Tuesday, 24 March 2009

I'm not licking that.

I had two auditions today. But first, let me tell you what happened at the post office.

I was back in there today. (Sometimes it feels like this mailing project will never end.) I had 3 identical letters for the US, 3 for Ireland, and 1 for France. I was served by a dead ringer for the character in the latest Royal Mail advertising campaign. You know (for those of you who live in the UK), the one with the inept employees who monkey about in their eternally empty post office... when they're not serving Joan Collins.

He's an unpleasant, unattractive character of undetermined age (I'm talking about the guy who served me this morning). He's trouble. A lethal combination of limited intelligence and power derived from the Royal Mail Book of Rules.

What normally happens is that you weigh the enveloppes and they print out a self-adhesive postage label. Quick, painless, efficient.

"I'm not putting the stamps on for you. You'll have to do it yourself." "Excuse me?" "You'll have to put the stamps on yourself." "But I don't need stamps. Aren't you going to print some postage labels?" "Not for that many enveloppes." "But there's only 7, and they're all the same size. 4 going to Europe. Three to the US."

That was my first mistake. I had engaged with the angry potato. Tried to reason with it.

"We don't do labels for that many envelopes. You'll have to put the stamps on yourself." "But your colleagues do labels all the time." "Well that's not the rule." "Fine!" (Me in my best passive-aggressive mode.)

So we did stamps. He, metting them out at snail pace. Me, licking them onto my enveloppes at high speed with mounting PMT-fuelled fury. I could have killed him.

As I inserted my credit card into the terminal, I tried to make amends. "Look, I'm sorry. I'm a bit frustrated (!) because your colleagues do it differently." "Move to the side please to lick your stamps, you're holding up the line and I could be serving the next customer." I bristled."My card is still being processed so I'm not holding anything up..." And them my parting shot: "Printing some postage labels would have been faster... "

As I said, I could have killed him. Instead, I'm going to blank him. From now on, I'll pass my turn in the queue to avoid being served by him. He is an ugly stain on The Public Service.

Anyway, brimming with barely restrained fury, I took myself to my first audition of the day. Blah blah blah. 7 hours later. I'm home, watching "To Save the King" - with the inimmitable Ian Richardson. It's part of the "House of Cards" trilogy. If you've never seen it, do check it out. It's brilliant.

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