Thursday, 5 May 2011

Posting a parcel... it would have been quicker to grow a beard and die.

I have just come back from my local post office where I had gone to post a parcel for a friend. I have had time to drink a cup of tea and eat a bakewell slice and thank goodness for that because when I got home I was bubbling over with frustration.

What is it with post offices?? There is never more than one person behind the counter and that person has obviously taken classes in 'How to do absolutely everything as slowly as is humanly possible'. When I got there the queue was about 10 people long with one gnarled old girl behind the counter.

I settled in for a long wait. I wouldn't mind so much if the woman at least tried to look as if she was attempting to hurry things along. But no. She obviously felt the need to explain in excruciating detail every little thing she was doing, oblivious of the ever increasing line of customers that stretched towards the door. One man's book of 6 stamps had to be entered into the computer, the receipt explained... The next woman had 2 parcels to post. I could see they were parcels and I was 8 people back. Unfortunately the post office lady mistook them for letters.... Letters?? Do they not train them in the difference between a parcel and a letter?? I have never worked in a post office, but my God I think I could tell, pretty much at a 100% pass rate, the difference between the two...




And then, having at last noticed that said letters were in fact parcels she had to explain 'Ohhhh.... They're parcels.... well, I'll have to start again...' At this point I was slumped in the foetal position, rocking gently and trying not to dribble.

At last it was my turn and I trudged to the counter with my parcel. I was careful to state clearly 'I have a parcel to post please.'

I fought my urge to swear and point out the post office lady's failings. After all, it is nice in some ways to meet someone who is thorough and devoted to their job... but I swear to you it will be a long time before I post anything else. It would be quicker to get on my bike and cycle to Coventry with the parcel under my arm. It would be quicker to pull on my lycra and jog up the hard shoulder of the motorway.

At this stage I am just glad to have made it home before I grew a beard and died...




9 comments:

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

Sorry not been over to comment for a while. I shouldn't laugh at your frustrating experience but I will, and then I'll commiserate!!
My local post office can't even spell 'stationery'.

Nicki said...

Ahhh...the joys of the post office. I make it a point to visit the post office no more than once/year!

Urban Cynic said...

I think you were just unlucky; at our local post office, although they'd never win any charm awards, they're pretty efficient and quick.

We had an old dear like that in our local shop once though and I could have maimed her with a loaf of Hovis on more than one occasion!

Lo said...

You are wonderful.....observant, funny and right on. I should add "Patient" too, I guess.

Thanks for this delightful moment in my day.

Eve said...

It must be a universal thing, the post office here in Canada is much the same.. I have a question..forgive me for sounding dumb, but...what is a bakewell slice?

Pauline said...

My sympathy. For years I was frustrated with the service at the post office in the middle of town. Then I discovered a little privately owned shop that offers a postal service in a suburban block of shops and life has changed. They can provide service with their livelihood depends on it!

Gail said...

Yes, the postal service. I am not sure how yours is but in mine, we are actively trained to be helpful, polite, informative, and effective.
The economy has affected all systems and cut backs are everywhere...the reason for only one person at the window, I suspect.
I would hope, if you mailed something in the states, your experience would be more pleasant.

horsemom said...

that's funny, sounds like England isn't much different from the U.S in terms of post office. Hate the post office and do everything I can to avoid going inside. Thank goodness for grocery stores that sell stamps and private mail centers.
Our mailman even tears to doors off of our mailboxes in our neighborhood if we haven't fixed them fast enough when the door is loose.

sarah at secret housewife said...

My frustration is now over, but thanks for your comments!Oh, and,Eve, I have given the recipe for a Bakewell Tart on my questions page ( see the tab at the top of this page)Its scrummy!!
Sarah
xx