To Tuck or Not to Tuck ~ The Last Dinosaur Sniffles

Just as the $0.44 stamp went into effect…

When I was a child, stamps cost about $0.07. (No, I’m not over 100 years old.) That was for first class postage. This was also  the way to send a business document, and it also meant that you sealed your envelope. (I scanned this postcard that I have left over from not sending it to a friend as a kid for your and my amusement.)

If you were mailing a letter to a friend, and it didn’t contain anything you wouldn’t mind your mother reading, then it only cost $0.06.

Everything I mailed at that time went with the $0.06 mailing class postage on the envelopes. Consequently, I didn’t have to seal my envelopes; I just tucked them in… Like kids after an exhausting day… Done.

I’ve always enjoyed sending press releases in this way, with the tucking-in process. It does several things:

  • The contents aren’t personal, and can be read by anyone along the way; although you might, “Who would bother?”
  • It takes anyone who remembers back to those Beaver Cleaver days, and a smile is born.
  • It makes it easy for the recipient to open.
  • It begs the question from anyone who doesn’t have this memory bank, “What the heck is she doing?”
  • It’s a marketing ploy for additional attention being paid to that piece of mail… My main reason for doing it.

Recently, my staff and I sent out over 700 pieces of mail. In that mailing, we used two kinds of envelopes. Some of them had a sticky strip, so we couldn’t tuck, and had to close them shut. The other portion, however, had flaps that we could tuck in. It took days to get this mailing out. It’s a lot of printing (double sided), a lot of folding (just so), a lot of labels (to the recipients and from us). Finally, we stamped the envelopes with brand new, shiny $0.44 postage stamps, cursing, “Why didn’t I get the Forever stamps before this mailing?”

It took two days to finalize.

  1. On Friday, May 29, the first batch went out; some tucked, some sealed.
  2. On Saturday, May 30, the second batch went out; some tucked, some sealed.

Then, on Tuesday, June 2, the calls began to come in. “I got your mailing, but the envelope was empty?” Two in one day? Hum…. I thought, “No… Someone wouldn’t do that, would he or she?” Did someone have this much time on his/her hands to pay attention to this kind of detail, delivering a message to me that read, “The best laid plans of mice and men…?

Oh, yeah… As the days grew in time, the PO Box began to be filled with address corrections or “time lapsed for continued forwarding.”

  • Interestingly, the ones that came back from the Friday May 30th “tucked” ones had the flap raised with nothing inside the envelope. The ones that were sealed from that day weren’t tampered with.
  • The Saturday May 31st ones that were tucked were still tucked and the contents were in the envelope…. as were the sealed ones. This day, everything was just fine.

Melanie – our office manager – took one that was tucked from the Saturday mailing that still had the contents inside, opened the flap, and violently shook the envelope, trying to dislodge the contents… Not even a budge.

So… If you’re on that list of Empty Contents, “Now you know the rest of the story,” as Paul Harvey used to say.

Not to worry, I’ve already come up with a new and improved way to untuck, but not have anyone who’s having a bad day spread the (not) love.

And, it could be worse… My last P.O. run in was during the holidaze when two $100 Home Depot gift certificates never left my city, and were cashed i at my local Home Depot, but were headed to Maine! How did I figure it out? When I went to my Home Depot to cancel the certificates, because they never made it to their destination only to find that they had been cashed at my local Home Depot, and they had the guy on film… Yeah… there’s a story and a half.

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