Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Forever in a Day

I went to the Post Office, today, to send off a graduation gift card. As I tried to one of the doors in the facility, a man noticed my arm was in a sling and was about to help me. I was all but through it, though, so I just thanked him and then got in line behind him.

Because of his kind gesture, I noticed him more than I might have, otherwise. I noticed when he and an associate of his unexpectedly saw each other and began talking (but I didn't eavesdrop). I also noticed when he reached the counter and then asked the clerk for something called "Forever Stamps."

I didn't hear a lot of what they said, but I became curious. When I was called to the counter, I asked what "Forever Stamps" were and how they worked. She said, "They are stamps you can purchase today, at today's rate, but that you can use in the future, after rates increase, without having to pay the rate increase."

I said, "Okay. Is that it, though? It seems like there's got to be something else to it."

"Nope. That's it," she replied. "If that were the case, I don't see why anyone would ever buy anything else."

She went on to explain that they come in packs of twenty, so I said, "Oohh. So, I have to buy twenty to..."

"No," she said with exasperation. "You can get however many you want."

"So, I could buy ten or these, now, and use them to..."

"No, they come in packs of twenty. You have to buy them in packs."

"That's what I've been saying all along - that I have to buy a minimum amount of them. Like twenty."

"No,..." she continued, but I was tired of this semantics (ha!) exchange by then. I hadn't even done what I'd come there to do. By this time, each of us thought the other was an idiot, so I was ready to cut my losses.

I did what I went there to do, bought a pack of Forever Stamps, gathered my belongings in my one good hand and got the heck out of there. You can read more about Forever Stamps here, if you like. I hadn't heard of them, so I thought it was worth mentioning, but I also just thought there was a certain irony in the name since it seemed like it took forEVER just to find out what the hell they were.


Liz Dwyer said...

My dad explained to me when they first came out why Forever stamps are actually a bad idea, but I can't remember what he said. Plus they are ugly! I love the regular priced superhero stamps. Those were fab.

West said...

If I'm at the post office, I'll probably buy a stamp and use it, but if I'm buying some to sit in a drawer, at home, until I need'em, Forever Stamps are the way to go.

My gf bought some stamps a week or so before the rate change. If she'd bought Forever Stamps, then, she'd be fine. As it stands, she's gotta add extra stamps - so she often pays twice as much as she should.

The best bet of all is probably to buy a ton of Forever Stamps for the far, far future, but buy a bunch of 1 cent stamps for the near future.

If only I could've done that with gas prices when they were around $1/gallon.

Anonymous said...

I hear you with those gas prices. I don't know why I haven't jumped on the Forever Stamp wagon. I knew about 'em, but I don't know......I wasn't totally convinced. I was lookin' for a catch too. Perhaps my next visit I'll buy a pack for the future.

And LOL @ your conversation with the Post Office clerk. Not her brightest moment, surely.