Thirty Thousand Streets

Saturday, October 20, 2007

The Post Office

There was a piece in the Metro on Wednesday about a bizarre craze in Holland, where people are buying English Royal Mail jackets and wearing them as 'Fashion Wear'.. something to do with the colourways reflecting those of the royal coat of arms and national pride and post modernism blah blah blah..

All I can say is I'm glad something good's come of our postal service as it was in a pretty poor state last time I checked. Today I embarked on a now familiar Saturday institution.. going to pick up a parcel from the depot.. to discover a qeueue of people snaking out onto the street and thirty or so feet up the pavement. When after ten minutes or so I got to front of the qeueue today, there was a missing sign taped in the window, for the lost 'depot puppy' – their version of the 'firehouse dog' I suppose. I felt tempted to suggest they have another look for it out back, as it was probably just stranded somewhere behind the mountains of undelivered parcels, keening pitifully.

The post on my street usually arrives around eleven o'clock, well after everyone's gone to work (so in truth there's unlikely to be anyone in to sign for things) but in any event, the Postmen round here don't tend to bother delivering parcels anymore, preferring instead to just drop those little red cards through the door, summoning you to pick up the package in person (after a period of 48 hours). This is if they even manage to get it through the right door in the first place, of course.

I wouldn't mind this so much, if the hours they opened weren't so inconvenient.. the parcel depot only opening its doors between 8am and 1pm during the week – 8am being timed timed precisely to coincide with when I have to go to work – and 8am and 12.30pm on a Saturday.

Why is this so awkward? Why, given that people increasingly shop more and more and more over the internet, and I at least recieve parcels more frequently than at any time in the past, don't they open earlier and or later, to allow people to pick up the parcels they quite often failed to deliver in the first place? it's wierd.. has this not ocurred to anyone as the obvious conclusion to an apparent problem?

The Post Office these days seems to be one of those anti-success stories, wherein a service that was once supposedly the envy of the world has undergone a process of reverse alchemy, transforming a silk purse into a sow's ear (that probably arrived a week late).

On the strike I can't really comment.. I guess I'm all for the idea of unions, and having read Charles Bukowski, I can't imagine delivering mail is necessarily the nicest job in the world (hence the phrase 'going postal') so why strip the job of any minor perks it might have, but it really is a fairly dismal service that needs something of a cultural overhaul.

Anyway.. it brought to mind this sketch by Spitting Image.. enjoy.


mountainear said...

The Dutch should get out more.

Little Nutbrown Hare said...

It's not just The Post Office anymore, it's The People's Post Office. I was educated on their latest spin by a propaganda-beaming TV while being held captive in a queue.

The Eyechild said...

@ Mountainear.

Yes, that or smoke less.


Hm, their union had take out a quarter page ad in the Guardian the other day, about how they were fighting to protet the integrity of their service or somesuch. I suppose

I certainly don't want it to get any worse, anyway.

Zeno Cosini said...

Might as well just bin our letters instead and hope that they somehow fall into the hands of Tristero.

Speaking of which - like the jacket of the first edition:

Ade said...

"lol"ing at the Spitting Image video.

The Eyechild said...

I saw the new advertising for this the other day, and there's a bit at the beginning where one of the guys puts down some poison for the 'Royal Mail Ants' (which were highly annoying).

That actually made me laugh.