Postman Prat

by David G. Thorne

I despair at our morning postal service. Long gone are the days of receiving the mail before going to work. The residents of the leafy corner that I am annoyed to call home are grateful if our Postie manages to drag his lethargic backside around the doors by 2pm. 

What use is that? Heaven forbid that a letter requires same day attention. Anything important now spends half the day lying on the doormat of Hexamite Towers, being harried by the two aggressive felines who rule my roost. 

If our army of Postal Delivery Operatives are incapable of delivering at anything resembling a sensible time, can I suggest that the Royal Mail mandarins dispense with the “morning” delivery altogether ? Instead they could pop round in the evening in their shiny red vans, so our correspondence is at least on hand to be dealt with at cock crow.

This would allow us to be home to sign for Recorded Delivery items. This is what Royal Mail calls its guaranteed next day delivery service. I thought that was called First Class post, but apparently not. First Class these days takes on average 3-4 days. Second Class is anybodies guess.

We are told a signature is required for our security and convenience and guarantees that our valuable mail does not fall into the wrong hands. Fair enough in the days when we were on hand to answer the door in our dressing gowns, FT tucked under one arm and chomping down on a slice of wholemeal smothered in finest golden shred. When the Postie is only knocking on the door in the middle of the afternoon it is a different matter. “Aha, but we have a solution,” say Royal Mail. “we’ll leave a card informing you that we called. Just pop round our depot and collect it at your convenience.” To facilitate this process they’ve made the opening times of the collection office a very convenient 7am – 12pm. Wonderful! 

What world are these people living in? Slap me with a damp cauliflower if I am wrong, but I am pretty sure that most of us are already facing the daily rat race by 7am. Yours truly will have already been at the sharp end for a good couple of hours. By the time we are able to steal a lunch break, the buggers have shut up shop and gone home! That is assuming the collection depot is close enough at hand to nip out to in the first place. In any case they need at least 24 hours to return items to the depot, which is barely two miles away. This means you cannot collect your cherished post until the next day at the earliest. In my case I have to wait for a day off, which could be anything up to six days. So much for guaranteed next day delivery.

In our 24/7, world that never sleeps, is it really too much to ask that Royal Mail set opening hours convenient to the customer, rather than the postal worker who fancies an afternoon off?


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