Back to the Post Office with eBay and monthly prize winner packages and of course I idly tweeted my progress with the hashtag #postofficequeuelive. This time I had Phoebe with me partly to show her another aspect of the family business (when she’s old enough she might question why this business gives everything away for free) and partly because my wife was at the hairdressers. Phoebe sensibly went to sleep in the first five minutes.
I was going to cut the Post Office some slack - this was the day after a bank holiday and so they’d have a lot of custom and as of late they had four staff on duty rather than the usual two. The first few times I did this my wait was always over 20 minutes and once or twice over thirty, but the last two times I’ve only had a five minute wait. I wondered if my persistent civil protest was having an effect. I sometimes noticed new staff dashing out of the back room when I started tweeting, but surely it was just a coincidence. As with most of the dumbass stunts I pull on Twitter I never think that anyone is really paying attention. Lord Sugar hadn’t noticed me for years (before he once nearly broke the Matrix that he has created by tweeting me back - rather confused one must say) and so I assume that all my tweets just disappear into the ether, read by a couple of dozen idiots who enjoy the comedy of repetition spread over months and years.
There was an old fella two people ahead of me in the queue who may have been in his eighties, but when the woman behind him offered to save his place so he could sit down he refused. I like to think that he reasoned that he had stood up to the Nazis and he was going to stand up to the Post Office (even if they were even more fascistic - am I right? Come on. Don’t leave me hanging). This time the wait was about 20 minutes (and I think the Post Office got a bit unlucky as only about five people arrived behind me in all that time and there seemed to be a lot of customers taking a long time to complete their transactions). I started to wonder if I had been clocked. I saw the teller that I like the best do a double take when he saw me and the woman who tries to guide people over to the self-service machines saw me and just said, “Oh, you’ll want to queue”. But it wasn’t until I got to the counter that my paranoia turned out not to be paranoia. I got my favourite cashier who smiled at me and said “How did we do today?” and then to confirm my suspicions said, “I follow you on Twitter.” I wondered if he wanted to punch me in the face, but he seemed to like what I was doing and I reiterated (as I always have done) that I think the staff at this branch do an amazing job in the face of some of the most crazy people in the world, made crazier by the queuing. But he seemed to appreciate my efforts and I suppose I am drawing attention to what he has to put up with. The other cashiers nearby looked over and also laughed or smiled at me and told me that they liked my Metro column (especially when it is about them) and the manager appeared from the back room and said, “I’ve caught you at last. Can I have a word with you when you’re finished?” I felt like I was maybe in trouble, or maybe they were going to take my sleeping daughter hostage until I promised to tweet that they were great, but when I spoke to her she was charming, acknowledging that the service wasn’t perfect, appreciative that I didn’t criticise her staff and asking me if there was anything I think of that would help. I reiterated that I didn’t think it was right that an 80 year old man had to queue for 20 minutes to get his pension, but accepted that the branch draws in a lot of customers, has been the victim of cuts and does seem to have been making more of an effort. The manager said queue times were down from 45 minutes and that she’d put on more staff. It seems that my childish campaign might actually have made a difference. I didn’t realise I wielded so much influence. With great power comes great responsibility. Maybe I could try and wangle some free stamps in return for shutting up. Or I could do the advert instead of Robert Webb...
No, I will remain unbought and honest, so I can mildly embarrass big companies on social media. I am glad that the manager is attempting to turn things around. Give these people the funds they need to run your business efficiently Post Office.
I had fun having the morning out with my daughter. I haven’t taken her out alone very much at all (and she has still not worked at all as a woman-magnet). I took her to a cafe in the hope I’d get some work done, but out of the soporific atmosphere of the Post Office she was awake and alert straight away and then did a big poo, which I couldn’t really leave until later for the sake of everyone in Costa. Apart from soiling herself she was a whole lot of fun to be around today. Though still I am plagued by the most horrible thoughts. When you’re in sole charge you know you’ll get the blame if anything goes wrong and I became convinced that I might turn my back on her for a minute and she’d be stolen away. Being a parent is fucking horrific.
I think we’ve ended up with a really angelic baby (even angels have to shit some time), but I am loving being a dad so much. And trying not to think about the fact that I’ll be away for four days on tour this week.
Somehow amongst it all I managed to get in a frame of Me1 Vs Me2 snooker
which gives you the result of the upcoming election in advance (through snooker).
Getting RHLSTP booked up. Exciting announcement about first guest coming tomorrow (monthly badge subscribers should already have had an email), but just to keep you ticking over, Emma Kennedy will be one of the guests on 8th June. Limmy selling fast on 27th July. Mark Watson and Robin Ince on 29th June. Some other very exciting names in the frame. I’d say it’s worth booking now for any of them
And this week the Lord of the Dance Settee tour is coming to Shrewsbury, Stockton, Leeds and Peterborough. I think there are only a few single tickets left for Leeds, but availability for all the others. Details here.