Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yesterday I went to the local post office to mail some Christmas cards and gifts to friends overseas. All went well until the flummoxed clerk tried to find "Check Republic" in her computer. She punched buttons, looked at the envelope on the scale, looked back at the screen, pushed more buttons, and furrowed her brow murmuring, "Ch . . ." Finally she said, "It's just not here." I told her, "It's probably the last of the 'C' countries." She said, "No, I don't see it." She then turned quickly, disappeared into the back and was gone a loooooong time. Since I was doing this "quick errand" on my lunch break, I greatly appreciated her snappy attention. After a while, she came back and immediately began rummaging around her desk, muttering that she was looking for "the manual." I told her it was OK, I had a postage scale at home and I'd take care of it there. Unwilling to accept defeat, she came back and proceeded to punch more buttons on the computer screen. Finally, she exclaimed, "There it is! I just didn't go down far enough." Well, duh. You'd think the address clearly printed on the envelope which read, "Czech Republic" might have been a clue about how the country name was spelled. But apparently not. She also charged me nearly $9 to mail an envelope of slams (small booklets of questions which have made the rounds of pen-pals) to Sweden, which I think was waaaay too much, but since she was actually able to find Sweden in her computer, I didn't have the energy to protest.

And we hear that company after company is laying off presumably competent employees. It would be funny if it weren't so depressing . . .


MikeH said...

$9 to mail an evelope?!? What is happening over there? Obviously, the place is going downhill since I left. I'd better plan a trip home so I can czech it out.

Lisanne624 said...

The problem is that there are too many options, and the clerk apparently has all the power of deciding which type of mailing it is -- "large envelope", package, etc. I would have called it a "large envelope" myself, but she claimed it was "rigid", so it had to go as a parcel. Um . . . that's odd logic!

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I'm a librarian who is interested in all things British. I try to visit London as often as possible, and am always planning my next trip. I lived in Sweden for a few years with my Swedish husband, so the occasional Swedish reference may occur . . .

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