Attention, Mails and Females

Royal Mail just broke my smoking fast. For why? I’ll tell you for why:

A few weeks ago I went to Plymouth to see my family. Like a pratt, I left my only jacket there, and so they had to post it home to me. Being a jacket, it wasn’t going to go through the letterbox. Dad, being kind, sent it by recorded delivery, to be sure I’d get my beloved jacket back safe and sound. Herein lay the problem. I am not often in the house, and when I am, I am leading the life of a part-time artiste; sleeping off the hardcore fit-it-in-when-you-can artistic striving. Woe is me. Anyway, I missed the delivery.

I called the 0871 number on the missed delivery notice. No answer. I left a message. “This is my name, number and address, please get back to me about redelivery,” etc. No response. A week later, I call again. No answer. On the third try I finally get through to a live human voice who informs me that I can pick the parcel up from a closer post office than the hour’s-walk-away depot. From tomorrow. I am working tomorrow, but that’s fine, it will be there for another week or so before they… burn it, or whatever they do.

Two days later, today: I stroll down to the local office, burden-lifted feeling slightly marred by the fact that yet another missed delivery notice has appeared on the mat this morning. I get there and am informed that there is a £1.50 fee to pay. What for, I ask. “Don’t know, it’s just Royal Mail.” Well,  think, okay, you’re only a post office (not even a half-newsagent-half-post-office), so technically you are Royal Mail, and it’s your job, but okay. What is it for, the re-delivery? “Don’t know, it’s just Royal Mail innit.” Right. So you’re working behind a post office counter, under a big official Royal Mail sign, asking for £1.50 without any justification or receipt, and apparently with no connection to the Royal Mail whatsoever.

So I pay, knowing that this is the only way to get my jacket back, and not wanting a confrontation in front of the sod’s-law queue that has suddenly appeared behind me at this post office in the middle of nowhere, which seems to be a new hotspot for all of York’s postal needs. “It’ll be the same for the other one,” she says, referring to the new parcel that has gone to the depot. “From the depot?” I ask, she nods. So the only reason I could possibly imagine for the £1.50 charge – the cost of them going to the effort of bringing the parcel nearer to me, though still not at home, that would be too much to ask – has vanished. Apparently I am supposed to pay £1.50 to pick up this parcel, wherever it ends up, despite my efforts. The charge was also not mentioned in the phonecall. This pisses me off, and as I leave the post office, I get more and more furious on my short walk home. The Morning Benders, whom I so loved on the walk there, are suddenly irritating and jarring. It’s time for a smoke. Which, a day after deciding smoking is making me feel like crap and that I won’t do it anymore, is not my favourite feeling. But it happens.

Royal Mail, you can kiss my grits. I will be posting via carrier pigeon in future. I happen to know a fair few who would look rather fetching in my jacket.

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