Last week turned out to be a very busy week, especially after the newspaper came out. Starting Thursday afternoon we were getting calls at the Clarion office about people not getting their newspapers. At first we just wrote their names on a newspaper and took it down to the post office and mailed it out.
It is not unusual for three or four people per week to call about not getting their paper, but we probably received 30 or more calls last week. I sent out about 10 papers on Monday alone!
People from just about every route called about not getting a paper. Calls came from Hardinsburg, Reynolds Station, Philpot, Hawesville and Owensboro just to name a few! More importantly, each person that called still had an active subscription, and each person had a mailing label generated.
Each week I close the issue using a program called Interlink. When the program finishes closing the issue, I then generate the necessary reports for that week’s issue of the newspaper. Based on information from Interlink, the reports are a mailroom report which shows which zip codes receive inserts (if any) for that week. It also generates a list of the tags for each route tub. Each sack tag, as they are called, tells the mailroom person how many bundles go into each tub. One tub may take four bundles of paper, another three and another only one bundle.
The Interlink program also generates the mailing label list of the names to be printed on each Clarion as it goes through the labeling machine. Interlink coordinates the mailing labels and the sack tags so the proper bundles go into each tub. Somehow a mix-up happened between the labels and the tubs.
On Monday I called the mailroom supervisor where we print the paper, and she and I went through the printout of the labels and the printout of the sack tags. From what we could determine, the two lists agreed with each other; the bundled labels printed out in the proper tub order. As the supervisor and I talked, the only thing we could figure out is when the bundles came off of the labeling machine, the person in charge of placing the bundles in the tubs did not pay attention to the number of bundles that were to go into each tub, and just filled each tub with bundles regardless of the number that was supposed to go into that tub.
To give an example, we send one bundle of papers to St. Louis. That tub is supposed to have only that bundle in it. If the person responsible for tubbing the papers puts four bundles in that tub, it then throws off the proper routing of the rest of the papers, meaning some papers that are supposed to go on the Hawesville routes may get tubbed with papers going to Owensboro, or some other location.
I am fairly confident the problem is in the mailroom where we print our newspaper. Our delivery driver mentioned a few weeks back that as he dropped off tubs of newspapers at the Owensboro post office, the tub for the papers going to Maceo, KY spilled. As he put the papers back in the tub, he noticed one bundle was for Maceo, but the other bundles were for Hardinsburg, if I remember correctly. We had a bunch of calls that week about people not getting their papers.
We apologize to those who did not get your newspaper last week, but it truly was not the fault of the Clarion, nor the fault of the post offices. They could only deliver the papers that were given to them.
By Ralph Dickerson