One Hand In The Dyke



Around Christmas time the Royal Mail’s customers like to do the traditional Christmassy things like send each other cards and order presents via Amazon, Ebay and the online versions of shops like Boots and WH Smiths.

This means that from the end of November to about the first week of January, the depot looks like Santa went on strike and dumped the prezzies on us.

Our boss is a grouchy lady at the best of times (quite fitting that the acronym of her job is DOM, but it’s short for Delivery Office Manager and has nothing to do with leather knickers and whips). She took over in March after being transferred from the leafy suburbs of a level 4 depot in a quiet town elsewhere in the county. Her office is next to the Callers’ Office (where the public queue in the rain to get their stuff coz they weren’t in when the postie called). Well, at least it WAS as she’s now shifted it and taken up residence in a former meeting room deep in the labyrinthine corridors that make up our depot, far away from the foremast jacks.

She is now unbothered by the piles and piles of parcels that breach numerous fire safety, health and safety and environmental health rules but at least we can now stick some of the overflow into her old office and try, like the little boy with his hand in the dyke, to keep the wall from crashing down around us.

Yesterday the supervisors forgot to rota someone on to relieve the bloke in the callers’ office meaning he was red faced and spitting venom when no one turned up to take over at 2pm. Instead of doing what I’d have done which is to simply lock the door and leave, he stayed on, dealing with a public who seem to think that we are all clones of the same postman and on top of that are one hive mind and know exactly why their postie didn’t knock/ ripped the parcel/ upset their dog.

If the public could actually see what happens to their packets they probably would regard DHL as a more expensive but safer option. Stuff is left in containers for up to 24 hours, unable to be dealt with as there aren’t enough staff to do it. In a perfect world you’d have a couple of guys doing tag team fetching parcels. Another booking in the packets and a fourth squaring things up. However the targets we are obliged to meet are from DELIVERY not from collection. So the priority is getting posties out on the streets and that’s why if you want your packet that the postie took back to the depot…then turn up at 7.30am to avoid the queue and leave it at least 24 hours from when you got the “While You Were Out” card.


*And just so you know. I do feel guilty about the 12p surcharge on your bedridden, 74 year old wife’s birthday card BUT blame whoever sent it, not me. Also this money does not go to my pension.


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