Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Circle Date Stamp

Dear Blog Readers,

I hope you are doing well, today, I had my own experience at the Post Office, and I'd like to share it with you.

As I often tell my brides to have their wedding invitations Hand Canceled by the post office – and having my own experience having things hand canceled, I know it can be an ordeal. But I think that every once in a while you must experience things for yourself to get the full familiarity.

Now, I know what Hand Canceling is, I really do. Instead of being put through a machine, it’s hand stamped, as to avoid damaging what is inside an overtly large or strangely shaped shipping object. However, we suggest Hand Canceling your wedding invitation so that they don’t go through that evil machine.

So, when it came time to mail invitations of my own that I knew needed to have a lot of TLC, I opted to bring all 200 of them to my nice post office man, and ask for them to be all Hand Canceled. He was nice enough, he re-weighed and measured all of them, and explained that I had the correct amount of postage on them, he boxed them up and off they went. He mentioned that they needed to be sent to our main post office to be hand canceled, they don't do that at their branch.

Imagine my surprise when the next day I received an invitation back in the mail. This invitation was not even addressed to me, it was addressed to someone else, and it was shipped to the return address. NICE! But as if that wasn’t nice enough, it wasn’t HAND CANCELED! It had those lovely squiggly lines and a beautiful Bar Code on the bottom.

I then returned to the post office with a few more invitations that needed to be shipped off, and the invitation that I had received back. The same man helped me, I expressed, very politely my disappointment, and asked where the confusion had originated. He explained that that was indeed Hand Canceledsure it was!

But what I wanted was a Circle Date Stamp. (my question was, really, is that the technically name for it…) But I was polite enough back, and kindly thanked him for his help. And he picked up the stamp and showed me a date stamp in the shape of a circle.

When I left, I called Kristin and said, fairly loud, I might add – CIRCLE DATE STAMP! Really! Circle Date Stamp! I am sure in the book of USPS information, in the back there is a specific category called The Circle Date Stamp!

So from now on, when asking your PostMaster’s office for a Hand Canceled item you might want to be more specific and ask for a Circle Date Stamp. Sheesh!

Happy Planning,


{Picture of the Official Circle Date Stamp}


Allure Event Consulting said...

Goodness, what a hassle! Don't you just hate the frustrations in life?? I hope today is a much better day for you!

Jennifer said...

I had some issues getting mine hand canceled too and found that one postal store was a little more competent than the other. But I love how they shipped it to the return address! haha, and they wonder why no one wants to use the USPS.

*Michelle said...

I am so glad we are not bothering with hand canceling. I see the value in it for some brides, especially the ones that put their heart soul and budget into their invites. Very thankful thats not us because I have to worst luck track record with the post office.
Doesn't this just make you wish that the post office had some competition?! They would never survive without making some serious customer service upgrades!

PaperStyle said...

Ah... The "Circle Date Stamp"... I spent just over an hour at the local post office for 3 "circle date stamps" yesterday. (Mine also needed a customs signature...)
One thing that I can recommend, based on my daily trips to the Post Office, and my own wedding invitations :
Ask for the stamp from the Postal Employee. By doing this, you can most likely walk straight up to the counter and skip the line, as long as you do so politely and move away from the counter to stamp. (It's not the postal employees you need to worry about, it's the customers!!!)

Marriah said...

A couple months before I sent out my handmade invitations, I called around to a few post offices in Memphis and none of them were willing to hand cancel my invitations. The one ecxception was the main distribution office, which stated that I needed to pay extra for it to be done, even if I offered to stand there and do it myself. Memphis was not where we were getting married, only where I was planning my wedding from. So, on a trip home to the town where we were getting married, a much smaller town and thus I assumed I'd get better service - I took a few early thank you notes, also handmade, to be "hand canceled". She hand canceled them alright, right in front of me, and then took out a lovely blue ball point pen and scrawled "hand canceled by..." above them. I just turned around and walked out before saying the nasty comment that was building inside my head. When I finally did take my invites to be mailed, I decided to take them to my office's mail room so they at least got a loving start in the mail. It was at least nice that all the workers in the mail room knew that these were my handmade wedding invites. They also made me show them the invites every time I brought them to be weighed during the design process!

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