Paris : Simon Cutts & Erica Van Horn
The Post Office is always a problem. Over the years, there has been more and more pressure on machinery and fewer counter people. At our nearest post office, it is hard to actually locate a counter as there is rarely anyone there and it is not really a counter anyway. It is more of an island in the midst of a lot of space. One of the two people on duty is often over near the machines advising people on how to do their stamp buying themselves. Other times there is no one official to be seen anywhere.
There are often waits for the machines. People spend a long time on the machines. Most of their time is spent starting over again because they have done something wrong.
Buying stamps for letters or cards is not a matter of just saying to a person or the machine that you need ten stamps for Europe. Each letter needs to be weighed individually and then the name of the country must be spelled out or at least the first three letters of that country tapped in. Then the country appears and you validate the location. If you catch it quickly, you might be able to order ten stamps of the same amount. By the time you have filled your virtual shopping basket with stamps, you try to pay for them but then it is imperative to only put in twenty pieces of money. More than twenty coins and your whole amount of carefully counted out coins comes rattling back out. You can only purchase up to twenty stamps at one time and you can only pay with twenty pieces of money. Both of these rules are easy to get wrong.
I have yet to attempt paying for my stamps with a card. Stamp buying this morning was so complex that I made 6 separate payments for 9 letters and came away with 6 separate receipts. Each visit is a little easier but it is never very easy.EVH