Saturday, August 12, 2006

The Canadian Post Office

Over on Skint's blog I recently had occasion to comment on the relative unreliability of the Canadian postal system. Truth be told, we don't seem to have a 'system'. We've got something more like a part-time delivery service manned by such likeable, affable people that one would hate to complain to them. We wouldn't want to ruin anybody's day.

The people working behind the counters at the post office are always civilized and pleasant. Our posties are charming fellows. "Darling Tom" acquired his name when he caught me by surprise one day after Peter told him to "just go on inside" to use our telephone. My affectionate greeting caught him a bit off-guard too! Our current postie is Phil, a somewhat hefty fellow who seems to always be half running along his route. How could we ever complain about the fact that sometimes our mail takes weeks to travel under a hundred miles? Or about the "Special Delivery" letter that was mailed from the U.S. on December 24th and took ten days to arrive? Fact is, that's not all that important. Most Canadians probably realize that if it's a matter of 'life and death' you'd be best not to rely on our post office. However, I've got a story for you about one time when the Canadian postal service SHONE.

I was holidaying in the American midwest when I saw something...can't remember what...that I knew a particular friend back in Canada would find interesting. I picked up a postcard to send, but I didn't know her address. She lived in a rural section of a large (2 million people) community at the time. I wrote my postcard and in the address section I started off with "I have faith in the Canadian post office..." and I went on to describe where she lived "in a little grey house, near the farms, at the South side of the Massey Bridge, Delta, B.C. " My postcard would have gone through a series of huge sorting centres and all along the line there was some affable Canadian postal employee moving it onward. It actually only took about ten days to arrive at my friend's house! Now that's what I call a postal service! They won't be hearing any complaints from me!


At 3:55 AM, Anonymous clare said...

Lovely story, Susan. I bet someone had quite a lot of pleasure passing on that card and then actually posting it through the door.

At 4:24 AM, Blogger Maxine said...

Good story, Susan -- but you don't mention whether Skint's books have arrived yet. (I guess not....) Hope it is not too long now.

I agree with what you say about the notorious unreliability of the Canadian postal service. We knew never to use it in on the many occasions we tried to commission articles and reviews from Canadian authors, pre-Internet and pre-email etc. (Makes me sound like a dinosaur, but not actually that long ago!)

At 8:25 AM, Anonymous skint writer said...

Nice little story

Cross-fingers the British postal system is pretty good although recently we do tend to get more letters addressed to neighbours - which we promptly put in the right letterbox - I sometimes wonder whether there are some of mine languishing on other's doormats.


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