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!!