Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Post Office 1; Amazon 0

Or should that be the other way round?

On Saturday I decided to grab the bull by the horns and do something about Christmas presents for my children. Older son said clothes - "Go to TKMaxx", he said. Given that he only wears clothes for a few months and then discards them in favour of newer, less sweat-ridden clothes, that's probably about right.

Daughter was mostly sorted - renewal of 16-25 Railcard (already arrived, probably lost somewhere by now), paid for her Race Licence (should arrive within next couple of weeks), and then I mail-ordered her a new sports bra (it's complicated).

So then whittled younger son's Amazon wishlist down to manageable proportions, found one game cheaper elsewhere and ordered these. The one from elsewhere they quite openly said could take 3-5 working days. Amazon said they would be delivered today (Tuesday). By Royal Mail.

Now there are some particularly fine posties. I'm assured there's a good one in Norfolk called Al, and we used to have a really good one called Malcolm. He always had the week off when there was racing at Cheltenham, but he knew everyone and would never put the wrong post through your letterbox. Sad to say, they've moved him elsewhere.

So at midday, when I heard the letterbox go, I went to the front door expectantly. I was rather miffed to find two letters for next door (no 24, I'm at no 22) and another letter for no 24, but another road entirely.

Not wishing to be left with everyone else's post, I hotfooted it up the road and caught up with the postie. I said I was quite happy to post next door's mail through their letterbox, but that he could have the one for another street back. He apologised and said that was because we didn't have any post today, so he hadn't realised he'd put the wrong post through our door. I left it at that. Big mistake.

At 7pm our neighbours at no 20 came home, and posted all our mail (which they'd received) through our letterbox. This included a "Something for you" card because they couldn't deliver said item as it was too large. At this point I will say that 25-odd years ago we swapped our Victorian painfully small letterbox for one that would take A4 sized envelopes (or indeed Amazon DVD sized packages). Next door still have the quaint "handwritten note" size. No wonder it wouldn't fit.

So now I have a card which says I have to go to the local sorting office to collect my package (not that far away, but a completely unnecessary journey in my eyes) and that I have to leave 48 hours before I can go there.

All this because a postie cannot read the numbers on the mail (even when he is spending time writing out a card for an item he is going to have to carry for the rest of the round). So most probably everyone in our road has next door's mail.

This has happened before. No wonder Royal Mail is in dire straits. At this rate I shall be wrapping pictures of the gifts I was intending to give but which haven't actually arrived yet.


  1. That is a really stupid thing to do at at time when every postman is hoping for a Christmas tip.

    Every postman but Al, actually. He's on emptying postboxes at present.

  2. My postman, who does his round at a trot and is still in his shorts, is, he says, mildly autistic. He reckons it makes him really good with numbers.