The Exile Files

Raging Against the Outrageous. Laughter and Insanity Abound.

Archive for January, 2009

Postal Disservice

Posted by Exile on January 31, 2009

images I am not very well pleased with the Danish Post. There was once a time when we had a Post Office, with real people trained by the Post Office, to handle our post. That closed. It was a large building. It was replaced by a prefabricated hut which was parked in the corner of a parking lot near one of the local shopping malls. The queues were phenomenal. The waiting time was endless. I stopped going there. That closed too.

Now our Post Office is a little kiosk like affair hidden in the corner of a supermarket. No longer a separate entity in the street portrait, it is reduced to a second place counter beside the weekly magazines, sweets and cigarettes. The service has suffered badly too. Large parcels used to be delivered by a postman in a dedicated post van. Now it’s a local transport entrepreneur. The post is no longer protected by the contract we once had with the postal service. It used to be a trustworthy organisation. Now it is a bandit society. Poorly led, poorly run and untrustworthy.

For example, I had a little exchange with our postman (actually, that should be postlady) today when she pushed a little notice into my post box stating that there was a package waiting for me to be collected at the post office/supermarket.

“You haven’t got it?” I enquired. “No”, she said. “Someone tried to deliver it yesterday and couldn’t, which is why I have this notice for you.”

Strange. See, I met our postman yesterday. I waited for him because I know the package is on it’s way. He didn’t have it.

“Well, we do come more than once some days.” said the post lady. “Maybe someone tried later.”

Oh well. The package is at the post office. Ready to be collected. It says so on the notice. Ready for collection from 31/1 between 10:00 and 14:00 and will be there until 7/2 where it will be returned to sender if not picked up.

I had an hour to go and get my package. The Post Office/supermarket is only five minutes away by car. I drove.

Arriving at the Post Office/supermarket I produced my notice and my identification and demanded my package.

“We haven’t got it.” I was told by a spotty fourteen year old girl with big teeth.

“Yes you have.” I said. “I have a notice here saying that the package is here, ready for collection today between the hours of 10 and 14.”

“Yes, but we haven’t received it yet.” she said.

What the f…??

“Excuse me, but how you can send me a notice claiming that your postman tried to deliver it yesterday, and that it is here now to be collected and then have the gall to tell me you haven’t received it? If you haven’t received it, how the bloody hell can you try to deliver it? Successfully or not. Give me my package.”

“It’s not here.”
“It must be. I have your notice to prove it.”

Clearly, someone is lying to me. They have my property and they are lying to me.

I left. Empty handed and extremely annoyed. So it would appear I will have to wait until they do have it and ring me to tell me, yet again, that my package is ready for collection so that I can make the trip again.

We pay for this.

And it’s disgraceful.


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PMS Pooch

Posted by Exile on January 21, 2009

Latakia 010 Well, it had to happen sooner or later. One of the two dogs just came in heat. It wasn’t hard to work out which one either. The smaller of the two terrible twins hasn’t really been herself for the past week. First she’s daddy-sick, then she’s mummy-sick and then suddenly she’s growling and grumpy and needs to be patted and petted for what seems like ages at a time. I wake up now to a doggy whimper as she walks around over my duvet on my chest and stomach and licks my face as I am trying to get the last hour out of the night. She wants to be outside, then inside, go for a walk and then stops at the gate refusing to go further. She hides stuff, like food and my socks. The only thing that hasn’t suffered is her appetite. She eats like there is no tomorrow.

I console myself that this will only last a week or so more, but then there is number two. Being sisters and from the same litter, they have to be in some sort of synchronisation. So who wants to bet, that as soon as this one gets done with it, the other one starts? In the meantime, I will carry on being the object of her affection and try to put up with the whining and the whimpering. After all, who could resist that grumpy little face?

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Back to Business

Posted by Exile on January 4, 2009

Do you remember the old Christmas song about the “Twelve days of Christmas”? And all those repeated gifts of leaping Lords and dancing ladies and partridges, of all things, in equally improbable pear trees? Well, it’s all over and done with for another year now. Two days early. To mark this occasion, I have just expelled the Christmas tree. Or what was left of it.

clipart xmastree There was a time when I actually waited until the sixth of January, which is the last of the twelve days of Christmas, until I deposited the stripped and now bare Christmas tree in the garden rubbish pile. But no longer. Today, being only the tenth day of Christmas, marked for us the end of the annual Christmas madness of having a huge, floor to ceiling, six foot wide at the base ornament in our living room. It is gone and we have the lost half of our living space back.

I am a victim of my childhood. We never had a big Christmas tree. It looked like it if one stood outside our house. Through the window, looking into the living room of my childhood abode, one would see a Christmas tree that reached up to the ceiling. Decorated with lights and stuff that we kids had made in junior school classes, baubles and bells and other trappings of festivities long held and, partially, now forgotten. Inside the living room though, a different view of the tree was plain for all to see. Our huge Christmas tree was actually not that big. It stood in a pot on a table and was probably no more than three feet high. Although I loved the tree every year, I determined that  when I had a house and it was Christmas, I would have a tree that went from the floor up. And I do. Every year. A huge tree. Or at least, the top of a huge tree that has been felled for the paper industry or whatever. They are usually about eight feet high. Every year I struggle to get that bloody great thing into my living room and the first thing to go up is the gold star that must sit at the top. There is no way I could reach it if the tree was upright, so it has to go on before I lift the tree into position.

My dear lady puts up with this aberration and indulges me every year. She buys good stuff to hang on it too. Decorations of real porcelain and gold. Silver and gold candle holders. Even the star at the top of the tree is a designer piece of golden wonder. No tat on my tree. It has all been lovingly returned to the original boxes this afternoon, ready for next time. Lord knows what it has cost us over the years. I really don’t care. It is only Christmas once a year and if you can’t have a good time with it, then what’s the point? Christmas is a time of extravagance, so why cut corners with the tree?

This year, the tree had lost most of it’s needles by Boxing day. It had already begun to look bare before we got round to eating the goose. The dogs loved the tree. It was great to hide behind as they played “ambush” on the living room floor. The constant shaking of the tree added to the pile of pine needles collecting under it. I’m sure they will miss it. So will I.

Tomorrow is the start of the working year, hence the early demise of our Christmas tree. The holidays are over and I am looking forward to summer. The winter solstice is behind us and the nights will soon be shorter, the days a little warmer and nature will once again produce the green wonder that is Springtime. The Christmas tree will be cut up for firewood for next winter and a new one will take its place next year. But that’s a long way off. Right now, sadly perhaps, it’s back to business.

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