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Postal Disservice

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Ok. I’ve not updated for a while, simply because I had nothing to write. Nothing funny anyway. And now I find myself suddenly with a suject. Irritation and the postal service. Funnily enough. I’ve just read the latest offering from Pork Tornado and he’s been having trouble with UPS deliveries. I sympathise, man. Really I do. I’m sat at work, minding my own business (or in fact Soulless Corporation (TM)’s business, truth be told) when my boss the-IT-man calls me. We sent a laptop that was no longer in use in our office to the Wolverhampton office where it is now being used by yet another of our department. We apparently did not ship the manuals and recovery discs. In fact, the laptop was taken away by someone from that office, so I suppose the forgetful blame falls all around like damp napalm. So, now the new owner has done something to this laptop (I have yet to discover what… perhaps smeared jam in the CD tray or stood on it or something) and needs the recovery disc. Kind of Urgently. Can I find them. So I find them. Can I send them directly to him, so he can reinstall and have the machine over the weekend? Indeed I can. I will take care of this myself, as its my department and my responsibility.

So I package up the box of books and CDs, using my own parcel paper, as work has none (don’t ask why I have my own parcel paper at work… it’s a fetish ok?) I fill in Farmer Man’s home address on the sticker (with padded packages you can’t write on parcel paper as it just goes through.) I head up to Chicken Boy who still works here for a few weeks and is in control of the petty cash. There is no petty cash. What? Why? Have the people in charge of this corporate nightmare been buying needless trinkets like leather coasters and paintings of their own ass being kissed instead of saving the cash for things like sending company parcels? How thoughtful. Ok. I’ll pay for it myself and claim it back.

So I set off just before 3pm on the 4 minute walk to the post office. I reach the door and push it open, but it does not open. I push again, intently looking down for no readily apparent reason and the damn thing doesn’t open again. I know the place is open at this time, so I look up and discover that the reason the door is not opening is because people are packed into the post office like those pictures you see of four thousand penguins inhabiting nine square feet of ice. I have just opened the door twice into an old lady’s side. I am contrite. And a bit of a bastard.

Edging myself through the door, open only a crack, I gaze at the queue snaking around the room like the line waiting for a rollercoaster ride. God DAMN this is going to take a long time. I amuse myself as I wait by examining the mindless crap on sale. Why do post offices feel the need to sell such things as yo-yos, spiderman sticker albums and fluffy toys? Aren’t they there for stamps and stationary? Oh, and trying to avoid the burning, piercing gaze that the old lady from hell is giving me while rubbing her arm meaningfully.

  • So I wait.
  • And I wait.
  • Move one pace forward…
  • and wait.
  • etc. etc. etc.

Near the front of the queue, I can help but listen to the conversation of the man in front as he talks to obstructive unpleasant employee #1.

  • “Can you tell me when the road fund tax rates change?”
  • “They’ve changed.”
  • “Oh. Well do you have a list of the new rates I can have, please?”
  • “No. We’ve got a list, but it’s OURS!”
  • (At this point I might have blown my top)
  • “Well, could you tell me how much it would be for a 2 litre diesel…”
  • She interrupts with “I’ll look.”
  • She picks up a small booklet.
  • “Is it a petrol engine.”
  • Patient man smiles. “No it’s a diesel.”
  • The woman has the gumption to make an aggrieved ‘harrumph’ing sound!
  • “What registration year?”
  • “It’s a 52.”
  • “A WHAT?”
  • “52… as in 5… 2…”
  • “And it’s a petrol?”
  • “No. It’s a diesel.”
  • “Do you have the (something very technical that I didn’t catch)”
  • The man looks flummoxed. “Erm no.”
  • “Then I can’t tell you. You’ll have to go and look at your car’s log book.”
  • (Seriously… I’d have hit her with a fire extinguisher by this point.)
  • The man sighs. “Look, a friend of mine said it would go up by 20 pounds. Does that sound about right?”
  • “For a petrol engine?”
  • Aha. He’s losing his temper.
  • She glances down and back up and says…
  • “Probably.”
  • Probably? She has the goddamn list. The man gives up in irritation and makes for the door.

Finally, when I’m thinking I may need to shave or look like one of those ancient Chinese martial arts instructors, I realise I’m next. It’s my turn. I wipe a grateful tear from my eye and step up to the counter and place my parcel on the surface. Guess who. It’s her. She’s the one that I get now. The woman behind the counter looks like she’s eaten something poisonous and dreadfully unpleasant. If she smiled, she’d obviously lose the bet she made in 1974, so there’s no fear of that happening.

I smile my least weary of smiles and speak:

  • “I need to send this guarenteed next-day delivery please.”
  • “Well you can’t.”
  • WHAT? These people were trained in customer relations by the gestapo for Christ’s sake!
  • “I beg your pardon?”
  • “Next day delivery doesn’t include saturday. It’d get there by 1pm Monday.”
  • I start to think about this. We get a post delivery on Saturday, just like the rest of the country. If they can deliver ‘slow’ parcels on a Saturday, why can’t they deliver fast ones? Is it something to do with the Jewish Sabbath or something? What the hell?
  • “I thought the service delivered on a Saturday.”
  • She may have growled. I’ll be charitable and say she cleared her throat.
  • “Not guaranteed.”
  • So it works like this. If I send an ordinary letter on Friday for thirty-whatever pence, it may well arrive on Saturday morning. But if I pay £5 for a guarantee, they will only guarantee me that it will arrive on Monday, three days later. This country is going to the dogs at a rate of knots!
  • “Ok. Well I’ll have to send it next day to arrive on Monday then.”
  • She nods. It’s at this point that I realise the address is now wrong. Farmer Man will not be at home on Monday. He will be at work, and the parcel would bounce off his front door and disappear into hiding in the Royal Mail’s ‘Can’t be arsed to try delivering these’ bunker. Just next to the torture chamber where they employ the Klaus Barbie fan club to train their staff.
  • “Erm. I’m going to have to change the address.”
  • She sighs. “Well can you do it over at the side and come back and I’ll serve the next person.”
  • What the f**k? Still, this is a drag for the huge queue of people still behind me, so I acquiesce and head over to the side. I call the-IT-man in the Wolverhampton office from my mobile as I can’t remember the address. He tells me it and I memorise as best I can. My memory is slightly less retentive than a salmon mousse. I return to the counter, repeating the Post Code under my breath so I can remember it, and have to wait for another five minutes while Mrs. Himmler is breathtakingly rude to someone else. Finally, another window opens up and I jump in front of the poor bastard who’s been eagerly waiting there. Still. I was there first after all. I speak again.
  • “Do you have a sticker? I need to change the address on this… postcode, postcode, postcode…”
  • He fumbles around and finds a sticker without saying a word to me. I begin to fill in the work address over the top of the old sticker and say merrily “I need to send this next day guaranteed.”
  • “Well you can’t.”
  • I stop writing momentarily and glance around for a sharp object with which to pierce his head.
  • “I know that. It can be for Monday. That’s why I’m changing the address.”

After that it all went pretty smoothly. I heaved a massive sigh of relief and looked at my watch. 3:30. I honestly thought it might already be Saturday. It had felt like hours. I grinned. I’d be back at work shortly and it’d all be ok, because I could vent my anger through diaryland.

That’s when the old woman walked past me and elbowed me in the ribs and I dropped my wallet. She trod on it on the way out just to make the revenge point felt.

Damn Friday and damn the postal service.

Damn them all!



Written by SJAT

December 20, 2009 at 1:03 pm

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