Link to Profile Semperoper, Dresden Sieg (auf dem Siegesäule), Berlin Brandenburg Tor, Berlin Skyline, Frankfurt am Main

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Deutsche Post to Germany
"You didn't really want to mail that, did you?"

I decided to mail a birthday card to someone in the US ... As usual, the Partnerin chose a number of birthday cards the last time we were in the US so that we could have a stock of english-language cards on hand for such occasions. The problem is that American greeting cards are a bit bigger than the standard German cards .... about a centimeter or so. I counted on being charged a bit extra for this since, in Germany, no good deed goes un-punished.

At Christmas this meant paying EUR 3.00 per card rather than the EUR 1.70 per card. Today it was EUR 6.00 ... yep, some bureaucrat has decided that an oversize card should now be nearly four times as expensive to send to the US (though I note that one can now send as much as a half-kilogram for the same rate ... that seems to me like nice card-and-letter-sending Germans are being asked to subsidise bomb-mailing terrorists, if you ask me).

So I ask the clerk how much smaller it needed to be, and she takes out a pen and draws a line across the envelope ... OK, that is annoying. But, as if to make things better, she offers me a pair of scissors so that I can then and there proceed to cut the card down to size.

So to go along with what must surely be joke, I ask "Yeah, but what about the envelope, which will need to be re-sealed?" She offers to let me use her tape.

So, to this point we've wasted about EUR 25 of my time and EUR 6 of hers and perhaps another EUR100 of the rest of the people in line, and my card is still not going to be mailed because I cannot stomach paying EUR 6 to mail a single greeting card.

But it gets better ... like many post-offices around the world, none of which seem capable of making money doing their bread-and-butter job of delivering mail, Deutsche Post has a selection of greeting cards sitting in racks about two meters behind me. Does the friendly psuedo-civil-servant suggest that I buy one of those for roughly EUR 2, which would have me ready and out of there for less than EUR 4?

No, not a passing thought to that. But scissors and tape were free for the taking. Some days I just love Germany. This is one of those Al Goldstein "Deutsche Post, F___ Y__" moments.

Note to self: see if you can find an Al Goldstein "F___ Y__" video on YouTube. Oh yeah, here's a good one ...

Caution, contains explicit language and disturbing images (mostly of Al himself)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scissors!!!! Six Euro!!!! Unglaublich. The Deutsche Post is fast and has clean offices, and the good stuff ends there unfortunately. :/
I guess watch for smaller cards from now on, eh? I usually just buy German ones, people I know think it's fun to get foreign language stuff and I put the translation on them. But there are lots of cards that are blank inside and say Happy Birthday in English on the front here. :)

-CN Heidelberg, not logged in

2:46 PM, February 21, 2009  

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