Episode Four. In which we have mixed feelings about the Post Office.

Today started out OK, I woke up early but got back to sleep alright, and when the alarm went I spent just the right amount of time procrastinating (i.e. dozing and talking to the cat) before I got up.  I made the tea, made the sandwiches, got ready and off we went.  I had a little bit of a sore stomach but I didn’t feel sick or anything, I think I just pulled a muscle.

When I got to work (after a long queue for my season ticket because the machines kept rejecting everyone’s cards) my stomach was a bit sorer, it felt like I’d pulled a few more muscles.  By about half ten I had decided I would do what needed to be done for the day and then go home.  It still feels like muscle pain, but now it feels more like I’ve pulled everything.  I thought I was alright with it, since it’s infinitely better than nausea in any degree, but I couldn’t really concentrate, or get my head around anything remotely complicated.  So, shortly before 1, I set off home.

I had brought some parcels to work because I heard our postroom was offering to send some Christmas stuff out for people, and I just heard my dad’s going away on Sunday until the new year.  One of my parcels just got urgent.  I didn’t get round to bringing it down to the postroom while I was at work so I went to the Post Office on my way home from the station.

I know I was going home cos I wasn’t feeling right, and normally I wouldn’t have gone anywhere but straight home.  But the Post Office is just across the road from the flat, and on the station side at that, so I didn’t see the harm.  Only I ended up spending half an hour standing in the queue.  I’m not one of those people who, once they realise how long it’s going to take gives up, goes home and comes back another day.  Once I’m in the queue, I’m staying there, or else whatever time I’ve already spent there was wasted.  And besides, there are bound to be a couple of people ahead of me who’ll want to give up and go home, so it won’t be as long as it looks.  It took a while but I got my parcels posted, and my dad will get his present before he leaves the country.

When I got home (just across the road, remember) there were two cards on the doormat.  One saying that a parcel had been left in a safe place for me, and another saying a parcel had been left at the Post Office.  The one across the road.  Where I’d just spent half an hour queueing.

I wasn’t about to go straight back across the road so I got myself settled down, chilled out on the sofa with the cat on my lap and a hot water bottle calming my screaming stomach muscles, and decided to go back  later.  I opened the parcel from the safe place and it was a Christmas hamper, sent to me as thanks for taking part in a User Group testing thing I did a few weeks ago.  I put on the 2006 remake of The Omen (I like The Omen, I like Julia Stiles, I am curious about the combination) and relaxed.

I got a bit bored eventually (scary movies really aren’t scary mid-afternoon, even in winter) and decided to go out and see about the parcel at the Post Office.  I put my shoes back on, got my coat, and I was just chucking the cat outside when the doorbell rang.  I thought it a bit strange because who visits at 4 o’clock on a Monday afternoon?  It was a delivery man.  Delivering a parcel.  I was waiting for a parcel, but I thought it was at the Post Office.  Apparently not.

As it turns out, the two cards that were waiting for me when I got home were for the same thing.  One saying the parcel was at the Post Office, then the second, apparently written when the postie realised there was a safe place he could leave it, saying “sorry, parcel not at post office, see *****”.  I had understood this as one’s in the safe place, the other’s at the Post Office.   He had meant to imply an “after all” whereas I had inferred a “like the other one”

This is only one example of my stupidity.

But can you imagine if I’d spent another half hour queueing in the Post Office for a parcel I already had?

Diabetic moment of the day

Receiving a beautiful  Fortnum and Mason hamper as a present, only to find it’s full of biscuits, jam, marmalade and an iced fruit cake.

Not that I’m not grateful, I am.  I’m just jealous.

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2 Responses to “Episode Four. In which we have mixed feelings about the Post Office.”

  1. I was in the Post Office too, today. I employ the same queuing strategy as you do, which I find either ends in a Zen-like state of calm or a pent up rage which probably takes years off of my life. Today I achieved the former, but was not surprised when I heard on Radio 4 (oh yeah, that’s right, people) that today is THE single busiest post day of the year.

  2. Oh Radio 4, why didn’t you tell me this before? I know I don’t listen to you, but couldn’t you have found a way?

    I was alright, apart from being in pain, I had a bit of banter with the ould fella behind me in the queue, until he had to give up to go and collect his granddaughter from school. Then I just gazed at the sweets until I got as far as the bubblewrap. Then I thought “oh, they do have bubblewrap here, I needn’t have gone to Sussex Stationers at the weekend”. Then it was my turn.

    I think slowly.

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