Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What's Wrong With This Picture?

OK, so it's not much of a mystery with those words, "Not Enough Postage," written on the envelope. Still, you'd be surprised how often we get envelopes like this. A student wants to get his/her paper back at the end of a course, so he/she includes a self-addressed stamped envelope. We like self-addressed stamped envelopes, because they allow us to get the papers out of our offices, and back into the hands of the student, who deserves to know how he/she did in the course. Unfortunately, the student has put only a single first-class postage stamp on the envelope. This, of course, cannot possibly be enough. Even if the envelope was completely weightless and empty, the size alone kicks the postage rate up above what you'd have to spend to send your average letter. And when you account for the weight of most Masters-level papers, you really should have more than a dollar on this thing.

This isn't a new problem. Nor is it actually the worst kind of example. I've actually gotten regular #10 envelopes with single stamps on them. You really can't cram a Masters-level paper into a #10 envelope. And, again, even if you could, the weight would kick up the cost (and probably the thickness of the result would add to the postage rate, too).

I can't speak for other schools, but Fuller really does make preventing this kind of problem easy. Just hand the envelope with the paper in it to the person at our post office in Payton Hall. If you're bringing the paper to me, it's only one floor and the other end of the hallway away. They'll tell you exactly how much it will cost to mail it (I do often recommend adding some postage anyway, because there are often other assignments that will be distributed all at the same time that the student may have forgotten).


  1. I wonder, sometimes, whether folks even know how the USPS works at all, anymore? When people email or text or whatnot all the time, and the only mail they ever *receive* is junk or bills, I guess they really have no concept of "how to actually mail something."

    But, yeah, one first-class stamp on a big ol' honkin' envelope doesn't cut it, kids.

  2. i'm with ya....super frustrating. and we have to deal a lot with international students which makes it even harder for them to put postage on the envelopes so they just include money - but their currency doesn't really help us mail it back to them either....

  3. Interesting. Oddly enough, no one's ever tried foreign currency in our office....



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