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A Tale of Two Post Offices or How the Squeeky Wheel gets the Grease


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Once upon a time there was two Post Offices. They were inhabited by benign creatures, mostly drones with a sprinkling of middle management. On 27 January one Post Office received a package, hear-after known as the originating Post Office, for shipment via registered First Class mail. The package was dutifully logged in and processed as leaving said postal facility on 28 Jan for the destination country. Tracking was available online.

The intended recipient, name omitted to protect the innocent, watched for 5 days as the package failed to show any further movement. On the sixth day he contacted the shipper, name omitted to protect the innocent, and asked him to inquire at the originating post office as to the status of the package. They duly replied that it had left the country of origin on 28 Jan.

Girded with this information the recipient, name omitted to protect the innocent, queried the other Post Office, hear-after designated the receiving post office, to enquire on the status of the registered package, hear-after known as the shipment. The receiving post office used the tracking number to look into the status of the shipment and said it was still in the originating country or perhaps in customs. By this time it was day 8 since the shipment had last moved.

The recipient, name omitted to protect the innocent girded with this new information conducted a two pronged query. First he asked the shipper, name omitted to protect the innocent, to again query the originating Post Office as to the status of the shipment. He, the recipient, name omitted to protect the innocent, also queried the Customs Office at the port of entry, hear-after designated the unwitting organization, to see if they indeed had the shipment. The unwitting organization responded within 1 day with a lengthy email explaining why there was no possible way they could have the shipment as according to the Post Office website tracking it was still in the country of origin.

A few days later the shipper, name omitted to protect the innocent, received word from the originating Post Office that the shipment had been scanned into the receiving Post Office on 15 Feb. This information was duly passed unto the recipient, name omitted to protect the innocent.

Girded with this new information the recipient contacted the receiving Post Office and after a one hour long attempt to speak to a human being was finally placed in contact with a Postal Employee, here-after known as Bob, not her real name as we are protecting the innocent. Being that 20 days had now elapsed with no movement on the shipment, Bob, not her real name, was concerned that something had gone awry. Bob, not her real name, started a case numbered inquiry on 22 Feb. On 26 Feb an associate of Bob's, Annie, not his real name but we are protecting him as well, called the recipient, name omitted, to ask if he had received his shipment. The tracking on the Post Office website still showed the shipment as being in the country of origin. The recipient, name omitted, confirmed that he had not received the shipment though he was watching the tracking daily in hopes that it would move again.

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Another eight days goes by and there is no movement according to the tracking info on the Post Office website. On 7 March the recipient receives a letter from the receiving Post Office stating that the originating Post Office would like to know if I have received the shipment. The recipient, name omitted, is to mark either YES or NO and return the letter in the postage paid envelope within 4 days of receipt which he dutifully does and places it in the mail box the following morning, a bright sunny Saturday. The recipient, name omitted, has decided he has lost a package and would just have to suck it up as the sender, name omitted, had shipped it according to his instructions. Down cast, the recipient, name omitted, takes his wife, hear-after known as clueless to the situation, antiquing on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It has been 38 days since either post office would admit to having seen or heard from the shipment. Surely it has been lost or stolen. Upon returning from the antiquing trip on the sunny Saturday afternoon the recipient walks out to check on the mail because here in the recipient's country, hear-after known as the land of mediocrity, the drones work 6 days a week. Inside the mail box the recipient, name omitted, finds a receipt for an attempted delivery of a registered mail parcel. The tracking number on the receipt is missing a number but otherwise is correct for the shipment, praise the Lord, here-after known as the all powerful dude. The receipts directs the recipient, name omitted, to pick up the registered mail on the next work day after 10 am. The recipient, name omitted, goes to the receiving Post Office at the appointed hour of the appointed day and receives the shipment which he then opens before leaving to ensure the contents are indeed within. Praise be to the all powerful dude. The shipment has finally made it to the recipient after a long and torturous journey (or perhaps a lazy, restful one), the shipment is not talking wrt the trip.

After all of this the recipient can only conclude that he complained enough that someone in middle management finally took the path of least resistance and directed that the shipment be found and delivered. The tracking on the Post Office website is now up to date with entries from 27-28 Jan and then from 6-10 March. The interim period is a black hole barren of knowledge.

I bet you are all wondering what the shipment contained. Well......... It had this little do-dad.

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While you are at it, I have three shipments of do-dads that seem to be taking that exact same route. Any help in contacting the all powerful dude appreciated because I think the drones expended all their energy on your do-dads.

Either that, or the the drones are baseball fans and batting .250 is satisfactory for their contract renewals.

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Last visit to the post office to send off to the old kingdom of drones with batting averages of .25 (whatever that is) I was quoted £72!

I said I could take it there myself for that amount, but was told that it was their special service and that it would actually arrive before I'd posted it. I spotted their mistake, declined their special service and went for the usual £26.

They hadn't realised that if it arrived yesterday I wouldn't have been paid for it yet.

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