Wednesday, 12 January 2011

slivers of joy

  "Did you post this through my door just now?"
The woman is standing before me in her slippers brandishing a grey Royal Mail 'insufficient postage' card.  I'm taking a much needed piss behind a tree in what I thought to be a deserted patch of muddy park/woodland.  Should I shake hands?  It's a rhetorical question.  Who else in this shaded glade posts mail through doors?  I'm mid flow so resist and fess up to posting the offending item.  It's my job.  I'm a bit pissed off (literally)  to say the least. 
  "Have you read it?" I enquire.

She hasn't. Otherwise why would she follow me into the woods? Some one's mailed her an item without a stamp/insufficient postage and Royal Mail have sent her a card to inform the recipient and demand a fee.  If only people would read the fuckers instead of instantly assuming I can't be arsed to knock on their door and deliver a packet (they assume I'd rather carry their Screwfix catalogue for four long hours)
So there we both are.  Steam dispersing though the Winter trees. Shame warming our cheeks.  Somewhere a dog barks.  I explain the card and the meaning of its words.  She skulks off  and I resume my work. 
On the way back to the office I bump into an old acquaintance:
  "You working?" he asks.
I'm wearing a bright fluorescent orange raincoat with 'Royal Mail' in large red letters emblazoned on my chest.  On my aching shoulder a bulging black and red Royal Mail postbag strains at the leash. My Royal Mail ID card swings from my belt letting the whole world know my Christian name in large while letters.
  "It's my day off"  I groan. 

My only pleasure at work these days is getting to stick official 'Home Office' advice stickers on mail that's been readdressed i.e. not officially redirected.  Cheapskates getting the new house dwellers to write their new address on the envelopes.  Royal Mail is duty bound to deliver these items but they don't like it.  No one else I know gives a shit but I get a faint glimmer of satisfaction smacking the square stickers on these scrawled over envelopes.  I have a thick roll that's lasted me years.  I'm not even sure what they say.  Some gumph about Home Office advice and identity theft.  If I get to put the willys up an old dear once in a while then I'm happy.  Nice to scare 'em also.