Monday, 17 November 2008


It's not often I'm lost for words really. In fact those that know me in real life probably wish I was dumbstruck more often. Like I was this lunchtime.

Y'see I'd gone to the Post Office to send some Obama t-shirts to certain members on my family who'd asked me to pick them up last week. I'd reasoned that we were still far enough away from Christmas that I wouldn't be caught in the parcel queue, but was dismayed to find that the nearest Post Office is nigh on a mile from where I work (and I work a stone's throw from one of the busiest train stations in the country). So a queue was inevitable. Ah well.

15 minutes later I am in a queue of ten people being served by two counter staff. Result! Should be in and out in a few minutes, I thought. Or not, as it turned out.

The first few people whizzed through, doing normal things like sending a letter to Australia or wanting lots of stamps for Christmas cards. Even the poor Jordanian student sending a package to his parents and (probably justifiably) paranoid that the police would open it didn't take long (in all likelihood the parcel would only get blown up if it was going to Brazil...)

And then the lady three people in front of me reached the counter. She produced a shoebox from a bag and announced to all and sundry that she'd just sold this pair of shoes on ebay and didn't know how to post it.

The twenty or so people in the queue glanced briefly at the clock, then at each other, then returned to watch the fun. The cashier looked bemused. "What do you mean, how do you post it?", he asked.

"Well," she said, "I want to sent it recorded delivery but don't know if you're supposed to wrap it or I'm supposed to."

"You are," said the cashier with a facial expression of confused vacancy that Ben Affleck would've killed for.

"Oh," said the lady - whom I'd have guessed at late 20's/early 30's - "do you have any paper then? And be quick, I'm in a hurry to get back to work."

My jaw, along with those of the now 25 people stuck behind this woman, dropped.

By the time I'd reached the other cashier, and was weighing my parcel, the lady had (without leaving the queue) taken an A4 manila envelope from the neighbouring shelf and tried TO FIT A SHOEBOX IN IT, surprisingly failed, borrowed some sellotape and scissors from the cashier and had then taped the envelope to the top of the box.

She then rather brilliantly asked if she had to fill in the address or whether the cashier would?

Because clearly she was in the fucking psychic queue.

However, the best was to come - by now over 30 people were grinding their teeth at being held up for over 20 minutes of their lunch break behind this gurning simpleton, and the cashier could sense that the mood was turning ugly. As I walked out past her the cashier politely asked her to continue wrapping her parcel to one side and then rejoin the queue to post it.

She turned slowly and looked at the length of glowering people before replying, "oh no, I'm not joining that queue. I have to be back at work in 5 minutes."

And with 1.8million people unemployed, someone gave this woman a job. The mind boggles.


Anonymous said...

Hey...I bought those shoes...They better get here quick or I'm going to leave negative feedback I swear...

She is a fine example of why people 'go postal' as they say.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Sit on the woman's head until your bum aches. She's a pain in the arse, so you may as well have one.

weenie said...

Women like that give the rest of us a bad name...what a muppet!

Pearl said...

Delightfully dense, wasn't she.

I like the idea of sitting on her.


Paula said...

What. A. Fanny.

Somebody should have hit her.

Although I also like Pearl's idea.

Red Squirrel said...

sweet cheeks - if that parcel made it out of the Post Office it would be a miracle!

gb - noted for the next time :)

weenie - indeed. Who'd imagine that anyone could get to 30 without ever having sent or received a parcel? Baffling.

pearl - lots of votes for the sitting-on I see.

paula - however the queue was English so we did the next best thing to hitting her. We tutted loudly, and then complained in private....