vendredi 16 juin 2006
Much to my chagrin, I have been spending a lot of time at La Poste lately. There are a few things I have noticed.
1. When waiting in line, it helps be elderly or pregnant. This is not a guarantee however.
2. Start your own home business, and get a Carte Professionelle. That way, you can go to the head of the line. You will get a lot of glares and mutterings, but you won't spend forever and a day waiting in line.

After many hours of standing in line and observing, I have come up with, drumroll please, Megan's Theory of Postaltivity.
It goes like this
amount of time you will spend waiting in line (w)
number of people ahead of you (n)
w=2n+2
So, roughly, if there are 10 people in line ahead of you you will spend 22 minutes waiting in line. This is to take into account the people who will jump in front of you.
Mind you, this isn't a Law yet, as much more sampling would be required- specifically, trying lots of different post offices in different parts of France at different times of the day. And frankly, I would much prefer My Year of Cheese if I must spend a year traveling around France.
This Theorem is independent of the number of tellers. There can be 15 tellers, 15 people waiting in line, and it will still take you 30 minutes. I don't know why.
The one thing that Going Postal is good for, besides verifying my theorem, is to practice my zen attitude.
Case in point- Monday afternoon, had to deposit some checks. There were 15 people ahead of me. This would normally be a time that you would think would be high volume of customers, thus more tellers would be available. Alas, no. There were two tellers, one was completely occupied with a man who I think was depositing his paycheck in cents. So, for the sake of our story, there was only one teller operational. Tempers and the temperature were running high. First a girl waltzes in, goes to the front of the line because she has the Carte Pro. Then an elderly man with an oxygen tank comes in, goes right to the front of the line without even a By Your Leave. I think people were about to strangle him with the cord on his oxygen tank. There were other elderly people who had come in, informed the last person in the line at the time that they were
behind them, then went to go sit on the side, waiting their turn. There was also a significantly pregnant woman waiting in line.
One youngish guy informs the lady behind him that he is going to go outside and smoke a cigarette and to please hold his place. On his way out he starts complaining loudly about the guy taking forever and a day with the other teller.

So here are the points of discussion in Megan's Memo to La Poste.
1) hire more tellers for goodness sake
2) have ATMs that can actually handle more than just giving out money. Ie. deposits!
3) have the precious customs forms, check deposit slips, etc. available on the other side of the window for people to start filling out ahead of time
4) have one teller line dedicated just to bank business, another one just for sending and receiving of packages, etc.
5) have an extra person who just fetches and carries packages from the storage room instead of having the tellers get up, lock their computer, wander aimlessly in the direction of the package room, spend a couple of minutes getting reaquainted with where the packages are, then finally wandering back in the direction of the window.

I like to believe that there are better post offices somewhere in France. It is a hope I am holding onto.

1 commentaires:

Ed/Sue Smith a dit…

I remember using my best French to ask for a stamp and the lady came back at me in English- You mean you want a ---centime stamp? Mai oui!
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