2 years ago
It has been a very long time since I've ever had to queue for anything in a Post Office, having learned at an early age when best to avoid pensions day and the onslaught from the local labour exchange clutching at Giros like Ebonezer Scrooge.
In fact the last time I can remember ever doing so was way back in 1986 before I learned these lessons, and I mention this now as I have realised how long it has been since I truly experienced the deprivation and soul destruction that is known to the British public as the excessively long wait to have your number called amongst the hoi polloi.
You see this line of thought was triggered by a recent visit to the newly relocated Post Office in sunny Rawtenstall, hometown of your budding reporter, where there is some cruel and unnecessary human experiment currently taking place. Because you cannot just queue in this Post Office like we did in the good old days, oh no, you have to get yourself a ticket. And there are four categories of ticket to choose from: Business, Special Delivery, Currency Exchange and Counter Services, each with its own individual numbering system.
A simple process in theory you might think, but you take a ticket, and then wait for when your number comes up. And you wait. And wait. Then wait some more. There are of course seats provided for this wait, but you'll find they are already full of the crazed, the local indolent and the elderly despondent.
So standing around near the front window, I did the required calculation: time to process one person times the number of tickets waiting, divided by the counters available. Should be around ten minutes?
But what is this? People with Business tickets are (wrongly in my opinion) prioritised! If a business ticket appears on the display board, it becomes the next number at the next available counter. And three business tickets then means that you just went backwards in the queue by three places! And to add further insult to injury, it is then realised that the same applies for Currency tickets too!
At least in the time now available, I was able to go back out on to the high street and buy a) some tea, milk and bananas, b) a book (Seized, by Max Hardberger) and c) a full fat, eat this if you dare, heart attack just waiting to happen style cream cake.
But on returning back into the offending Post Office now with shopping in tow, my number was still fifth in line and I still had to wait another ten bloody minutes before being served.
And the piece de resistance of this modern herding mechanism?
Well twenty odd minutes plus after first encountering the squalor of this new social engineering experiment, It was finally my turn to be served; albeit efficiently, only to find the disgruntled that this is all life had to offer teller, offering to sell me unwanted car insurance!
I simply cannot believe that Royal Mail employees are now being asked to sell car insurance, on pain of death, to people who have already been held against their will in conditions that would sufficiently appal any Guantanamo Bay detention camp prison guard worth his salt!
So this prompts the immediate need for two questions.
The first being how the Hell is that ever going to work? And the second; is this really what we've finally come to?
Now had I been offered euthanasia instead....
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