maintenance man driving and ready to help. We drive 30 minutes to the main post office and then proceed to label and put sleeves on all the trays, stack and count the trays, pay and leave. Wow. Now I was ready to get onto the next project.
But no, that was not the plan at all. At 4:15 I get a phone call, your mail is a "non-machinable" piece and must be bagged. I had no words. I stammer something, hang up and say a few not so holy things. Then I line up a friend to come with me to help bag the mail in the morning.
In between I have a major computer program glitch that I must take care of or the liturgical ministers schedules will not get done. So, I take care of that in the morning and then off we go. Stay with me now.
I get to the post office and the nice lady who told me the wrong things yesterday is going to help me again. This takes a long time, help from the other clerk, and then finally a phone conversation with the supervisor. I am then told, "well, you have some work to do, but not too much. You need to sort the mail into sacks by ZIP CODE!!!!!!!!!!" At that point I again have no words. (If you know me personally, I am sure you are in disbelief, I am really never without words.) Thank God, yes really, my dear friend is there and so we proceed for the next 2 and 1/2 hours to sort and bag the mail into sacks, label them and load them into a cart. After washing our very, very dirty hands we left and went to a late lunch, which my pastor (aka my boss) treated us to, though he is not aware of it yet.
Okay, that's it, NOT!
I get back to the office and a woman shows up with a box of 100 envelopes she is just getting back to me. I really wanted to throw them all away, but instead drove back down to the main post office, this time with my husband and get them into the mail before 6:00 so they can be mailed with the rest of the pieces. Guess who helped me? Yep, the same woman.
That's it. The parishioners better appreciate this ministry booklet and take the time to fill out the commitment cards.
Can you say "mailing house?"