Thought for the day: "Solutions are not the answer" - Richard Nixon

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


Dumb as a Post

It was today announced that the Royal Mail has been admirably consistent regarding its performance targets this year: they have missed all fifteen of them. This seems to me deeply impressive; I would have expected that they'd hit at least one by accident, but apparently not. On the other hand perhaps it isn't that surprising given that it's only the latest in a whole succesion of noteworthy Post Office deeds. Some three years ago I wrote of their laudable desire to encourage me to take more excercise, by forcing me to walk two miles to their depot to collect a package which was 6p short on postage. Then just this year, for our comfort and convenience, they abolished the second post. The fact that the new first post was mysteriously delivered at the same time as the old second post, leading some cynics no wonder exactly which of the two posts had been abolished, is surely mere coincidence.

Shortly after this change I was also witness to a deeply impressive bit of postal speed: having sent two postcards from Malaysia, one to the South East of England and one to the North West, I was suitably pleased to discover that the former arrived in well under a week. Alas the second took four weeks before it showed up, suggesting that it takes the international post 4 days to get from Malaysia to Bracknell, but a further 3 weeks for the Post Office to get from Bracknell to Bury: nice to know that they are pausing to take in all the best of British Scenery on the way.

Oh by the way, those of you concerned that all of this might be leading to suffering amongst the higher echelons of post office management will be reassured to note that the profit targets have been met and that the bonuses, which the executives no doubt rely on to ensure that *they* can afford to use Fedex, are secure.

Don't you guys want to privatise it though?!
not to nitpick too much but it's not actual policy though i gather it is mentioned as a 'preferred option' in a policy paper. Well next time I'm in a 'what's the one party policy you disagree with?' conversation I've got something to say...
Very good!
I keep meaning to write a "the post office isn't as crap as you all make out, stop being so mean" post and it will follow at some point. Yes I know it's gone downhill but it still kicks Deutsche Post's arse and every other foreign post I've come into contact with too. It's faster and friendlier. And they'ver successfully delivered letters to me which have had the street name, post code and city name all misspelled. The humble postie doesn't get his due credit sometimes.
I'm not precisely picking on them - it was the official targets that they didn't meet, not ones I just made up; and all of those anecdotes are true. If Deustch Post is even worse then if I ever move to Germany I'm sure I'll rant about it...Japan Post happily was excellent to the extent that I never had any problems despite all letters to and from being addressed in an alphabet different from any of the three japanese ones...
PS I will happily say hooray for the humble postie: he/she is probably far more screwed over by the system than I. The directors on the other hand: first against the wall come the revolution...
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