Express or priority?

Sometimes I’m left gaping at the inefficiencies of some organisations here. Sure, there’s often 3 or 4 people employed to do the job that 1 person would do in New Zealand which does speed things up and get big crowds moving, but other times the introduction of self-help for the customer would make certain activities much less painful.

The post office.

I went last week to post a small packet back to New Zealand. They had a single range of post office standard packing available, pre-paid bags. All good. Nice and simple. Weight limit of x pounds, whatever fits in the box/envelope, priority mail, domestic or international, $13.45.

So, first off, before standing in the long line, I had to find out the weight of my item, which I could guess in grams but no idea in pounds – found a weighing machine which turned out not to be a weighing machine but an enter-your-postcode-and-it’ll-tell-you-the-postage-required machine. Hmmm, not sure what was supposed to be entered for international although it did flash up 2.95lb which was under the limit, so I figured I’d be OK.

Filled out the customs form, including name of the person the package was going to – this seemed to be the thing to do seeing as the green customs forms (demanding To and From addresses) were there by the packaging. Waited in the line.

Got to the counter and asked if I could use the pre-paid envelope to post the item to New Zealand. “What is it?” A gift, just a [   ]. That I want to go via airmail to New Zealand. “No. You can’t use this one. You have to use a bag. You want priority or express?” Huh? Why can’t I use the international pre-paid envelope? What’s the difference between priority and express? Where are the bags? “Hrumfff, I’ll get you a bag.” And off she heaved under the counter to scratch around and find a bag. Why weren’t they on display? Thieves? She produced a bag. About the same size as the envelope, made with similar thick glossy paper as the envelope. “You want express or priority?” I don’t know! I want airmail. “OK, that’s $12.95 and write the address on it, it doesn’t go on that form you got, that bit gets chucked out, and when you’re done leave it here cos I’m on my lunch break now.” However, I was able to write fast enough while she got back up onto her seat and dealt with the money to had it back to her to make sure it did in fact get posted. She dumped the package to the side of the counter with a bunch of other mail ready to go and we scuttled apologetically out passed the even longer line now facing one less counter because our lady was going on her lunch. I felt so bad taking up their time at the counter waiting for a bag and then being told to pack it and address it. If they just provided these things out on the customer side then I could’ve done it there. Groan.

So, if your birthday is coming up on the 12th (you know who you are) there is hopefully something on the way – I hope it makes it – it could be coming on the USS Slowboat for all I know! I tried!


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