As a writer, I have always wondered why editors and publishers say “Do not send registered or certified mail.” How else can I be sure my valuable words arrive safely? One magazine even declared, “Certified mail will be refused.” I got the message, but I still wondered. This week I found out.
I am Contest Chair for an upcoming conference sponsored by White County Creative Writers (see more about this at www.whitecountycreativewriters.org) and Tuesday, among the large brown envelopes in my mailbox, I received a slip of paper informing me that I had a certified letter I could pick up at the post office on Wednesday.
I couldn’t take care of this before or after work because the PO keeps the same schedule as I do. I had to use my lunch hour.
At the post office, I stood in line behind folks with the usual transactions: Buying a money order, choosing just the right stamps to match one’s personality, picking up mail after vacation to Disney World where they had a wonderful time (have I mentioned I live in a small town?). The young woman directly in front of me put a package on the counter.
“Is there anything fragile, breakable, yada, yada, potentially hazardous?”
“I don’tknow. My boss just told me to mail this package.”
“Well, someone has to answer that question.”
We all stood for a few seconds, contemplating the dilemma. The young woman whipped out a cell phone and got the necessary information from her boss.
My turn. I signed and printed my name twice, wrote my address on the scanner, and retrieved the precious envelope.
Let me mention here that the writer paid $6.66 to get the entries 100 miles across Arkansas in one day. But it actually took two days, since I wasn’t at home the first day. Another writer spent $3.75 on Priority Mail to guarantee next day delivery stuck in my screen door rather than the safety of my mailbox. Most manuscripts cost less than $2.00 by regular mail and arrived in one day.
Seriously, folks. Regular mail. Then, for a small fee you can get delivery confirmation online.