Monday, February 19, 2018

The subscription saga continues

The new printer was delivered to the Clarksville Times office today, and we got it up and running. We were able to print mailing labels - the first that's been done in the office since last summer - but couldn't complete the set because we were short of blank labels. The labels were in a box, but it turned out they were set on the top of a pile of labels that weren't the right kind. It was a box of Avery labels with the sprockets on the sides, but the labels that work with our printer don't have the guide sprockets and are friction fed. Sometime in the past someone got a box of the Avery labels at Staples, not realizing they were the wrong kind, and put the last of the old - correct - labels on top of them.

This circulation saga has been the death of a thousand cuts.

You can't buy the friction fed labels locally, you have to buy them from the circulation management company. So not only is the printer proprietary, so are the labels.

The circulation company has pledged to overnight the set of our mailing labels to the printing press so they will have them on Wednesday. They also said they will send us some blank labels so we can run off the labels in-house next week.

The one bright spot is that once we ran off the labels today I could check for the subscribers who haven't been getting their papers, and I could see they have labels being generated. For the past month and half the labels were being printed from a file we exported and emailed to the printing press, so we couldn't actually be sure the labels were being printed. If the circulation company ships the same labels as we ran off today in the office, these people will finally get their papers. I have no idea why the labels were not being generated by the exported file in the first place.

The circulation company followed through on its pledge to train us. I spent two and a half hours on the phone with them, and Patricia spent two hours herself.

I've had sinusitis for a week now, and I'm feeling sweaty and feverish. I'm keeping a fan blowing on me when I sit at my desk, both at work and at home. I assume I'm sick because of the stress and high blood pressure. This fiasco has to come to an end.

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