Saturday, April 11, 2009

It Happens only in India: Snail Pace Speed Post

Even the postal department isn't immune to computerization and its many pitfalls.I had the experience a few days ago, when I wheeled into the tiny neighborhood post office to send a letter via speed post.I realize that many of you are wondering how the postal department still holds its head high in times like these.Well it does;with the aplomb and alacrity of the tortoise who outran(or out-crawled?) the swift rabbit.

I did mention the pitfalls of computerization.Yes,even the post office has to deal with constantly crashing and seldom cooperating stubborn servers.It so happens that in this particular office,there is one counter to handle speed post and money orders.Every money order has to be approved(most people who make out money orders aren't aware of the postal code of the recipient.Every search for a postal code takes a good seven to eight minutes).The heat is sweltering,the post office can be likened to a dungeon housing sacks of letters.There are people trying to jump queues and others trying to chide them for doing so.Then there is the demure clerk sitting behind the counter, her shoulders slouched and her face pallid.Irate customers hover around the counter trying to cast a cursory glance towards the monitor.They move away in resignation;shaking their heads as they say,'slow server'.A senior postal officer tells the clerk to relax and not to hurry. These words of wisdom have a visible effect on her as she continues to stare at the screen.

It took me an hour just to pay for the postage and to get a receipt.On my way back, I started to weigh the pros and cons of faxing attested documents.

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