Lamenting the loss of Postman Pat
I recently posted an order to one of my loyal customers, but unfortunately it never arrived. After enquiring at the post office, it transpired the package wasn’t tracked, so they couldn’t do much except wait for it turn up at some point in the future.
I volunteered to approach their sorting office, local office and even their lost property, but the answer was 'no’.
I agreed to post another one, so I went back to the same post office and this time asked for a tracking service, which required a signature. I thought my customer had already had enough delay in receiving her order; the likelihood of missing it again due to not being able to sign for it could put her off coming to me again.
I knew from the address she wasn’t very far from me - about 6 to 7 miles - so I thought I’d deliver it by bike instead.
The following morning when I went to get my bike from the shed, I found it all tangled amongst the other bikes belonging to my family. I tried to get it out, but with little success, so I resorted to driving. Disappointed with myself for not being able to go on two wheels, I took consolation from the fact that my customer would get her delivery a bit quicker this way.
I arrived in this tranquil village just outside Cambridge - a small clutch of varied houses, from thatched cottages, bungalows, Victorian detached, and new builds seemed to exist harmoniously. I imagined the inhabitants to be on equally good terms too.
It was 8am on a Saturday morning, and I quietly delivered the package. However, as I returned to my car and unlocked it, its alarm went off. How I wished I could simply wrap my arms around it to shush it, or hide it or push it out or do anything to stop the harsh, loud, continuous beeping.
This had never happened to me before. Once I locked the car it would stop, but as soon as I attempted to get in the alarm would go off again. This went on for about 15 minutes, but seemed like hours to me.
Eventually, I opened the car, triggering the alarm again, but this time I put my key into the ignition to see what would happen…would it eject me or worse, blow up?
No, in doing so the alarm stopped. If only I had done that earlier.
I drove away with relief, but couldn’t help thinking that Postman Pat would have fitted in perfectly in this village – had he been here, my parcel would have had more chance of finding its rightful owner. There would have been no delays, and no early morning car alarms.
The British postal service used to be the envy of world. I remember having post delivered three times a day – at 7am, midday and at about 4pm. Postmen and women served their territory for a number of years and therefore knew their community well.
Now, it is once a day and even that has no fixed time. With a CEO from North America at the helm of our postal service, there have been a lot of business related changes. I’m an optimist, a change can refresh a product and service but I just hope Royal Mail doesn’t mirror North American postal practices as I don’t think they are as customer friendly.
My business is local, and delivery is an important part of the customer service. So it’s a shame that the modern day postal service doesn’t seem to adhere to the same ideals as it used to. If only Postman Pat still worked the rounds.