Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Stupidity in Thailand’s Post Office

Collection Counter
Thailand Post, other than a place to pay fines conveniently, it’s a place to send and collect parcels of course. When someone sends a registered letter to your address, or a parcel, if you are not home, there will be this mysterious piece of paper all printed in Thai appearing in your mailbox. The only clue one will have that it’s time to visit the post office is the Thailand Post logo. So, let’s head for the friendly neighborhood post office that’s only really linguistically friendly to Thais.

On arrival, the only words in English you see will most probably be “One Stop Service”, “Toilet”, “No Smoking” and “Push” “Pull” on the doors if you are lucky. You will have no clue where the collection counter is until you start asking the people there, that is if you can speak some Thai.
Queue Number

Eventually. I found the collection counter behind the building, obscured, and there was a long queue on a Saturday. Stood like a fool stupidly for a good 15 minutes till I realized there were yellow queue numbers held in the hands of the crowd. Then, only to realized I had wasted my time and so I went to eventually locate the printed stack of paper located next to the collection counter a label in Thai words indicating God knows what. So… remember, must take queue number when collecting things from post office, look for secret box with stacks of printed paper and take one. Then listen hard and wait for number to be called. I missed my turn because they had no PA system, so next time must hang really close to the counter.

How about sending parcels? I only recognized the word “One Stop Service” written on counters 1 to 4. I was aware they had a new automated ticket machine (in placed of laminated cards previously). Instinctively, I approached the machine and molest the screen until it produced a ticket with a number on it. And then I got curious why counter 4 in particular had a queue long like dragon going all round inside the post office. Soon my number was called, I sent my single parcel after some struggle, the counter staff packed everything for me and instructed me to fill forms here and there, as usual.

Counter 4 Going Around like a Snake
And so I asked, what’s the long queue at Counter 4 for. She said it was an express queue for sending no more than 3 items. And then I asked, what about the rest of the counters including the one I was at speaking to her, which I took a queue number from the ticket machine in order to be served and sending only one single item. She said they were for sending items too as well, just that we can send any number of items. So I asked, why are the rest queuing up at Counter 4 which was so long? Express was not really express when we could be well served fast if we took a queue number for Counters 1 to 3. She shrugged, smiled, and we agreed telepathically the rest were stupid idiots.

Fact is, I was the stupid one not knowing what to do, but somehow, all wrong things lead to the best outcome.

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