Help Needed With Secret Post Club

>> Apr 7, 2010

I have, it seems, created a monster.

For the most part, a wonderful, joyful monster, full of kindness, generosity and excitement.  However, it's not without it's issues.  Hopefully they are just teething issues as I get my head around this post club thing and come up with a better way to run it.

That's is the bit I need help with.

I need some ideas.

**Before I go any further, I'm not having a go at anyone.  I totally understand why people have been getting in touch to find out the whereabouts of their parcels, both sent and not yet received.  It is normal to want to know, to worry that yours has gone missing and I encouraged people to get in touch because I hate the idea that someone is sitting around worrying or sulking about their parcel when I could fire off a quick email to find out.

So if you have gotten in touch to find out about your parcel, don't feel bad or guilty, it was, after all, what I  told you to do.  And don't feel pissed off with me either, please?  As I said, I'm not having a go I'm just asking for help in how to deal with it.**

However, it seems I didn't really think things through.  Nor did I anticipate just how many would go missing or turn up late. Seriously, I thought maybe a couple, 3 tops.  I mean the postal system, for all our moans and gripes, is pretty reliable.  I've never, in all my years of having things posted to and from far flung places, had a parcel go missing before, and then this last month, out of around 100 parcels, there must be around 15 that haven't yet arrived.

That is a huge percentage.

So big that it makes me worry that some people (no-one in particular, just 'people' in general) are taking advantage.  Saying they have posted when they haven't.  Which would be a mean, low down and pathetic thing to do.  Something so low that if I ever found out someone had done this I would out them immediately on my blog and then cease to have anything to do with them again.

Can you tell I'm wound up a bit tight about this?


I hate how suspicious all this is making me.

So, in short, the chasing up of missing or late parcels is becoming somewhat overwhelming and stressful and I need to find a new system, a better way of running the club so that I don't have to do this.

I have come up with a few ideas so far:

1.  Just pair people up instead of giving everyone a different person to send to, so that it becomes a gift swap rather than a 'secret Santa' type club.  For example instead of A getting B, B getting C, C getting D and D getting A.  A and B would be paired up and C and D would be paired up.

*Edited to say I did mean paired up with a different person each month*

2.  Keep it the way it is but post a list of who is posting to who, similar to the spreadsheet I put up this month but with both the sender and receiver on it.

3.  Wait until the month is out and then post a list of who posted to who, and people that didn't receive a parcel can then chase up the person that sent to them.

4.  Something I haven't thought of yet but you are going to tell me and make my day...*hopeful smile*

Oh and the secretary suggestion is a nice one, but until you are all paying me £10 a month to be members I can't really afford it.

Nor can I be bothered with the extra hassle of having a different member each month being responsible for chasing these things up.  I am sure it would bring more headaches than it would solve.

So, as this is your club as much as mine, how would you like it to be run?  Have any super ideas?  Thoughts? Anything?

I'm going to get myself a glass of wine and wait for your fabulous words of wisdom to pour in.

(For those that how no idea what any of this is about - The Secret Post Club is a bloggy gift swap that I arrange each month that currently has around 160 members.  At the beginning of the month each member gets emailed the details of another member and has to post the a gift as their gift, from someone unknown, gets posted to them.  For more information, simply click on the secret post club link in my menu bar).
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