The weblog of a traveller

   Dec 11

Mail rant [warning: general lack of punchlines]

16:30: OK so I was off to the post office to dispatch a middle-sized mountain of winter presents. Walking the bike and balancing the stuff on it, as the Spar post office is on the way to the bike library and as I go home on Friday my issue needs returning. Post office closes at 17.30, bike library at 18, and they are quite close to each other, 15 minutes walk from the halls. I had all the time in the world. When I was there earlier to enquire about sending things abroad, I was told there was a fixed rate by weight “unless the package was insanely heavy”. And they sold boxes, which I was going to need as a lot of the people I’m sending to seem to live in the same housholds. How convenient, much easier than the confusing Norwegian system where you should use “Smartpost” for heavy stuff but using it for lighter things is rather unsmart…

Well, with my two sacks, one large box, backpack and bike I only lacked a red hat to be confused for Santa, and the rolling present-mountain was rather slow, and the weather was getting more and more Scottish. One guy (let’s say for decency’s sake that I know him) saw my struggle and pulled over to ask if I needed a ride and as much as I prefer fixing my to-dos on my own I happily locked the bike and jumped in.

When my friend turned the wrong way on King street (with Post office only a few blocks away) I thought he was making fun of me. The rationale, it turned out, was it would have taken quite a while to drive there with the heavy traffic, even though the distance was short. Instead we drove to another post office nearby. Although I said it was not necessary, he insisted on waiting to take me back – good thing, ’cause just then I realised this office is closed on Wednesdays. We went some back road to another office he knew, and by this point I had no clue where we were so when he offered to wait I was all yesses.

16.50: First turndown was the line snaking throughout the shop.

Lookie, a dedicated CSI magazine! (Just need to sweet talk the server to serve me the photo, watch this space!)

The lady serving me had a “manager” badge and I thought; cool, from now everything will run smoothly.
First parcel; Too heavy for the scale, louud siigh from the manager. Parcel is weighed on special scale n the far corner.
-So that’s 35 pounds.
-35 pounds.
-What was the weight again?
-2.2 kilograms.
Wohw, that’s more than paying overweight on the plane and it’s more than twice the worth of the contents, but I guess it’s the price…
Filling in a customs form stating the contents in detail kind of takes from the secrecy of the presents too.
-But why is it so expensive? (After all, sending cards to my Norwegian pals is actually cheaper from here than from home, so the extensive charge for packages puzzled me)
-Because it is over 2 kg.
-So how much would it be for sending something of 2 kgs?
(cutting me off sharply) -I have no idea.
-… Could you please find it out for me?
(loud sigh) *punch punch* -11 pounds.
-So it’s 24 pounds for the last 200 grams?!
-That’s why I told you the price.
-Then I need to repack it. Can you please give me my parcel back? I am really sorry about this.
-That is not possible.
-But it is right there on the desk!
-Once it is in the system, there is no way of getting it out again.
-This is ridiculous! I was told there was a flat rate based on the weight of the package!
-That’s only up to 2 kg. I told you the price and you accepted it.
-But you did not say there was that kind of charge for the last 200 grams.
-That’s why I told you the price. I don’t even know how to get it out of the system now.
-I’m sure there is someone here who does know.

Manager lady is very unmovable on this.

*Puppy eyes go blinkblink*

Manager lady rips off the labels from my package and hands it to me with a face made of stone. Puppy eyes made the impossible possible! It’s funny how “It is not as offpaying” is rephrased as “It is not possible” with companies with no competition.

Next package is too small. Huh? Yep, too small, impossible to send. Can’t fit the labels on it.
Next package is unsendable as well, as this office does not sell the box I need to send it in. Or it does, but the box has to be paid at another counter, and if I step out of the line I will not be admitted in again as it’s 15 minutes to closing time.

17.45 So I stand in the pouring rain, still with my presents, without the bike and far away from home, and by this time it’s dark and the bicycle library is closing. Empathic minds will feel my miserableness in those moments.
Somehow by some hidden instinct I found my way home, wrote most of this post, got a phone call “Where are you! It’s fun out!” and promptly left, had a blast of a night and finished the post before going off to the land of dreams.

Thanks for reading, it wasn’t meant to be coherent.

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One Comment

  1. Balanse says:

    Derfor øker antall “post-i-butikk” daglig 😉