Monday, October 6, 2008

And to think, I have a Master's Degree...

I jumped on the computer as soon as I saw Thorzul's Halloween contest. In fact, I had the idea in my head for a card before I could even stop to think of an idea for a card! I will not tell you what I did, but will let him display my entry when the time comes.

No, this post is my own reflections on his exuberance over the package I sent him. Literally, the package. More precisely, the amount of postage on the package. A few years ago, I bought a postage scale in order to help myself figure up the cost of sending eBay items and card trades. The scale I have was a Wal-Mart special that cost about 10-15 bucks. In everyday English, that means it weighs things. It does not calculate the cost, nor does it tell you how many STAMPS one might need. Those things are left to the user of the scale to decipher.

So, when I put together my package for Thorzul (after thinking myself so clever for the contest entry and the ensuing additional items), I turned my brain off for the evening. Unfortunately, I still had some math to do.

The package should have cost about $1.50 or so to mail. I cannot even begin to explain why, but for some reason, I had it in my head that the number of stamps required was going to be around eleven. Now, here's where things break down. My very first thought was, "I can remember when America's Funniest Videos would tell people to send the video with 10 stamps. I can't believe this will take 11..." You would THINK that should have set off the red flags. Nope.

I loaded the package with the new "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" stamps and quickly realized those were too big for the package. Nevermind that the row of stamps more than covered the cost of shipping. I broke into my wife's stash of stamps and stole, er, borrowed, SIX MORE stamps.

It was not until I saw the post on Thorzul's site that the light came on above my head (it turned out NOT to be the lightning flashes from the storm outside). I thought, "Holy cow, that's a lot of postage..." Only THEN did I bring up the calculator on the old computer. How $1.50 turned into needing more than $4.00 is beyond my own comprehension.

I have to be honest. I don't even know what the current rate for Priority is without checking I can only assume by the speed at which he received the package that I adequately covered the cost of getting it there almost before actually sending it...

Did I mention that my degree is in Liberal Arts-English? Yeap, and I troubleshoot wireless networks, Exchange servers, EeePCs, etc, while teaching teachers how to use all the technology in world for their classrooms, but evidently I can't think far enough ahead to stop and calculate the number of stamps it takes to get to $1.50... Go figure.

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