I am really annoyed. Scrap that. I am totally and utterly pissed off.
We’ve been robbed.
Or at least my children have.
My son answered the door to the postman who handed him (he’s ten) a small parcel and asked him to sign for it. He did so, then bounded excitedly into the room with the jiffy bag.
I thought it odd on turning over the bag and seeing extra sellotape stuck to the opening. I hoped that somewhere through its travels the original tape had just been damaged and that the contents remained untampered with inside.
My optimistic self rearing her head again.
I opened the bag and found a letter informing me of the EUR 100 for each of my children from their estranged father. Christmas present time finally arrived. Two months late. More than eight weeks of waiting. Remembered at last.
Then: four envelopes each labelled clearly with the name of one of my children. Each torn apart. Each containing its original greetings card. None containing its promised EUR 100.
I felt sick.
I looked again.
I saw their shocked then sad faces.
I piled all of the children into the car and spotted the postman. I confronted him with the envelope and expressed quite clearly that a ten-year-old should not sign for a parcel.
He knew nothing of the missing money. Or so he said. I raced on to the post office.
I explained. I showed the ripped envelopes. The one torn card. My twelve-year-old deflatedly wished for a whole card. The one she’d awaited for several months.
They told me it couldn’t have happened in Germany. Because it’s traceable here. I told them I know damn well it happened here because in the last 15 months not one nor two but at least four parcels sent to us, have not arrived. That they all came from different post offices and one was even sent in Germany. They gave me a free telephone number.
I raged all the way home and then took the phone. The customer services assistant had no idea about customer services. My complaint did not fall into her computer categories and therefore could not be dealt with by the German post.
It’s not acceptable to me, I argued. This is not the first time my post has been stolen, I battled. My children are so distressed they could not even eat their lunch, I divulged.
She adapted my complaint to fit her computer.
She noted the torn envelopes. She typed in the details of the ripped card. She recorded the missing EUR 400.
Then she told me money should not be sent in the post.
Why not? Because the German post cannot be trusted?
I asked her to make a note of my other missing parcels but she refused. They have to be reported by the sender and not the receiver.
To inform you: when the sender in Scotland, for example, reports a missing parcel to the Scottish PO, they only start the investigation three months after the post has not turned up. Add to that they cannot investigate in Germany. Even if the parcel is posted recorded delivery, the receiver can do nothing. The sender in the foreign land has to chase it up and they can do nothing here.
So, it seems to me that if you can hook yourself up with a job with the German Post Office then you’re sorted. You can help yourself to whatever you want, if you know where the enormous loopholes are i.e. if it’s a parcel from a foreign land.
I asked the unobliging customer service assistant if I should tell people that they should not send my children birthday and Christmas presents any more, because I couldn’t trust the German post to deliver them.
She told me she could understand how I felt.
My trust is broken. I am sick of the pass the buck, “I can’t take any responsibility” culture in which we live. I am completely fucked off that some people, despite decorations and massive advertisement campaigns don’t actually know when Christmas is. I am distressed by forlorn children’s faces.
I am exhausted.
Is that how she feels?