It takes a lot of work to get the Hancock Clarion out each week. We battle the unexpected each week to get the paper out to you on time, and sometimes we face obstacles completely beyond our control.
For example, the week of June 24th our printer decided to use adhesive labels instead of an inkjet printer to put addresses on the paper for mail delivery. No one noticed that when the labels came off the printer, the addresses did not line up properly on the label, and all of the labels came out with the city, state and zip left off the label.
We have battled tubs of papers not being given to our delivery driver (not sure where they went), and even a glitch in the computer program that generates the mailing labels on our end. The program synchronizes the mailing labels with the tub tags to ensure the right papers go in the correct tub. One week it glitched, and papers went everywhere but where they were supposed to go.
Last week we learned of a situation completely beyond anyone’s control. A cat crawled into one of the delivery tubs outside of the Hawesville Post Office and peed on several of the bundles! I learned of this situation when I took the postal report down to the post office on Thursday.
I walked in and dropped the postal report on the counter, and BJ, the postmaster, saw me and said, “Hey Ralph, I have to talk to you.” By the look on his face I thought, “I wonder what I did wrong?” He then told me the Clarion would be getting calls from people that did not get a paper.
“You are not going to believe this,” BJ said, “but a cat or cats crawled into one of the delivery tubs dropped off here last night and peed on the papers.”
He said they salvaged what they could, but there were some papers too badly damaged to save. When he told me this information I was dumbfounded. Of all the situations we have encountered at the Clarion, who in the world would ever think of a cat peeing on papers?
I have been working here at the Clarion since 2003, and this is the first time I have ever encountered this situation. We have dropped off tubs outside the Hawesville Post Office for over 20 years, and this situation is definitely the first.
So, if you received a stained, funny smelling paper now you know what happened. If you did not get a paper, you know what happened.
I think BJ and the postal carriers went above and beyond in regards to those soiled papers. Would you want to reach into a tub of papers that a cat peed on? I wouldn’t. So when you see BJ and the postal carriers, give them a hearty thanks for going way above and beyond what their job requires to get our paper to you each week.
By Ralph Dickerson