On unwanted correspondence

I went to fetch our mail from the post office this morning.  When I opened our post office box (as usual for a moment feeling like Alice sticking that very small key into that very small door) I found something terrible inside:


It’s terrible.  Don’t they know that I’m having a hard enough time of it as it is?  Now the stupid post office is adding to the pressure, asking me questions to which I simply do not have the answer.  Don’t they understand?  I just don’t know if I need to renew my PO Box for next year or if I need to cancel it.

I’m still waiting to hear about that job, you see.  And yesterday I was a bit of an idiot and, on a whim, checked on their Facebook page where I saw a post stating that the meeting where they will decide who to appoint would be last night.  Needless to say, I’ve been staring at the phone the whole day, willing it to ring.  Going to the post office was an excuse to get out of the house and clear my head a bit.  Yeah, that helped.

Actually, I blame my sister-in-law.  If she didn’t message me on WhatsApp to ask whether I’ve heard anything yet I would never have visited their Facebook page, which means I wouldn’t have needed to clear my head, which means I wouldn’t have gone to the post office, which means I would have been blissfully unaware of that evil form lying safely locked away behind a miniature lock in my post office box.

Giant post box Calvinia, South Africa
For when you have really long letters to post…

Speaking of post boxes, did you know the world’s biggest post box is in South Africa?  It’s in a town called Calvinia and is almost seven metres tall.  The first post box in South Africa was an old boot buried under a milk wood tree in what’s today Mossel Bay.  Now there’s a real post box under the tree…shaped like a shoe.

9 thoughts on “On unwanted correspondence

  1. Those darn sister-in-laws. Good luck with the job!

    Also, I have only been in my local PO like…. 4 times? My mom used to be a Post Master when I was a kid, so I spent every day after school in one. But now the only times I ever stop in is to mail packages that won’t fit in a mail slot!


  2. Best of luck with the job – fingers crossed!

    I have all sorts of fun with my PO Box – I got it to stop couriers leaving cards on my doorstep to tell me I was out, only to find that half the people who send things to me can’t do it to PO Boxes, and if they do, I end up with a card saying something didn’t fit, and have to line up in queues in the post office to pick up the package. I don’t know how the SA post offices are, but ours are dreadful – I swear they have a target ‘customer wait time’ of around 10-15 minutes and take staff off their front counters to make sure the queue is slowed, just in case anybody might not have to wait that long.


    1. I wrote a post earlier in the year on a post office experience I had once. Our post office is also a bank servicing specifically low-income earners. At our town’s main PO the average waiting time in line is an hour due to the large number of banking customers. When I complained about it I got an e-mail from the regional manager explaining they cannot have a special queue for people wanting to send/collect parcels (which takes maybe two minutes compared to banking transactions which can take up to ten) because handling mail was not their primary function. I still have his e-mail. I also read an article this morning that they’re apparently running at a nett loss and most of their executive staff had resigned during the past two years.

      Luckily I managed to get a PO Box at one of the smaller branches. The two ladies who work there know their customers by name and I’ve never waited more than five minutes. Makes things much easier.

      Over here couriers call you to confirm the address and tell you at what time they’ll deliver it. They’re fine with it if you then tell them to deliver to your work instead of your home.


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