Damn you mail tub theives!!
December 10, 2002 10:40 AM   Subscribe

So that's why the economy is so bad. The USPS is looking for $65 million dollars worth of white mail postal tubs. If you work in an office or deal with a mailroom, you know exactly what I'm talking about. The penalty for not coughing them up? 3 years imprisonment and a $1000 fine. (I read it on the side of one of the boxes I have by my desk).
posted by gwong (24 comments total)

 
I admit it -- I've got one, too. Perhaps they should start selling them and reaping the profits.
posted by me3dia at 10:48 AM on December 10, 2002


I think having milk crates is theft as well.
posted by Witty at 10:54 AM on December 10, 2002


Can't the f$%#ing USPS take them with them when they leave?
posted by machaus at 10:55 AM on December 10, 2002


They sound like the perfect size for records.

Can someone mail a few to Montreal for me?
posted by jon_kill at 11:08 AM on December 10, 2002


Economy? Bad? Obviously you didn't hear John Snow's speech (Bush's new Treasury Secretary candidate) yesterday. He congratulated Bush for ending the recession. So I guess everything's okay now!
posted by vraxoin at 11:13 AM on December 10, 2002


For CNN Video subscribers, Jeanne Moos did a funny report on this a few weeks ago. She collected the tubs and tried to return them to the post office, only to be greeted by baffled postal workers.
posted by Frank Grimes at 11:30 AM on December 10, 2002


um, don't tell anybody but I have one!
posted by mcsweetie at 11:40 AM on December 10, 2002


I've reported you all. When you steal, you're not just stealing from me, and from everyone else, but stealing from yourselves, and from your children, and your childrens' children, and from my childrens' children.

Also, those mail crates are a really tacky design element in the home or in the office.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 12:24 PM on December 10, 2002


jon_kill: If I remember correctly, they're just a bit too narrow for records. I'll have to check as I may or may not have some in my basement which currently contain my dusty collection of kitschy paraphernalia.
I wonder if it would make it there anyway...
posted by chandy72 at 12:26 PM on December 10, 2002


I need to steal a few mail tubs to put all my cdr's of downloaded DIVX and MP3 files in.
posted by timecube at 1:11 PM on December 10, 2002


I'd imagine they were designed to *not* accommodate records as that was the fate of the dairy industry's crates - or a possible fate. I think they milk crates were more popularly used on the backs of people's bikes - held on with a bungee cord. You still see them. I doubt they still use that system. They probably realized that they weren't getting their crates back, they warnings weren't much of a deterrent, and so thusly defeated went back to the drawing boards. They probably came up with something that worked better than before while at the same time being useless to a non-milkman.

I'm sure the containers were designed keeping the milk crates in mind, and I'm sure that's where they got the idea for the penalty.

Not that I know anything about industrial design - I'm a lawyer! o<

Actually, since I am a former student of law, I find it a bit disconcerting when private interests tell me how long I'll go to prison if I dare **** with them.
!!! o<
posted by KettleBlack at 1:14 PM on December 10, 2002


Damn, I guess I'll have to dismantle the addition to my house I just built out of plastic mail tubs...
posted by mmoncur at 1:34 PM on December 10, 2002


vraxoin: duh, dude, you missed the boat. Harvey Pitt said the recession was over months ago...
posted by zekinskia at 2:12 PM on December 10, 2002


You realize you're wrong! Indeed a fool are you! No one knows! o<
posted by KettleBlack at 2:15 PM on December 10, 2002


Off topic: "o<" brings back some blocked out memories.
posted by riffola at 2:17 PM on December 10, 2002


but they make for the perfect gravity bong! surely the engineers in charge of its design had thought of the consequences...
posted by adamms222 at 2:18 PM on December 10, 2002


riffola whatchutalkinbout
posted by KettleBlack at 3:59 PM on December 10, 2002


They are, in fact, the perfect size for records. There's some extra room on either side for 10"s, headphones etc. And the handles are much easier on the hands than milk crates when you've got a full load of vinyl.

But it's illegal. Repent!
posted by lbergstr at 5:19 PM on December 10, 2002


OT: What is "o<" -- a Stargate reference or a spit-take?
posted by krisjohn at 7:40 PM on December 10, 2002


They are ideal for records, you'll have three inches on the side to spare, and that's great if you want to put in dividers to organize them. When I was in college radio we had stacks and stacks of.... um, nevermind, forget I said anything.
posted by Kellydamnit at 9:26 PM on December 10, 2002


But, but, the mail clerk GAVE the bin to me! He didn't say I had to give it back. I won't, I won't ... the cat likes sleeping in it.
posted by wordsilk at 10:03 PM on December 10, 2002


Moos probably went to the front window. They don't take them there. You waltz up through the parking lot, past the loading dock, and into the cavern of the PO where you look confused and, possibly, yell Hello, until someone appears and takes them away from you.

I agree the USPS ought to sell them -- or somebody should.

Anyway, they always step up efforts to get them back this time of year. Apparently, local offices are issuing press releases, which are intermittently picked up by major newspapers and wires. The current campaign's been going on, oh, two months now.
posted by dhartung at 12:49 AM on December 11, 2002


Somebody does sell them - and they even come in purdy colors. Though $20 seems a bit much...
posted by spinning jennie at 9:35 PM on December 11, 2002


"With the crush of holiday mail nearing its peak, the national inventory a few days ago was only about 20,000," says the report.

I estimated the flat tubs between my work area and the lunch room to be about 2,000. I bet I could find double that number if I went looking. I really, really doubt that the Spokane WA facility has one fifth the national inventory.

There's probably a couple million in that plant that's been closed for a year while they clean the anthrax out of it
posted by faceonmars at 7:41 AM on December 12, 2002


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