As I previously mentioned, I was a Boy Scout, so I always believe in preparation. Delivery day is no different. Check, check and double check – then give out the books and have a good time.
1. Look over the book before you give it out. Look at every page when the book comes in. Give your principal and superintendent a copy. No surprises. Give them a couple of days to look it over before you hand out the book.
2. Make sure all the receipt books and receipts are in order. At least a month before delivery we give out final reminders for late payments and this helps us to ensure we are 98% correct in our book count.
3. Be ready for a mistake. No book is perfect. Have a policy ready and have your principal ready to back you up. If you don’t give refunds – don’t offer one. If you must give a refund, demand that they give back the book first.
4. Be ready for wrong receipts. We always plan a 5-10 book buffer for missing receipts. We lost/misplaced 2 this year. Not bad. It has been worse. I have 40 kids on my staff. That is 40 different personalities and 40 different ideas about responsibility.
5. Have fun. We always have music and tables for kids to sign books. We usually plan a 90 min. “signing party.” We sometimes have a slide show set to music. Go to itunes and check the 100 hottest downloads. Get your kids to help you pick out their favorites. Download the clean versions and make a mixed CD of 25-30 songs.
6. Pre-order plenty of autograph sections and plastic covers. We sell them for $2 each. Anyone can buy one. We sell a lot to kids who don’t buy or can’t afford yearbooks.
7. Expect complaints. We have 1700 students, 150 teachers, and nearly 100 support staff. With parents and family members that must equal more than 6000 people will see our yearbook. Someone will hate it. No matter how many awards it wins or how hard you worked. Don’t let them bring you or your students down. Acknowledge true complaints, but don’t argue over taste or design.
8. Feed your staff. This is the end of the year. Buy them burgers or pizza – it only costs about $50-$80. They worked hard and deserve it.
9. Rest. Delivery time is the most stressful time of the year. Recharge your batteries a little. Do yoga, ride a bike, take a nap if possible. Be calm.
10. Start preparing them for next year’s book. It’s only 364 days away.