There is a very handy pillar box (letter box) outside my local parade of shops, which I often use for sending out birthday cards and business letters. The last post went at 5.30 pm on weekdays, a very convenient time. So yesterday I went at 4 pm to post a birthday card and I noted that the last post was shown as being 9.00 am on weekdays! In other words, they now only collect first thing in the morning!
To get a later collection, I either have to go to Epsom station, a walk of about a mile, where the last collection is just after 5.00 pm, or to the delivery office, which is well over a mile away, for a collection at 7.30 pm. Neither of these has available car stopping places. Yes, you’d think that there’d be parking at the railway station, but it’s all taken up by taxis unless you are very lucky.
I’ve thought for some time that the Post Office has pretty much given up on collecting and delivering mail. My post usually arrives sometime after lunch, although this is very unpredictable. My solicitor sent me an important document that I needed to read before I met him, but it did not arrive. He’d missed the last post before the bank holiday, with the result that the document took six days to travel about a mile. (I suspect that it probably travelled more like 100 miles because now they’re sent to a centralised sorting office and come all the way back from there.)
They’re putting nails into their own coffin with this approach. OK, email and electronic media have taken over much business communication, but by no means all, as evidenced by my wastepaper basket. But the Post Office has simply failed to respond to the huge rise in internet shopping. So many people are running small businesses that need things to be sent out, but have you tried using the Post Office to do this? Don’t bother – use a courier firm which will be quicker and likely cheaper.
I mentioned in an earlier blog that I did some training with the GPO (the government-run General Post Office) (which at that time had a monopoly on communication networks). I was so shocked at the laziness of staff and so utterly bored by the sitting around that when I was offered a job as a graduate, I couldn’t bear to take it up.
One of my placements was in a trunk exchange which had vast racks of wiring frames about 50 yards long. The wiring runs needed to be continually updated and the technicians were expected to do a certain number of jobs each day. So my mentor would go through the filing cabinet of work, find the easiest job and do it. Then he disappeared to the toilet for a long time. I was sent to loiter at the distribution frame near the door and when I saw the Executive Engineer come in, I had to press a hidden button to alert the poker school to start looking like they were busy!