Post Office Queues

 

Given his recent uptick in output our old chum Dirk must be living a life of increased frustration as he battles against everyday life, to just get through his day. Here he is on Post Office queues,

"It's ironic that the only time I'm struck by a fit of meanness so bad that I have to buy second-class stamps is when it's to send Christmas cards. 

Normally I'd default to the corner shop but with time to kill between trains I found myself lured by the bright lights into the Post Office in William IV St. It's strangely exotic in there, a bit like the old Teminal 3 at Heathrow (before 4 or 5 were needed), heaving with customers clutching parcels and a little boarding-pass ticket, waiting patiently for their 'flight' to the window to be called over the tannoy. Alternatively there is the rank of automatic machines for frequent flyers and I took my place in this queue convinced that this would be quicker. 

How hard could it be? What was so tricky that the idiots up ahead were holding everybody up so badly? When it came to my turn I set to with breezy confidence but was thwarted by the fact that it would only do 1st class stamps. Rage, instant rage but from nowhere a member of PO staff appeared and sensing a potentially tricky customer took over. The machine, (Wincor Nixdorf note), was not yet equipped to do 2nd class stamps but alternatively I could get the equivalent postage label, "would that be fine Sir?" Yes it would I'd like 25 please. Maximum number was 19 (19??), so Sir had better do it in two separate transactions. Guess whether or not it would accept my £10 note? Guess how many times it rejected the ten £1 coins I substituted? I am going to tell you that it took about 15 seconds to print each one so it was ME who was the new idiot hogging the machine for twenty minutes. And all this time the PO employee was so infuriatingly polite and helpful that there was no reasonable way I could get angry despite my best efforts and in ideal circumstances too. He even assisted in applying the labels so by the time the ordeal was over we were firm friends. 

To the recipients, I can only apologise for the industrial-look Christmas cards. If it's any consolation I can tell you that I missed my train."