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Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Nov 2, 2013 6:40am
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Ok, Ok.

I'm just here to vent. (and prob on the wrong board.)

First off, 98% of you have been awesome in the rings I have hosted. It's just that 2% that make me feel like...I dunno... Cyclonic for a second.

What is SO hard about communicating and responding to message when you HAVE one of my (or someone else's) Postals?!

It really makes you not want to host a ring ever again. Ever. I think it's way disrespectful to hold on to a box for 3-4 weeks..and not respond to messages regarding it.

It's like...why join postals? Why sign up?

IF you can't communicate or be a team player- why do it? Lets be adults here and maybe not join.

I used to be Mother Theresa and let everyone in.

Now?

I have a list. I have a list of a small amount of people that I will not add anymore. And I used to feel bad about it. But why? If you keep postals for weeks...or hold everyone up for 2-4 weeks, I am just doing us all a favor.

Again, this is NOT directly at most of you. I have had some wonderful experiences and met some great people. And I love most of you.

But having to track certain people down and play babysitter is just not cool. And being worried if you'll ever see your postal again.

Thank you for joining my moment. I just had to get that out there...and see if anyone else has had these experiences.. because right now, I just want to stop doing postals all together because I am so burnt out and frustrated from having to deal with nonsense.

This is supposed to be a fun hobby that runs as smoothly as possible. Instead, I am still dealing with a ring that should have ended, what, 8 weeks ago? At least?

Moral of the Story? Don't join if you plan on holding everyone up or holding postals hostage for long periods of time.

Sadface.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813624 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 7:10am
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This is why I haven't hosted a postal yet. And why I would probably do an Invitation Only postal if I did. I get very stressed out when someone is very late in one of my LTC trackers, but at least I have the option to drop someone if that happens. With a postal, it just disappoints everyone.

Why do people slow things down? Well, I do think sometimes people have good excuses. They got sick, overwhelmed with activities, or something came up. But often it seems to come down to money issues with postals. People don't manage well, sign up for a bunch, and get buried in debt.
This is embarrassing and depressing, and they don't or can't deal with it.

It would be nice if they would just communicate and say they are stuck in a bad place for a while. But they don't. I feel bad for people when they get stuck in this situation. But postals should be fun, so I do understand why you would want to ban some from your postals. I would do the same thing. It is so stressful to be the ring leader and everyone is counting on you. You also just don't want one postal to be on your "to do" list for a year!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813624 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 9:02am
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This is why I have pulled myself out as much as possible. When in south Florida receiving two incomes I had no problem signing up for all my little heart desired. But moving to TN and becoming a SAHM and homeschooling has caused me to drop. The cost of living is lower here, but so is the income, but not our SFla bills (renting out the house but at a loss because of a bad market). I prided myself on a ONE day if not same day turn around on postals. But now it can be up to a week waiting on DHs payday, and although it hasn't happened often and I thoroughly communicate, it's just not fair to the community. And even though things are catching up finally, getting paid off in full, and housing market down there starting to look promising, but I still am not sure I should or want to participate anymore. Especially with a wonky post office here. Seriously, there was a postal that spun around the country aimlessly for over a month, with tracking! They blamed the addresser, but when I finally got it it was plain to see that whoever programmed the barcode sticker was at fault. But even so, there was nothing they could or would do. So I've lost faith there too. Plus there seemed to be a loss of pride in postal making. Not sure who or why, but I put a lot into my work and materials. Maybe after 2500 postals I've become jaded? But all in all like I said, I just thought it was time to pull back.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813642 by Raven
Nov 2, 2013 9:29am
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Miss C, that is the responsible thing to do. Things will get better for you, I am sure! But being in too many postals at this time would just be too stressful. Who needs more stress?

I put a lot of time and thought into my ltcs, as well. If I did a postal, I promise, it would be my best work, well worth people's postage. :) So a quickie simple postal would upset me. This I why I think I would prefer singles, or a small, private invite-only ring. Everyone might not agree with that, but well, that's my feeling on it.

I think one week turn around is a good turn around.. I only did the Newbie Ring, and I think I aimed for 3 or 4 days or so. Simply because I was working and couldn't go to the PO every day.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813642 by Raven
Nov 2, 2013 9:32am
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Where can I learn more about postals?
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813652 by crosscresent
Nov 2, 2013 9:36am
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Here you are:
http://www.atlasquest.com/about/wiki/browse.html?gCatId=4

Contact littlemonkey for trying the Newbie Ring. That is the one I tried.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813624 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 11:04am
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I hear you! it is just the nature of the game. you get to know who is and who is not going to be a team player and you adjust. I had that one member of a ring who knew she was getting married in the middle of the ring and just disappeared with out ever telling anyone! 7 postals ended up getting lost on her door step. there were some that never returned home. fortunately one of the other members was nice enough to drive 2 hours to her house to try and find them. let burned marks all over the place! fortunately, that has never happened again.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813642 by Raven
Nov 2, 2013 11:05am
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Agreed.

Even when I am busy and have stuff I am doing, I get boxes out NEXT DAY..and if not, 3 MAX.

Heck, I had an MRI AND a colonoscopy procedure last month and STILL got my postals out the next day!

Even if something IS going on...tell someone! Don't just hold on to stuff. Grrr.

I really am trying to limit what I do from here on out. :(
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813625 by FloridaFour
Nov 2, 2013 11:05am
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Totally agree!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813665 by Sea Maid
Nov 2, 2013 11:07am
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Yeah, I am just mad in general.

I just don't get what is so hard about mailing it back!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813670 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 12:57pm
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I just don't get what is so hard about mailing it back!

Now also ask yourself, what is so difficult about letting go? It's just paper and rubber.

I've done PLB, LTC trackers, and many projects. I DO understand the desire for people to be reliable. And I think that I have plenty of references to confirm that I am. I like to maintain a reputation for reliability. But that is not the same for all people. They have different priorities which can be equally valid.

When I mail a PLB I treat it just like planting a letterbox -- it is temporary. I have no idea when it will go missing, but it's likely that at some point it will. When I letterbox goes missing, I don't hunt down the last finder for information. I just let it go. I might contact someone with a PLB ONCE to see if they need help. Beyond that, I just retire it if I get no response -- just like I would for a missing letterbox I don't intend to replace.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813681 by The Wolf Family
Nov 2, 2013 1:20pm
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I highly disagree.

It is hard to let go because:

1. It's NOT just rubber. People put a lot of time and effort into carving an image in that piece of rubber.
2. The logbook. I would like to have seen what everyone else in the ring wrote about it so I could get it back. I'm glad to you it's just useless paper.
3. It's not the exact same as planting a box. ANYTHING could happen to it there and you really don't know who is messing around with it. You don't know the last person did anything; someone else after that could have stumbled upon it after them and done it. With postals, that's why we use tracking and know exactly where it is.
4. It's common courtesy. Postal Rings have rules to them. What sense does it make to be OK with someone keeping it and never mailing it back?
5. Different priorities? If your priority is to NOT mail something back... NOT communicate...and inconvenience everyone else..well..that shouldn't be a priority. If that is what someone thinks they should do...they shouldn't join a ring. There is nothing equally valid about keeping someone's stuff. That is NOT what priority is. Priority is to be respectful and make sure you get something returned if YOU decided to join. Joining makes it a PRIORITY to do the RIGHT thing.
6. If I KNOW someone has it..and they are ignoring me... I have a RIGHT to contact them more than ONCE.

It may not be a big deal to you; but to others on here, including myself, it is.

I am not trying to be ugly- but there is a huge difference between postal rings and planting a box somewhere in the woods.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813685 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 1:39pm
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I think it's so frustrating because you believe that you know who is responsible for the loss of the (postal) letterbox. In a traditional plant, it could disappear for many reasons, and you'll never know who or why.

But, when a postal letterbox disappears, you usually know who the person is (sometimes, though, the post office does lose them). So it's easy to focus your frustration on that specific person because they're not playing the game by the stated rules (often posted by the tracker leader).

Oftentimes though, while it's frustrating to the sender, the weak link isn't really invested, so isn't troubled and mightn't even understand your (our) angst.

I've had several go missing over the years, and I've got one out in a black hole right now - and I do agree that it's frustrating! Maybe it'll show up again....fingers crossed.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813624 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 2:01pm
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Since you wielded the can opener, I feel obligated to get on my soap box.

1. The only way to stop major problems is to create your own blacklist of those you are not willing to allow in your tracker. My own list runs the gamut from those that have lost boxes and became huge black holes, to gray holes who have been problems but worked out in the end. Some people also blacklist people for other issues and that is totally at your discretion.
2. You then list your trackers as limited. This requires people to request being added.
3. Don't ever be soft on your rules. It will come back to bite you most of the time. (No good deed goes unpunished). If participants cannot or will not comply with your rules and requests prior to the tracker drop them immediately.

All that being said SHIT HAPPENS! People get sick, work slams you, people die, people lose their jobs, and the list goes on and on. Bottom line this is a hobby for fun. It isn't as important as health, wealth or family.

Not everyone can get to a post office during the work week and wind up only getting there on Saturdays. So my expectations are roughly a week but I also don't hassle people about things unless it goes on for some time. If it is a single I don't really check on those at all.

Tracker members also need to run issues through the tracker owner. I have had ardent boxers crawl all over others demanding and criticizing. This I don't need since it doesn't work and only infuriates the one being called out. LET THE TRACKER OWNER HANDLE THINGS since it is their tracker and their rules.

If I lose a stamp so be it. I will be wiser the next time. I rarely create any postal logbooks other than simple plain paper stapled together. It is cheaper, lighter, and if lost no big deal.

I also feel the need to also point out that a huge amount of our postal community left over a combination of these issues and the origin of LTCs which are cheaper, have more creativity, and I would guess have less tracker problems all the way around.

The best thing we can do as veteran postal boxers is to give guidance on the basics and all of those unwritten rules and expectations. To that end newbie rings are an awesome method. I still would like to see postal members get a public positive endorsement from a newbie ring leader.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813692 by IrishRef
Nov 2, 2013 2:09pm
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Totally agree.

I do have a list now.

It's not all hearts and rainbows with just anyone, anymore. :)
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813690 by paper trail
Nov 2, 2013 2:14pm
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To clarify you can only narrow it down to two people. Could be the one that logged it and never sent it on as well as the next person who got it and sat on it. Have had both be adamant about their innocence which only leaves USPS. Have never known it to really be the USPS unless someone simply screwed up in mailing and addressing.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813693 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 2:23pm
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Frustrations aside, I still love a good postal ring! I like to keep them small - 12 max, and I never send a second box to someone that hasn't recorded one I sent and they should have received. I think that helps to stop losses.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813694 by IrishRef
Nov 2, 2013 3:12pm
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I can see both possibilities.

BUT the point still needs to be: communicate. Let whoever is asking know what's up.. Good or bad.

If its lost, it's lost. But silence doesn't need to be the answer.

stepping off Soap Box
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813698 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 3:51pm
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Yes, it all comes down to communication and honesty. What's so wrong with throwing yourself under the bus and being honest? I don't at all expect anyone to abide by the rules I had set for myself as in turn around time or anything else. I also expect to possibly never see it again once it leaves my hands like a traditional. I've had far too many postals get chewed by the PO and get lost with a tracking number. So what then? Insurance? It just takes the fun out for me, all the fees and loss. I agree. Stuff happens, but I think Bomb is talking about those who get your stuff, then not respond when you see them sign on to AQ regularly and read their mail. If the person goes MIA, absolutely understand, but when they pull a stunt like some have before (signing up for everything, then not responding long enough for people to generally forget who they are or change their name just to come back and sign up for more) that is not "shit happens".

So I've probably gotten off point but thought I should point that out.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813704 by Raven
Nov 2, 2013 4:06pm
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You are 100% correct.

This is EXACTLY what I am talking about.

You have mail being read... And people are on... But just choose not to respond.

This is why I love you, Miss C!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813685 by Bombshell
Nov 2, 2013 4:15pm
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I highly disagree.

I can tell. And so it will continue to frustrate you.

but there is a huge difference between postal rings and planting a box somewhere in the woods.

The difference is that a box in the woods takes MORE time to do. I have to find a location and write clues for that! Plus I need to check on it for maintenance for YEARS (if I'm lucky).

The only thing different a PLB has is the expense of postage and the ability to narrow down the list of finders to harass them.

Every time I see a rant like this, I wonder why anyone does PLBs any more. It seems to me there's a lot less stress taking a walk in the woods and not worry about if your box will disappear and hunting down finders demanding they return your box.

Go plant a traditional instead! You'll feel better! :)
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813708 by The Wolf Family
Nov 2, 2013 4:34pm
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Well, something needs to make me feel better! :)

And I know. I miss hiking and finding stuff. My husband and I have done pretty much everything in our city.. So it's harder to get out and do more. (When we lived in DFW-there was always a plethora of them.)

I do see the point in WHY do these anymore? Bc they DO get people like me frustrated.

Obviously.

But yeah. What can you do. :-/
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813708 by The Wolf Family
Nov 2, 2013 4:48pm
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Go plant a traditional instead! You'll feel better! :)

I used to do a lot of postals, but have slowed down due to putting much more time into traditional plants or special stamps for others. I do like those postalers that put a lot of time and energy into them. Most of the ones we have created fall into the over-the-top level because they don't have to be protected from the elements and we can really delve into the themes.

I am with most of you in seeing any 'box' (LTC, postal, event box, traditional, even virtual - with a bad enough virus- ) being at risk of disappearing. I do appreciate good communication and generally have been pretty fortunate in not having many postals go missing. But, once it leaves my house, it is at risk of going missing...

now it is simply where do I want to put my time...cool traditional boxes are winning the battle currently :)
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813712 by FORAYCH
Nov 2, 2013 4:49pm
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Wish I was close enough to find your boxes!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813692 by IrishRef
Nov 2, 2013 4:50pm
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I would bet that you are right about there being less issues with ltc trackers although, personally, I haven't had any issues with postals yet. (Knock on wood) I did have an ltc host become a black hole. We're at 11 months since the cards were due and she hasn't had the courtesy to respond to anyone or mail them back. Oh well I guess. It is frustrating but the only thing I can say is that I'll be sure never to do anything with her again.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813712 by FORAYCH
Nov 2, 2013 5:30pm
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cool traditional boxes are winning the battle currently

This is why I don't do postals very often. Traditional boxes always win the battle. I like to go and physically find letterboxes and create them. Letterboxing got me out of the house. This hobby has pretty much absorbed most of the spot that was for video games. Letterboxing is like a video game; find something in the woods while watching out for any monsters (snakes, spiders, and weirdos). Now, if only I could cast some blizzaga from time to time, walk across a continent in about 5 minutes, ride a giant bird, or ask some random person if they want to play a game of cards while finding boxes that would be great.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813653 by FloridaFour
Nov 2, 2013 5:36pm
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Uhhh... After reading all of this, postals dont sound like any fun. :(
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813720 by crosscresent
Nov 2, 2013 5:38pm
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They are a LOT of fun when they run right and things get returned!

I seriously have not had issues with ALL of them. Just the last couple I have had.

But if you get a good group who communicates- they are great.

To me, it's ALWAYS fun to get a Postal in your mailbox. It's like a little Christmas gift and you don't know exactly what is inside.

I guess I need to learn to not let a few ruin my good time.
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813718 by koalacat
Nov 2, 2013 5:41pm
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or ask some random person if they want to play a game of cards while finding boxes

I soooo have to stake out a trail you are on!! I have access to one of the Letterboxing: The Game card decks!!
Re: Postal Frustrations
Board: Postals
Reply to: #813724 by The Wolf Family
Nov 2, 2013 5:50pm
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That is really awesome.

This is the card game referred to in my post.