introducing the faux post office

12 May

If you’re one of my twitter followers then you have likely heard me complaining about the complete cow who works at the downtown post office. She is the exact opposite of what customer service stands for: gives the what do you want stare instead of a friendly hello, responds to every question in a demeaning tone, and she’s the one who told me I couldn’t send my Art House sketchbook project with tracking because I had already placed regular stamp postage on my parcel instead of paying in-store for an Express Post postage label, which automatically includes tracking… just in case you didn’t know either, my sketchbook ironically didn’t ever show up to New York, it got lost. Need I say more? Since numerous fail encounters, I have vowed to never return there and have since been going out of my way to the drug store’s mini post office (the only other post office that exists in this small town). The ladies there are helpful and sweeter than candy in comparison to the latter, but at the same time it sucks to have to go down there a few times a week to get them to check postage amounts on envelopes, when I could just be dropping them all at the PO Box in my neighbourhood. Also, with the looming opening of my etsy shop, I need to be more organized with my mailing and am not interested in increasing my visits, even if they are much more pleasant at the drug store. So, I have created a solution:First, a scale with an accurate weighing system was necessary. A lot of times I pack so much stuff into envelopes that they tend to need an extra stamp or two; a scale would tell me if I was on point. I went down to Home Hardware just to get a basic cooking scale but the only options were a ghetto version with a bad pixelated advertisement on the box or a fancy digital wall-mounted one. Apart from being allergic to bad design, I decided to treat myself, and my outgoing mail, to the real deal. This thing is a beauty. It turns on when you flip the scale down and weighs quickly after you pop an envelope onto it’s glass top. It weighs in four different measurements, and even displays the temperature and time… what did I say, fancy right? Plus it has a permanent home in my studio without taking any space on the drafting table.  The next important issue to tackle is the thickness of a package. At the post office they have a handy plastic template that they slide your envelope through. One of the ladies told me they used to sell them, but haven’t for a few years… Well I’m no dummy, I can use a ruler and cut through some scrap illustration board, and thus have made my very own thickness tester… aw yea, D.I.Y.!I even attached the 3 important letter mail postal amounts directly to the template so I can double check the exact stamp requirements after weighing and measuring.  The illustration board & the scale are mounted to the wall in my studio space, and fit perfectly behind my small section of random office supplies.  With these two new gadgets, the faux post office was born. Mail art victory, online order efficiency and many more bike rides to my neighbourhood post box, here I come. Take that local post office cow!


22 Responses to “introducing the faux post office”

  1. Joanne Hawker 12/05/2011 at 10:20 #

    I loved reading this! In your face Post Office cow! I love your Faux Post Office too! Such a good idea :) x

  2. Lucius Waller 12/05/2011 at 10:32 #

    Brilliant, great idea!! i hate how essential a post office is to people like us, so its very resourceful of you and fully acness of course!! for people like that i employ a little tactic called ‘anthrax in the post’….jokes! you must have been so bummed to lose you sketchbook in the post, i heard you got in the next one for free though, still a lot of work gone!!

  3. anika 12/05/2011 at 10:41 #

    i love this! the wall mounted scale was the clear choice. yay for saving surface space! The whole set up is totally brill.

  4. anika 12/05/2011 at 10:44 #

    PS–and, although your set up if very high-tech & official, it sort of reminds me of being little & playing post office, and I love that aspect as well.

  5. valeria poropat 12/05/2011 at 12:21 #

    Not sure whether it’s appropriate or not but I’m laughing out loud at the faux postoffice :) genius!

  6. Jill Griffin 12/05/2011 at 13:20 #

    Love it! Good for you!

  7. Jeannine | SaylorMade 12/05/2011 at 16:15 #

    OOoooo, that scale is SLICK. I heard there were inexpensive postage scales on ebay, but that sucker looks just about perfect. So odd that I’ve also found the nicest postal workers were ones working at the outlet in a pharmacy. Interesting.

  8. Chantal Vincent 12/05/2011 at 22:46 #

    What a set up! Clever idea and I agree that even when you have a nice person you serving at the post office, it’s still a frustrating treck to undertake if you’ve only got one order an no other reason to go to the shops.

  9. rica 12/05/2011 at 23:31 #

    haha! super awesome set-up!!! good on ya, *hi five*

  10. leah 13/05/2011 at 22:20 #

    I love!!! this set-up! I struggle with postage guess-timates and often have to make multiple trips to the post office.
    I am so excited that your etsy shop is opening soon! yay!

  11. Jess @ Brown Paper Bunny 15/05/2011 at 23:25 #

    You’re awesome. I’m totally going to set one up for myself.

    The lady at our little hole-in-the-wall post office is worse than horrible. I’m sure you’ll understand. She is rude, doesn’t seem to understand international postage despite working IN A POST OFFICE and actually expends extra effort to go out of her way to NOT be helpful.

    The folks at the big post office where I have my post box are awesome, but I can’t get there during business hours. :(

    • naturesmyfriend 15/05/2011 at 23:37 #

      Thank you all of you for your sweet comments!!! yes i encourage you to ALL create your own faux post offices, ESPECIALLY if your local government post office is also ridden with cows. :D

  12. eraser carver 17/05/2011 at 13:27 #

    How cool is that? I *love* the set up :) Luckily our little village post office is great, and they love to see the mail art go through it. When I lived in the city though, this set up would have been wonderful.

  13. Kye Sangha 30/08/2011 at 13:31 #

    Great set up! Love the labels-they make it so fun. Our post office is great-when ~one~ of the post lady’s is there. The others are scary and slow. I ran away to the next town a few weeks back because of the wait at our post office-but forgot that the neighboring town’s postal gal is slow AND a talker! Boy, was I regretting that decision.
    You’ve inspired me, big time-I’m going to re-vamp my mail station!

  14. Anna Jane Searle 09/09/2011 at 13:41 #

    This is a brilliant idea….I could do with some of this equipment myself.

  15. ArminG 20/10/2011 at 13:00 #

    This is wonderful!!! If you are in Canada… get one of those Venture cards for small business, we are running a home daycare and have one so it’s really easy…. Call Order Desk 1-866-607-6301 and they will send you that envelope sizer for $20, all other supplies like “Air mail”, “Fragile”, International parcel stickers and custom declaration forms are free… I just discovered today as I lost my homemade envelope sizer…We also have a postage meter from Pitney Bowes which makes everything easier and we don’t even have to bu stamps…
    Good luck,

  16. mandala56 14/03/2012 at 17:24 #

    I think you need your own faux postage and a postmark, as well!

  17. Marion Alyson Prokop 10/05/2015 at 17:03 #

    Reblogged this on the GREEN GIRL GUIDE and commented:
    Wonder where a days I can get one of those envelope measurerers …

    • Kit 18/06/2016 at 08:39 #

      Google it. I think I saw eBay had it before as well as someone was selling it on etsy too.

      Hope this helps.

  18. Kit 18/06/2016 at 08:38 #

    Found your old blog page of your “The Faux Post Office” while I needed to Google information on Canada Post measurement template and you did a super great job on the home-brewed template! The fold-up postal scale was awesome! It’s definitely a good choice. I don’t know if it is still available @ hardware store (perhaps on-line only) but it’s fancy. I made myself a template too just right after seeing yours. :)



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