In the learn something new every day category, I got up close and personal with the post office’s answer to civil service burnout: the APC – automated postal something or other, (I thought an APC was an armored personnel carrier but what do I know.)
Now, instead of having to argue with a Postal Cluck who has a limited enthusiasm for work, you and life in general, you get to argue with a machine that doesn’t even spit out quarters every now and then.
This gizmo has been there for about a year, but I haven’t had any overwhelming desire to try it out – chatting with postal clerks maybe the only human contact I get all day.
Don’t get excited kiddies, it doesn’t do media mail….don’t know why perhaps they think that their crack army of employees use their x-ray vision to deduce that packages marked media mail are genuine. But for all other business, it actually worked without a glitch.
- Accept payment via debit/credit
- Dispense First Class, Priority Mail, Parcel Post, Express Mail, Information Based Indicia (IBI) Postage any denomination
- Dispense First Class stamp sheetlets
- Provide Postal Service & mailing information, provide ZIP Code lookup
- Weigh and rate envelopes, flats and parcels up to 70 pounds
- Prepare Express Mail forms, Certified Mail return receipts, hold mail & Change of Address
- Delivery Confirmation service
- Generate receipt for payment
- Click & Ship Label
Though I did find a work around to a certain glitch, if you have something that tallys under a dollar, run something larger through 1st, THEN you can add on 1st class letters. Cause it won’t sell you a single stamp then neither will their stamp dispensing machine, go figure. But you can get it to give you a large postage label or a little postage stamplet – and put it all on your credit/debit card.
Basically I shortened my time in front of a clerk, by doing all the non-media mail myself. Though it could have been much faster if the damn thing had stopped trying to sell me all the ADD ON expenses that the USPS loves so much. The other thing I like about it is that it is in the lobby that is open 24 hours. Which means if I wanted, I could wander in on a Sunday and mail stuff and then chuck it in the big gaping postal maw. I suspect this is the kickoff to a gradual decrease of window hours across the board – especially if the damn thing keeps working correctly like this.