The battle for new 29-cent stamps has left some people feeling licked. Since the U.S. Postal Service raised its rates on Sunday, students, faculty and staff have found the lines long and winding as they try to secure two new issues -- the 29-cent stamps for first-class letters and 4-cent stamps which supplement the retired 25-cent denomination. Besides the long lines, stamp seekers had to deal with post offices running out of the 4-cent stamp, and had difficulty finding the new issues at stamp machines in local stores. She said that she had already waited 25 minutes to buy stamps, and estimated that she would be in line for another 15 more minutes before reaching the counter. There were 15 customers in line ahead of her. Caruso said that she would have bought the stamps in advance, but realized only Monday that she could have avoided the crush of customers because the stamps have been available for several weeks. Caruso added that she would have used the machine that dispenses books of stamps, but she did not have the $5.80 exact change that was required. But that point was moot anyway. The machine ran out of stamp books at about 2:55 p.m. One of the two regular Houston Hall postal clerks, who would only give his name as George, said that his branch ran out of 4-cent stamps at 10:45 a.m. Monday, and that supplies were quickly running low again yesterday morning. George said that most of the customers were waiting to buy the new stamps and to mail packages, adding that the average wait was about 35 minutes. Lines yesterday ran up to 30 people at various times. Wharton freshman Tammy Khieu said Monday that she had gone to the post office at 40th and Locust streets Saturday to avoid the long line -- to no avail. But she said that despite the line winding outside the door, she only waited ten to fifteen minutes for the stamps because three clerks were waiting on postal customers. She added that one of her friends, who "was lazy and didn't want to wait" Monday, bought five of the stamps from Khieu at cost. Alneal Brown, a clerk at the 40th Street office, said that the lines were "out the door" for most of yesterday, but that the small office can not hold many people anyway. She said that the continuous crowd was "more than likely" due to the increase in postage prices. Brown added that while the post office did not run out of either the four-cent or 29-cent stamps, they were running low on the new issues for a while.Comments powered by Disqus
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