Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Post Office? I think I'll pass....

Good morning from cloudy Puglia. (Yes, that's right, the sun doesn't ALWAYS shine here...)

The thing that I'm going to talk about today is one that I have almost certainly mentioned more than once in the past. The topic in question is the quick, efficient, helpful organisation that is the Italian post office. In case you didn't quite pick up on it, those three preceding adjectives were positively dripping with sarcasm. I'm not what you would call a 'fan' of the Italian post office. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that I have a EXTREME dislike of it (I don't like using the word hate. Except when talking about One Direction of course. Anyway.) My reasons are numerous: slow service, lack of efficiency in any shape or form, slow service, largely unhelpful staff (in my local branch anyway), slow service and disrespect for customers. It is the latter that I wish to draw attention to today, as I recently witnessed something really quite surprising, even by Italian post office standards.

The story played out something like this: Bumbling my way into the packed post office, I saw an old guy waiting to speak to someone in the back office- I guess he wanted to discuss his account or something similar. Seeing that another guy, who also wanted to speak to someone, was about to push in front of him, he (rightly) said 'I'm the first one. But the customer service man has gone for a coffee. He'll be back soon I think'. Right. Other guy retreated and seemed fine with this. OUT FOR A COFFEE though? It was heaving in the post office. But, whatever. Italians like coffee. They clearly need it to get through a morning of pushy post office go-ers. I get it. Five minutes later the customer service guy returned, but didn't call in the next customer.  Oh no. He proceeded to stand outside and chat to other colleagues while this poor old guy was just waiting. Then, THEN, the second man in the queue goes out to the customer service man and starts talking to him, clearly about his own post office issue. The cheek! The man obliges and seems to be serving him first. Still with me? Good. By this point, the old man was getting pretty irate. Grumbling (and rightly so) to everyone who would listen. He then went outside to this guy, shouted a bit and made some hand gestures. Ten minutes later, when I left the post office (thank God), he still hadn't been seen. (His  hand gestures may not have helped...)

Sometimes, I just don't get it. I love how laid back southern Italians are, but when it becomes disrespectful? No thanks. All of my correspondence will definitely be in electronic form from now on methinks. And let's hope that the old guy isn't still waiting for his turn.

In other post-related news, I had the joy of receiving (albeit a good two weeks late...again, thanks Italian post...) a wonderful card from my friend in Canada. This friend runs an absolutely wonderful bike tour company (see my write up of the tour I went on HERE) and is one of the most positive, inspirational people I've ever met. And doesn't she have great taste in greetings cards?!
 That's all for now folks. Over and out.


  1. Hi Lucinda,

    I am a friend of Kara's Mum and I just couldn't agree with you more. I hate our post office and having waited just over four weeks for our Xmas crackers to arrive - they turned up yesterday, 12th January!!!

    In Tuscany they are just as rude. The problem is made worse for me because I cannot find anyone to complain to....

    Loved your blog.

    Maybe we will meet up some day when Kara is over.



  2. Haha love this post, whilst I haven't had to deal with the Post Office yet, I can definitely recognise the style of proceedings from other offices. I've been here 6 months and I still don't have an official doctor (note 'official'). I went to ASL Milano and the very helpful man there (much more helpful than the woman in the comune) said "Chiedi Inghilterra per un modulo." That's right, I have to 'ask England'. Crazy.
    Lucy x
    La Lingua : Food + Life in Milano