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Lose your shit Friday

Ok, I’ll give it a go 🙂  A friend of mine has a regular “lose your shit Friday” post, and encourages other people to…. so since I’m not one to be shy of complaining about things, here goes 😛

In Dec last year, the people who had been running the post office for as long as I’d known (8 years) left and a group of Indian men moved in.  I assume it’s a franchise and they bought it.  Now let me just say that I have no problem with people from other countries – but what I do have a problem with is people (from anywhere, including Australia) who run businesses when they are not capable of conversing with their customers enough to be able to perform the function of their business.  People from other countries can make this worse if there is a language barrier.  And there is here.

EVERY.SINGLE.DAY I’m in there (and given I run an online business where I post all my orders – that’s frequent), there will be at least one occasion where someone has to repeat themselves because the other didn’t understand it.  That might be the customer repeating because the AP person didn’t understand, or the other way around. Usually it’s just a matter of the person repeating it again.  Sometimes though it’s an extreme case of the person not being able to understand what is being said and it will have to be repeated several times.  I overheard one where the customer just wanted to express post a couple of letters – and I swear it took about 2 mins for the woman behind the counter to understand what he wanted to do, to get the envelopes, sort out how much it would cost and actually finish serving him (and all that was required was handing him a prepaid express post envelope, scanning it, him paying for it)

Because of this, the lines are now longer than before, posting anything takes much longer than before. People in the lines standing there looking irate.  People who have had trouble understanding/being understood leaving with murderous looks on their faces.   I overheard 2 people chatting one day, saying they were sick of it and had decided to use the post office up the road instead.  If I didn’t have my PO box there (and want to keep my address), I’d drive further up the road to go to a post office that isn’t so woeful.

Added to that, the previous people knew me well – as they should, seeing me several times a week for 8 years….  and I’d walk in and they would go “ahh, Obsidian, we have a package for you” – would go straight to where it was – I didn’t even need to hand them the card!   Sometimes they would do that for mail that hadn’t been carded yet – so I’d end up getting the parcels a day earlier 😀

These people….  I had been waiting on something, and hubby went in to collect my mail one day, happened to ask if there was a box for me…. they looked around and saw there had been one sitting there – and judging by the date, it had been sitting there nearly a week – but they hadn’t carded it for me.  They don’t put the mail in the same spot the others did (which was like large cube bookcase thing – so they knew which section my mail would be in)… they put it in a crate thing, so they have to rummage in that to find anything.  Once I could see my package was the one at the front of the crate, and I tried to tell them it was there, but they couldn’t understand me, so I had to wait for them to eventually find it on their own.

Given that about 85% of the packages I post are all the exact same size and thickness – the old people instinctively knew what to put it through as, and didn’t have to mess around checking it fits through the gauge.  When I post international orders, they have to record who posted it – they knew me, knew my PO Box number, and would just type that in,  (as typing in “1306” is a lot easier than them asking for my licence and typing my license number in – which is the standard ID for people who aren’t “personally known to staff”).

The new guys…. it’s the end of April now, and they have *just* started accepting that they can type in my PO box number, rather than asking for my ID.  It’s only taken 4 MONTHS!    (I used to concede defeat some days, and figured it was quicker if I took out my license and let them type it in, rather than trying to explain that they don’t need to do all that) They don’t remember the box number of course, and that’s ok, but at least they remember they only need to look at my address on the package and type that box number in.  Except now they have a new young woman working there too, who is just learning, so that’s making things longer and more difficult again if I have her.

For example…

The process for posting 2 International packages before the new people took over:

  • Hand package to staff
  • They weigh it
  • Sometimes they test it will fit through the size gauge, but most of the time know it will, since they all do
  • They type stuff on computer without needing to ask me anything
  • They scan barcode on back of the customs form, tear off the section they keep, write on it and it it in the drawer
  • Print a label (that is the stamp)
  • Sticks an “ID recorded” sticker to the parcel
  • Weigh the next one
  • Type stuff, again not needing to ask anything
  • Scan barcode, tear off the section, write on it, put it in the drawer
  • Print label/stamp
  • Sticks “ID recorded” sticker to the parcel
  • Hand me my receipt
  • I thank them and go on my way

This is how it went the other day…

  • I hand over the package to the newer woman
  • She weighs it
  • She tests it through the gauge
  • She weighs it again (because she obviously forgot what it weighed)
  • Starts working through the computer screens – asks me something, I don’t understand and she has to ask it again
  • Asks what was in the package (merchandise or letter)
  • I say it’s merchandise.  She asks me to repeat it because she didn’t understand
  • I say again that it’s merchandise, and helpfully say “that’s there” and point to where it is in the list of stuff on her screen
  • Again she needs me to repeat that
  • Again I point to her screen and tell her what key to press for the “merchandise” option.
  • She finally does that.  Types in a few more things and comes to the ID section
  • She asks me for ID
  • I tell her that she just needs to type in my PO box number (and point to the address on the back of the envelope)
  • She looks blankly at me, and asks for my license again
  • I repeat that she can use the “personally known to staff” option, and type in “1306” as it’s quicker than typing in my licence number
  • She goes over to one of them men, and asks what she should do.
  • He looks over, sees it’s me, obviously recognises me, and says yes, she can just type in the PO box number
  • So she comes back, asks me what my PO Box number is
  • I tell her
  • She types it in
  • She then rummagaes around in the pile of stamps to find the International stamps
  • Finds a stamp, puts it on
  • Scans the barcode, tears off the section, writes on it and puts the package under the counter
  • Realises her mistake, takes the package out from under the counter, puts the customs form part in the drawer
  • Sticks an “ID recorded” sticker to the package
  • Walks over to drop package off in the bag
  • Stops briefly to talk to 2 of the men – in their language – about someone’s passport photo (who has just come to the counter to ask about it)
  • I hand her the next package
  • She weighs it
  • Starts going through the screens
  • Asks something
  • I ask her to repeat
  • Asks if it’s merchandise
  • I confirm, and point to that option
  • Gets to the ID section, asks for my PO box number
  • I repeat my PO box number (1306 – which is on both the address label and the customs form on the package!)
  • She types in PO box number
  • Rummages in pile of stamps to find the International ones again
  • Sticks stamps on
  • Scans the barcode, tears off the section, writes on it and puts it in the drawer
  • Sticks an “ID recorded” sticker to the package
  • Prints my receipt
  • I thank her and go on my way

And that’s somewhat typical of how posting has become… and it shits me to tears!

Why they use stamps instead of the printed stamp labels is beyond me.  The printed ones are quicker – no need to rummage in a pile of stamps to find the right ones….  The only thing I can think of is that they might get a commission from stamps but not printed labels?  maybe the ink for the label printer costs too much – I don’t know, but was quicker when the old people printed the labels.

UGH!

And to balance it out – the 5 things that were awesome this week:

  1. I got a pair of awesome rainbow arm warmers from a friend for my birthday
  2. My business is going well
  3. Hubby has been home, so I have got to sleep in until 10am and not have to take MiniObsi to school
  4. Finally got the pattern & fabric for the “Sherlock Holmes” type coat I was meant to make hubby for his birthday (in Feb)
  5. I painted my nails on Wed, and miraculously (even though I didn’t use basecoat or topcoat and even broke the rule about waiting for one coat to properly dry before adding the next) they haven’t even chipped yet!  (it’s a record!!!!)
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One thought on “Lose your shit Friday

  1. Ohhh I know what you mean. The language barrier is really hard to handle when it’s something like the PO. And using it so often and going through it every time… would drive me batty!

    Thanks for joining Obsi 🙂

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