What is with the envelope? So, I have been asked dozens of times. I thought it would be beneficial to clear up the confusion. First, if you live inside the perimeter, you have probably been receiving your newspaper on a timely basis, relatively speaking.
Not so much for people living outside the perimeter.
As an institution, we have been dealing with poor delivery services by the United States Postal Service during my entire tenure as owner; and I have heard from virtually all previous owners of the AJT that dealing with the USPS is one of the more difficult challenges, and the least rewarding aspect of ownership.
After many arguments through the years, the postal service, to some extent, conceded. Very early this year, we were told that it was unlikely that they could regularly deliver our paper on time outside the perimeter. Even though we were paying the appropriate amount for timely delivery of a newspaper, it was beyond the control of the central office downtown to accommodate our payment and their commitment. The AJT needed to come up with a plan B.
The bottom line is that an envelope or a plastic bag (that does not show the contents), tends to be delivered on a timely basis. Once we switched to an envelope, AJT delivery became more reliable with our first issue. For the majority of our subscriber households, the AJT is now delivered relatively on time.
Initially, we used paper envelopes. This is the most expensive option. We used paper because it was quick and we wanted to test our theory of concealing the contents. Once the AJT was being delivered on time, we worked on a more cost-effective, long-term solution, which was printing on a plastic wrapper that was produced specifically to fit our newspaper. When I excitedly received my first paper on time, in the new plastic envelope, I, like you, recognized the problem immediately. Just like anything that is “child-proof,” adults like me cannot open it! I affectionately call our plastic envelopes chainsaw-ready. Unfortunately, we had a half-year supply (If I was texting, I would add a frowning face now). I did decide to use up our supply of plastic envelopes rather than lose our investment. To those of us, including me, who struggled this year, I apologize. Hopefully, you had a pair of scissors close by. When it came time to reorder, we had to come up with a solution. The next round of envelopes would have a perforated edge to make opening easier – some might say, possible – and, we would only purchase a three-month supply in case this wasn’t the ultimate solution.
Just when we thought we were hitting the home stretch, hurricane Florence delayed the delivery of the new perforated envelopes. So, for several weeks we went back to expensive, but easily-obtainable, paper envelopes. Fast forward to today. Adding insult to injury, when the new plastic envelopes arrived last week, they were not perforated.
We have received many questions about recycling the wrapper and I would like to assure you that it is made of No. 4 recyclable material.
To our valued subscribers, we are diligently working on a solution. Clearly, it is an ongoing process, but I promise we will end up with a cost-effective, easy-to-open recyclable envelope.
There may be more challenges ahead, but the end product will be one that delivers to you a clean, dry paper on a timely basis.
Michael A. Morris