Shout Out to Garden City, New York!

Why Garden City?  Two reasons.  First, they hosted Lacey’s prom!  Aw!  So wish I had been her date.  Second, the FedEx print shop there helps me out.  Love you guys, but how about you BUY A HEAVY DUTY STAPLER!  Seriously! You are a printing shop!  You may need one.  Like every day!

Before I get started, this post is like a Dilbert cartoon.  But with a lot more words, no cartoon characters and very little humor.  You’ve been warned.

I send stupid thick documents to bureaucrats in New York.  They are generically referred to as offering documents.  These documents describe bonds my clients sell.  The documents are posted online at a free site anyone can access, but New York wants two hard copies in the mail in connection with a notice filing.  Awesome use of my money (filing fees are $300, printing is $80, shipping to the bureaucrats is $5, for a total of $385) and New York’s (where do they store all the documents?) and a charming use of our rapidly diminishing natural resources (such as shelf space in New York City).  New York is one of about five states that still bother with notice filings for the deals I do.  The other 45 gave up much earlier or did finally when the feds said they were preempting the states right to regulate my specific type of bond.  The feds allow notice filings and the collection of fees.  Did someone say fees?  New York is all over that.

The whole New York filing process used to bother me much less when my documents would be printed at a financial printer.  Please forgive a short digression about financial printers.  I got in the business in 1992.  Before I arrived, financial printing was a big deal.  People would fly to New York to print a document.  The cover would get typeset.  Everyone would sit around and wait as the versions were refined.  While they waited, the printers, who were paid stupid big fees, would wine and dine the deal participants.  Anything you wanted from any restaurant.  All night long.  I remember stories about pinball machines!  How fun is that?  Not fun if you have ten deals going on or love your family, but nice if you have nothing to do and want a trip to New York.

By the time I got in the business, things were a lot less interesting.  I’d email the doc to a financial printer (used to send it FedEx before email), they’d print and bind like a hundred or so copies (we’d call them books because they were like paperbacks but 8.5″ by 11″).  Fifty or so books would go the underwriter who’d in turn mail them to mutual funds who’d supposedly read them before making a decision to buy the bonds described in the books.  A bunch would go to Bond Counsel who would include them in bound transcripts (collections of all the docs in the deal) to be sent to the deal participants (these used to be a couple of very handsome hard bound volumes for each deal, then they morphed into three ring binders and now they are just one CD rom).  A few of the books would be sent to me to be sent along with some silly forms and a check for $300 to the New York bureaucrats.  Easy.

Fast forward to today.  No one wants printed books.  Not even the bond buyers.  Everyone except the New York bureaucrats, that is.  I’ve asked them about accepting emailed books or just grabbing them online.  They said they are considering it.  I made a reminder to call them back, but so far I haven’t.  I just keep moving the reminder one month in the future.  It’s just too depressing.  I’d rather live my life and given them the paper they want to collect.

So I print two books.  Printing the books would severely tax my small home office printer, so I have FedEx Office print them.  Have done so maybe a dozen times now.  Every time I ask them to staple the documents.  Its a box I click on the order form.  That’s the way the New York bureaucrats want them–they even sent me a letter once to make that request.  Never once has FedEx Office stapled the documents.  On the eleventh try, I called to ask about the lack of stapling.  They said they can’t staple docs over 120 pages and only then if they print on 20 lb. paper.  Most of my docs are over 120 pages and they don’t offer 20 lb. paper on their site.  Only heavy paper and laser stock (theirs is 24 lb.).  I pick the laser stock (being the lightest they offer without making a special request).  If I make a special  request for 20 lb., I don’t get a receipt with a  price on it (which I need for reimbursement purposes).

What’s a boy to do?  I bought a heavy duty stapler.  About $35 with staples.  Didn’t want to bring another stupid single trick office pony into the world, but I gave up.  The label on the machine claims it can staple up to 160 pages with the 3/4″ staples I put in there.  I stapled my first books today.  125 pages of the 24 lb. paper.  No sweat (because it was 8:00 in the morning–if I so much as tried to move the stapler in the heat of this day, I’d be drenched).  Lacey watched me place the first two staples.  She said it reminded her of the scene from Fiddler on the Roof in which the village got all lathered up when the new sewing machine arrived.  Cute!  If only I was making shirts instead of stapling books!

Now that I have the stapler, New York will surely start accepting email submissions.  ‘Cause that’s just the way the world works.  I have 998 staples remaining.  Let me know if you want to staple any stupid thick documents.  Let’s not bring another one of these ugly (but functional) staplers into the world.

Back to work!


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