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Topic Rating: +4 Topic Rating: +4 (4 votes) 
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Spurs
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haygrrl
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January 28, 2018 - 6:06 am
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In our office, the small parcels are called spurs. They are separated by clerks into blue tubs in front of our hampers each morning. Most often than not, though, they are also found in copious amounts in the bottom of the hampers.

My question is how are they credited in YOUR office?

Thanks

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MiddleOfNowhere
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January 28, 2018 - 6:35 am
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spurs is a city carrier word.  we have parcels, flats, and letters.  credit is determined by size, and flexibility.  

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Lady Carrier
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January 28, 2018 - 6:59 am
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From 2018 Mail Count Guide:  https://www.knowledgebase.ruralinfo.net/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/NRLCA-Mail-Count-Guide-revised-2018-01-04.pdf

(A) A parcel is any rigid article that exceeds
any one of the following dimensions:
(a) 5 inches in height.
(b) 18 inches in length.
(c) 1 9/16 inches in width.

(B) In addition, any non-rigid article that does
not fit in the letter or flat separations
(where flat separations are used) with
other mail is considered a parcel.

SPRS is a City Carrier term for Small Parcels and RollS. It is not a rural carrier term. Counters need to use the proper terms and not confuse City with Rural. Too many counters come from the City or Clerk side.

Counter should be using the official Rural Carrier Mail Count Gauge (Ruler) to determine the category an item is counted in.

Image from:  http://www.pjsigns.com/rural-m…..ount-gage/

Image result for rural carrier mail count ruler

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FrozenToes
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January 28, 2018 - 7:24 am
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btdtret
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January 28, 2018 - 7:40 am
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M-O-N, L-C et al — “SPR’s / SPURS / etc”

—  It may be a city term, but siding with “haygrrl”, it’s a term used by rural’s too.  Could be a “regional” thing, so use “M-O-N’s” “parcels, flats, and letters” if that is the way in your office.  Don’t confuse the counters.

—  At my old office, anyways, the term was used to denote the dimensions “Lady Carrier” provided, such as boxes of checks, photos, books, catalogs, pills in bags, etc.

—  Items that would not fit in a 1 inch slot but could be cased above the slot dividers, to be pulled down in delivery order, and placed in a separate tray ( or tub ) for such items.

—  By all means, get a count “ruler” ( so you don’t have to share one ).   Learn the different slots and notches and what they are used for.   The “ruler” used to be handed out at District Pre-Count meetings and are available for purchase on line.   A tip of the hat to “Lady Carrier” for the link.

—  Word of caution:  Don’t let the counter get away calling a squashed box of checks a non-parcel, as it will fit within one of the notches when measured in the squashed middle.   Measure the box on the end where it is less likely to be squashed.

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FrozenToes
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January 28, 2018 - 7:47 am
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Another tip. It says other mail. so if you have 4 of the blue check thingys. The first couple might be flats/letters cause they can fit with other mail. Last 2 would be parcels because they can’t fit with mail and the other 2 already in case.

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Oi veh.

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January 28, 2018 - 7:49 am
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btdtret said 
—  Word of caution:  Don’t let the counter get away calling a squashed box of checks a non-parcel, as it will fit within one of the notches when measured in the squashed middle.   Measure the box on the end where it is less likely to be squashed.  

And when the counter smashes something down to try to make it a flat, make sure that you insist that the counter scan or mark it damaged to cover your behind when the customer complains about the condition of his parcel.

Do that enough times and the counter will stop that nonsense.

Get in fight mode now.

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Deer Smearer
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January 28, 2018 - 8:03 am
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We got to count our own last time.

Mostly parcels. Maybe an 80/20 mix

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D.B.Cooper
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January 28, 2018 - 10:08 am
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I think when they go thru and throw off many of the items as non-parcels… those items end up not getting counted as anything… I mean like the little china packets and such… I think they should be counted as *something*… but I believe they are often not counted at all…  just one more way the deck is stacked against us… most ALL oversights and slights end up with us not getting any credit… how many result in us getting extra credit… (hint:  NONE)…  Confused

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btdtret
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January 28, 2018 - 10:32 am
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D.B.Cooper et al — “I think when they go thru and throw off many of the items as non-parcels… those items end up not getting counted as anything… I mean like the little china packets and such… I think they should be counted as *something*… but I believe they are often not counted at all…  just one more way the deck is stacked against us…”

—  Then it is time to become a giraffe instead of a turtle!

—  EACH AND EVERY PIECE should be counted and given some type of time credit.

—  If you don’t speak up, you’ll be letting manglement and the counter take away a little piece of your pay check.  Or a BIG piece if you miss the next higher classification by a minute or two.

—  Time equals money.  EFFORT equals MONEY.

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D.B.Cooper
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January 28, 2018 - 11:25 am
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I hear ya… but in reality, it’s often hard to oversee everything that’s going on in the counting, while at the same time casing and sorting mail to prepare to deliver our routes… another feature of the counting process which stacks the deck against us… Frown

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MiddleOfNowhere
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January 28, 2018 - 1:19 pm
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you can call small parcels spurs if you like, but there is no time allowance for spurs on a count sheet – hence, parcels, flats, or letters…

determined by size and flexibility

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Oi veh.

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January 28, 2018 - 2:03 pm
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D.B.Cooper said
I hear ya… but in reality, it’s often hard to oversee everything that’s going on in the counting, while at the same time casing and sorting mail to prepare to deliver our routes… another feature of the counting process which stacks the deck against us… Frown  

No, D.B.

You are allowed to confirm #s.  Take the time to do so.  Every time I count, I check the counter’s #s.  And they are usually off.

Seconds become minutes become the next evaluated hour.  🙂

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D.B.Cooper
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January 28, 2018 - 2:27 pm
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Yeah, I’m not denying we have a roll to play… I’m hopeful they’ll be labeling stuff with sticky notes so we can see what their count is on like tubs of flats, and maybe tubs of small parcels or sprs… I’ll do some checking, but am doubtful I’ll have the time to check everything…

Also, I’m gonna do some comparisons with what is in my scanner at the end of the day, against the count sheets… if they don’t jive, I’ll ask why…

All we can do, is what we can do… I hope it’ll turn out alright… I figure I’ll do as much or more than most will… hopefully it’ll pay off somehow… we’ll know before too much longer… actually, I’m hoping they’ll approve my opt out request, and then I can just skip the whole dishonest PITA goat rope…  Cool

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Rt2mailman
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January 28, 2018 - 6:17 pm
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Not all carriers double check the counters due to the time requirements to re-count everything we receive. Mostly because we are “tuned” to work as fast as we can to get done somewhat near, or fewer hours over our evaluation. Count time is the only time that we, as carriers, can and should work as hard as we can to make sure that we get every second that is due to our routes, and those of our regulars when we work their relief day, because as RCA it also helps us, for the time that we work for those routes.

In my office we have devised a method that closely “watches” and protects, as much as we can, once the mail gets to our office, everything that should be counted, even for those who don’t want to re-count everything, but can quickly “see at a glance” that the # written down is “close” to what it should be.

First, all footage is measured and distances recorded before count starts, and only #’s of trips are counted during count, as with trays of DPS for riffling times.

Second, all flats and letters are counted and every container/tray labeled with a sticky note with the # and initials of the counter along with the date. Every 50 pieces are de-noted by sticking a letter or flat “up” at a different direction from the others.

Third, all 3-m mail, re-works, parcels (letters/flats that come with parcels) are separated and counted and sticky note placed on each separation.

Forth, all counted items, fliers, pick-ups, load times, and anything that I may have forgotten are placed on the daily count sheets which are placed on our desks on the next morning for us to check for any differences between those sheets and our sticky notes.

Using this method we, in our office, have been able to catch and correct any discrepancies quickly and accurately.

The only “correction” that I could see that will most likely come up for those of you following the posts above is that that the slot that any “flat” must fit in, is 2 inches, not one inch. The piece in question may also be classified as a parcel if it doesn’t fit in that 2 inch slot with other mail. The reason the 2 inch slot is considered  is because management, even though they often don’t require it, may force us to use 2 customers to a 2 inch slot, rather than 1 per 1 inch.

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Lee Ruby
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January 28, 2018 - 6:29 pm
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The two inch slot is a holdover from the old cases.

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gotstamps
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January 28, 2018 - 7:51 pm
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D.B.Cooper said
Yeah, I’m not denying we have a roll to play… I’m hopeful they’ll be labeling stuff with sticky notes so we can see what their count is on like tubs of flats, and maybe tubs of small parcels or sprs… I’ll do some checking, but am doubtful I’ll have the time to check everything…

Also, I’m gonna do some comparisons with what is in my scanner at the end of the day, against the count sheets… if they don’t jive, I’ll ask why…

All we can do, is what we can do… I hope it’ll turn out alright… I figure I’ll do as much or more than most will… hopefully it’ll pay off somehow… we’ll know before too much longer… actually, I’m hoping they’ll approve my opt out request, and then I can just skip the whole dishonest PITA goat rope…  Cool  

You have the right to recount everything they count. Take the time to do it or you could lose time & money. I recount everything they count. The time it takes to recount should be listed in the last block labeled “count time”. Mine usually runs 20-30 minutes accumulated. I keep a timer for just this task and use another timer for time-functions verification. The “count time” doesn’t effect the count results.

We have a “be back by 5” rule in our office and I’ve already let some of mgmt know that THAT rule isn’t gonna fly during count. I already push the envelope on that one most days as is. I suspect I’ll be going in a bit early and coming back by 6. 

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Howah44
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January 29, 2018 - 7:32 am
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gotstamps said

You have the right to recount everything they count. Take the time to do it or you could lose time & money. I recount everything they count. The time it takes to recount should be listed in the last block labeled “count time”. Mine usually runs 20-30 minutes accumulated. I keep a timer for just this task and use another timer for time-functions verification. The “count time” doesn’t effect the count results.

We have a “be back by 5” rule in our office and I’ve already let some of mgmt know that THAT rule isn’t gonna fly during count. I already push the envelope on that one most days as is. I suspect I’ll be going in a bit early and coming back by 6.   

As you stated above we have the right to check the count persons work.

You state the time it takes to recount is listed in the last block labeled “count time”.  Then you stated the “count time” doesnt effect the count results.

It seems to me your 2 statements contradict each other.

Am I missing something ?  Does the last block not get calculated into your daily time ?

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Rt2mailman
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January 29, 2018 - 7:34 am
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Lee Ruby, hold over or not, parcels fitting in a 2″ slot,  is still the rule listed in the count guide and PO 603.

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January 29, 2018 - 7:51 am
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Howah44 said

As you stated above we have the right to check the count persons work.

You state the time it takes to recount is listed in the last block labeled “count time”.  Then you stated the “count time” doesnt effect the count results.

It seems to me your 2 statements contradict each other.

Am I missing something ?  Does the last block not get calculated into your daily time ?  

The time you spend counting does NOT get included in your daily actual time (for the count)… that’s the reason you list it, so it can be excluded… 

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