Take the other day for instance, there is one lady in the post office that makes it her business to piss you off. Her Post Office manner has a lot to be desired. I don't know if she is consciously going out of her way to be a jobsworth or has a power thing going on but she's doing it. That's enough for me to bang her to rights. I always say that if you are perceived by others in a certain way then you are that way. Given that friends and family also have similar experiences suggests she's got this down to a fine art form.
So I don't accept her imaginary defence of "I don't mean to be" in fact I'm sure she prides herself on making the transaction as difficult and complicated as possible. Is it because, in real terms, its not that difficult to post a letter, package or parcel that they've decided to create obstacles just for the fun of it? Has that little confined area affected their mental state? I don't know. You decide.
|A Happy Land Post Office Set - if only! - pic ebay where else|
So firstly you have the interrogation when you are sending anything overseas or anywhere on the mainland for that matter. What is it? Papers? Documents or letters? Secret state documents? What does it matter! I just want to post the bloody thing not divulge the reasons why I'm sending a letter to France. I've already said its not valuable. I just know if I said "I'm not saying" she'd refuse to take it. Its a very similar experience to that of going through passport/baggage control. "Did you pack it yourself?" "Have you left it unattended at anytime?" "Any sharp objects?" I'm going to let her off the interrogation only because I reckon they have to ask this shit now. By the way if it is a bomb with a terrorist note I'm not going to tell you. Just Saying.
I shop on line. I send stuff back. That is what I do. Now the other day I was sending stuff back to Debenhams. They have enclosed a sticky label with bar code so I pop that on the parcel. But then I think hang on a minute I reckon she'll give me grief for this. So I print off their returns label as back up which has the 2nd little paid sign. In any event, I thought I'd try her out with what Debenhams has supplied. I press the package up at the window and say its free returns. Her reply "no its not." I say this is the sticker they have given. It has a bar code. "Its not free." No explanation. Nothing. Plan B. I have the printout and tell her "I have this." She shrugs. Ha ha got you.
I ask, knowing full well the answer, does she have cellotape. I know she does. There is no way you haven't got cellotape back there. "Sorry, we don't have cellotape." She might as well just say why don't you just fuck off with your return. My toddler at this moment is playing up and the advantage I had at being first in the queue now means nothing. I have to grapple with him around the newsagents, try and mastermind damage limitation on the queue front AND buy cellotape whilst shouting "that's helpful isn't it." I want to leap frog over the counter, rummage through all their nik naks and produce the offending cellotape and proclaim to the post office weary (aka customers) "HERE IT IS, THEY DO HAVE SOME, THEY DO!" Everyone would cheer and.....I re-queued and another lady served me - one with a slightly only slightly better disposition.
My husband has similar experiences with collecting a parcel - in fact I had his passport and the card but she refused to hand it over. Who else would break into our house take the 'sorry you were out card', nick the passport then trot down to the post office to collect a parcel they have no idea of the contents.
Now if you are an ebay seller you might as well just walk the stuff to your buyers. You know that very handy thing where you can weigh and pay for the postage, making it easy to just drop the stuff at the hatch, well not at this post office. They want you to get in the queue so they can check you haven't tried to turn them over.
Maybe all Post Offices are like this the world over. I remember having to post a monopoly board in Budapest (long story) it took about an hour to do. I have yet to send something from a French Post Office (sorry Frenchies but you're not known for great customer service) and don't intend to.
I wonder if it is just my local Post Office and there are many a Happy Land Post Office out there - let me know I'd love to hear your experiences. Until such time I will keep battling away with my packages!