Post office woes

9:42 AM

I could write a book on the 100 reasons why getting your mail is though here. Between neighbours emptying the whole mailbox, courrier delivery persons being lazy to climb the stairs (or write a slip), the fact we have a dog and a few other dozen stupid reason, I spent more time wondering if parcels sent by family and friends would ever reach me.

Monday was no different, at 11.30am I finally find time to get Ishita and myself in the shower only to hear the doorbell when I'm at my shampooed best and dripping, I grab a bathrobe (always have a bathrobe handy in India) and go to the window to see what it is all about. My landlord's daughter was the one at my door to tell me that the post lady is shouting from the street because she has a parcel for me, I tell her to tell the lady to come up to deliver the thing, she goes back down, and up again to inform me the post lady left after saying that the parcel will be waiting for me at the post office.
A bit miffed, I finish taking shower, dress both Ishita and myself, enquire with the landlady about that parcel, learn that not even an intimation slip was given, so I head to the post office, baby in one arm, and PAN card in my pocket feeling I would need it for ID proof. Once I reach the counter, I ask about my parcel, the guy quite obviously ask if I have a slip, which I don't and I explain way, puzzled he lead me to the triage room in the back to talk to the manager, who ask me to tell my full address, I oblige, he make me repeat it 3 times and ask me each time if it is really where I live, I certify, then he produce a battered box (obviously opened by the custom) and tells me they had this package for 3 days but that each day the post lady came back saying I was not living there. He inform me that I'll have to come at 9 the next day to retrieve the parcel and sort things out with the lady, I beg him to release the box to me, because I really don't see the point of doing so many back and forth for one stupid unregistered parcel pointing to the obvious fact that I have a baby. He agrees and give me the box, but tell me that they can't really give parcels without an intimation slip. He also add that I should come the next morning anyway to see what the hell went wrong with the post lady.

Tuesday, 9am, I go back there, a different supervisor is there, and he calls the post lady to talk to me before leaving. Well all I can say was that this lady was lucky I had Ishita in my arms or I would have slapped her for her shameless lying and general crap telling. First she told me she came TWICE on Saturday and that both time I wasn't there, going as far as saying that one time was in the morning and the next in the evening. Funny because a) I was at home the whole day and b) the post lady works only in the morning, on Monday when I went picking up my parcel at noon the manager informed me that she was gone for the day.
I tell her that I was there the whole day and that her story didn't fit, she retaliate sticking to her gun claiming I was not there, I ask her if she came up the stairs and she said "No you have a dog, I don't go up", I ask her that if she knows I have a dog, she knows I live there, so why on Earth tell her supervisor that I don't live there, and why oh why not leave an intimation slip and follow the normal procedure. She tells me again I was not there and that on Monday she gave words to my landlady about it. I ask her why she didn't come up after being asked, she tells me she hasn't been asked, while my landlady said she told her to come up.
At this point I blow up, and I mean blow up big time, I start shouting at her like a rabid woman because I'm sick hearing her lie to me and worse accusing me of not saying the truth about my Saturday whereabouts, but I can see she feels cornered. The supervisor comes back hearing my screaming and shout at me for shouting, I shout at him back and upon seeing I mean business he calms down and is ready to hear me out, I tell the whole story again, he turns to the post lady who again tries to deny it, but already made change to the story, saying she came but no one knew me. I reminded her that she knew who I was and that I had a dog and that she didn't even leave a slip, and that no one in my building saw her before Monday. The supervisor upon hearing I had never received an intimation starts scolding her, while I keep asking why she never came to the second floor despite the label on the package saying so, she snap at me that I have a dog and that beside it isn't part of her job...Ah! REALLY? I thought the post office was in charge of delivering mail, but then maybe I'm stupid and don't know any better.
At this point it doesn't matter, because she is in trouble, she knows it, but still has the gut to call me wrong on her mistake, I also add that the afternoon manager said that this package has been coming back and forth for 3 days, the lady said it was not possible because the parcel arrived Saturday night. I corner her asking why then she told me previously that she came once in the morning and once in the evening with that parcel then? She refuse to answer. The supervisor ask her once more why she didn't write a slip and left it in the mailbox as per standard procedure, she mumbled about how she wasn't sure I lived there and how it wasn't necessary for such a parcel. He ask her why she thought so, she has no reply. Then ask her why since on Monday she had confirmation from my landlady that I lived there but was busy and could not come down she didn't leave the parcel with her as it was one of these package that do not need a signature or a payment. She again blanked and refused to answer.
The supervisor then apologised to me for the incident but the post lady didn't.

I can comprehend the fact she did a mistake, as the supervisor told me she is a newbie, but I can't accept she lied, gave different versions of the facts to different people, and stuck to her story when she knew she was wrong and went as questioning the veracity of my story about my whereabouts on Saturday. And then even go on about lying to her boss with me as a witness?

Sadly that story is common, but so far it is the first time that the national post is failing to deliver, they generally are good at giving me my parcel in hand, despite my dog. I had private companies refuse to come up and making up stories, one case being a pay cheque I was waiting for that did 5 back and forth between me and my client simply because the courrier delivery boy said I wasn't there, and on shipping #5 called me from his mobile phone from the street saying he will not come up because of the dog, I was preggo at the time so I told him that he better move his butt upstairs if he didn't want me to report him to his supervisor.

Yup in the 3 years we had the go, and even before that it is amazing the number of cheques, magazine and parcels that had difficulties finding their way up to my apartment.
Maybe I should start drawing tarot cards ever morning to predict the arrival of such mail and be ready to hear a faint "Ma'am" coming from the street among the noise of car honking, pressure cooker pffffffting, maids washing clothes, neighbour shouting, kids playing outside and vegetable vendors announcing their presence...yes clearly it was my mistake for not guessing that this "Ma'am" among other was for me, and that I got a surprise parcel waiting for me on Saturday. And clearly it was my wrong for assuming that the post lady's job was to ensure the delivery of packages by all mean, even braving 2 flights of stairs, a 4 ft tall gate and a dog that wants to lick everybody to death, or worse risking her a carpal tunnel surgery from writing a slip to let me know she came.


  1. limoncello : )4:59 AM

    oh my word, cyn! i'm sorry to hear about your postal dilemma. i hate to say this - but these people seem to be so incompetent! what on earth?!? not only that - to lie just to save their butts (of course), knowing that they're in trouble, anyway. what's the point? they were just shooting themselves on their foot! sheesh.



Blog Archive