19 July 2013

Danger I want to post a letter - a comedy by Royal Mail

What follows is the rantings of a very hot and bothered Loki after a trip to local post office heavily laden with post. Although I can now look back at this with a sense of amusement and bewilderment !!!

Now while I don't go to the post office daily as I used too, I still frequent the same post office, once a week as I have done for the last 5 years. This is due to me spending my time and money more productively and using cheaper couriers to deliver my goods in a much better condition.

So having stood in a queue for half an hour waiting my turn as you do, with an equally large queue behind me and its only going to get worse when I reach the counter, due to the amount I have to send. A little old lady jumps in front of me with an amazing turn of speed normally reserved for big cats hunting prey. Muttering as she went about only needing a stamp and its too hot for her. Now being bought up with manners I did not cleave her limb from limb but allowed her to go in front. Then she proceeds to draw her pension and, laughably then spends several moments furiously delving into her handbag for her card. Queue the extended wait as she makes two efforts to remember her PIN and fails, before pulling a sheet of paper out with her PIN on it telling us all she keeps it in her bag as she always forgets!!

So she gets her pension then pulls out a wedge of cards asking for £5.00 to be put on them all. This would not be so bad, had the lady on the second open counter not decided she was hungry and promptly shut for lunch. Several long minutes pass and the cards are handed back for this dear old lady to then want lottery tickets. It seemed she also bought said tickets for half of the pensioners in the lunch club as she pulled a bag of £1.00 coins and a list from her hand bag telling the assistant these are all the numbers for all the tickets, an eternity seemed to have passed before I eventually got to the counter. But the little old lady at least thanked me as she left.

I was greeted by "I bet you won't be so generous next time," to which I replied "I was more upset that you let a counter close at such a busy time." I sure know how to voice displeasure. So its my turn and heave the contents of two very large bags onto the counter. "Parcels and Large letters for you".
Here is what followed:
ME "I've marked them all up and stuck all the recorded delivery and return addresses on for you, I also done the same with the International ones."
HER "Dangerous Goods ?"
ME "I Don't think so NO"
HER " So they May be dangerous then ?"
ME " I suppose they could be" (Because in my warped mind, I suddenly envisaged some idiot trying to sniff a piece of hedging to see if the could get high from residual solvent fumes, or using terrain in an unbecoming way and causing themselves or others harm.)
HER "You cant post them then!"
ME "What do you mean I cant post them ?"
HER "New rules today mean we cant accept dangerous or restricted goods for UK deliveries"
ME "They would only be dangerous if not used properly and as they are sealed boxes cant be dangerous can they ?"
HER "Dangerous means Dangerous!"
ME "Now your being funny,or ridiculous surely you have a list of banned goods ?"
HER shoves said leaflet up to glass.
ME "Nothing Dangerous in these then, as not on the bloody list, I can't see fields, hedges or roads"

With this she then starts to process my items, and each time she picks one up asks is it Dangerous? I had become rather irritated after being asked this several times and retorted "No nothing dangerous in any of them". "What's all this about?" I enquire, the answer amused me "We are increasing the security of inland mail". "How does this help that when all the boxes are sealed." she looked at me with a puzzled expression and said "Well, we ask you if there are dangerous goods inside, if you say NO we scan this sheet to tell the computer its safe to post."

I decided to quit while I was ahead, as I could see a very long and tiresome conversation developing. So now any trip to the post office is going to take twice as long as counter staff follow new Royal Fail guidelines. Now I would not mind if they actually served a purpose, but anything could be inside said boxes and as long as I say they are safe, they get into the postal system. Its not going to require a degree in rocket science to get round this increased security is it. The only thing this really is, is a tick box event designed to stop you wanting to visit the local post office to post anything. Is it any wonder the service is going down the pan!!!.

Sorry Folks had to let that out!!


  1. A couple of things to point out.....
    1.Little old ladies cannot be trusted!
    2.The Royal Mail is gone to the fecking dogs!
    3.It's too fecking hot!
    4.I'm not allowed in my local post office any more, less tolerant than you Andrew, the missus goes for me now!
    5.Damn good rant!

  2. Presumably they've brought this rule in to prevent letter bombs etc. Imagine how well that would work:
    Terrorist: I'd like to post these parcels and large letters please
    Cashier: Do they contain anything dangerous?
    Terrorist: No
    Cashier: *scans sheet for each parcel to say "Not Dangerous"* That will be £80.65 please

    Stupid rule brought in by senior management which the royal Mail staff have to enforce.

  3. Nah, the rule is not there to stop people mailing dangerous stuff intentionally, like bombs and such. It's to stop people who think it's ok to mail a can of petrol or a bag of live snakes to their mate...

    (I've worked in airport security, and you wouldn't believe the stuff ordinary people try to bring in their hand luggage.)

  4. I don't think that was a rant; it was a justifiable 'venting' to avoid any coronary trouble later in life.

    Being an apprentice old person, I now encounter old people on a regular basis and the rule of thumb is try not to be out manoeuvred. The vast majority are excellent people, but there's a hard core of 'exploiters' who try every trick in the book to make the most of anyone's sympathy or good manners and rely on people not wanting to make a scene and look like the baddie confronting a poor oldster. The counterpart of the arrogance of youth is the indifference of old age: they just don't give a toss for you or anyone. Sort of aged chavs.

    The Post Office Counters episode was a bummer, but she got you bang to rights. I learned the hard way not to try to take on anybody who can make your life difficult just by following the rules to the letter ('scuse the pun). Still, on the upside, you didn't get badgered with questions about car/home/travel insurance, banking or foreign currency.

    Or you could just blame the heat . . . . ;O)

  5. I think you lasted longer than I would have!! Good rant mate!

  6. @ Leif Eriksson > You ARE kidding with your first alinea of text right ?

    @ Andrew > Would have been cool to remark to the postal employee that obviously internal security is much more important than that of other countries and make her believe that her questions actually made a nice contribution to the safety of Britain... maybe even suggest they get a special medal for this kind of work :-)

  7. How bloody ridiculous! But a damned good rant anyway!

  8. Things are no better in the US. I have been in a long line here and had them close 3 counters to send folks to lunch while the "manager" took over for the last person. The manager had no clue. We get asked the same question about how dangerous the items are.

  9. Good rant and bizarrely funny at the same time. Only in Britain.

    Cheers, Ross

  10. Wow, that is incredibly stupid. Over here the Postal Service mostly delivers tons of junk mail, raises postage rates every few months, and cuts back on service. Great way to run a business.

  11. It is definitely the season for it; great restraint shown Sir.

  12. Great post I understand why I was asked the question when posting Kevs camera

  13. Excellent rant. I could clearly Picture the inside of a PO in the UK, the pinched (I´ve been sucking lemons since i was Born ) assistant and this all being played out by one or more members of the monty python Team.

  14. I read the leaflet regarding the new rules a few weeks ago, but had no idea they would be enforcing it 'military style' at the counters. I am not looking forward to when i start posting stuff again :(

    On another note for us hobbyists: i see that aerosol cans are no longer allowed through the service. This, i think, will have a big impact on our hobby, especially those living in remote areas. Heck, i live in the 3rd largest city in the UK and just last week i could not find a can of varnish in any of the stores i frequent, and now mail-order is out-of-bounds? I decided to wait as i was not in desperate need of it, but if i was i would have been forced to go to GW!

    1. No aerosols through the post? That's a right PITA.

  15. I was somewhat baffled when the RM lady made me confirm that what I'd just claimed were 'toys' weren't dangerous/toxic/explosive/sharp.


  16. Sure does sound like fun........


  17. So mr terrotist is you par el of anthax dangerous? No? Thats good ill scan it through!

  18. Way to keep a cool head Andrew!


  19. If you are ever 'Vetted' in the UK, one of the questions will ask you whether you have ever been involved in terrorism. As if you would say ''yes" !

  20. Well, that could have been ripped right out of a discarded Monty Python script. We're pretty lucky here in the US. The Post Office locations I deal with have good workers in the front lines.


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