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in praise of the French postal service


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Here to redress the balance of complaints about the subject though I myselI have often had cause to be grateful for la Poste.

Bit of background so that you know the context. 

Had to go to a village about 7 km away yesterday for a kiné session and found from Pages Jaunes that their PO would be open at the time.  However, when I arrived I found that the PO had been closed (not sure if permanent closure or just "exceptionellement").  There was a factrice loading stuff up into her little van just outside.

I had with me a parcel for Amazon with a return pre-paid label.  I asked tentatively, I don't suppose you could take this for me because I would require a receipt.  She said just tell me where you live.  So I told her the name of my village.  Then what is your name, madame?  My name is T....oh and she herself gave me my FULL name.  Astonished I remarked, so you know me already?  No, she replied, but I have met your husband and I remember the name.

Short end to the story....she took the parcel and my receipt slip and said leave it to me and my colleaque who does the round for your village.  Now I have lived in many places (in different countries) where your instinct would be to hang on to your parcel, say a polite thank you but no thanks and leave quickly.  But, such is my confidence in la Poste, I handed everything to her as requested.

Early this morning, I found the receipt duly dated and stamped in my letterbox.  The date on the receipt was 15 September, yesterday's date.

So BRAVO, la Poste!

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La Poste was grateful to me!!! The postwoman , after delivering the mail reversed into an adjacent ditch and couldn't get out. Using my 4 X 4 I pulled her van out and she was on her way. The next day she arrived with a large freshly baked Gateau Basque to say "thank you". A lovely surprise; and a tasty one!

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Since arriving in France we had a non communicative, miserable postie. Nothing we could say or do would raise his mood to that of a normal human being. He was known by us as Miserable Maurice - never did find out his real name.

Apart from when he wanted to flog us the xmas calendars - then we use to get a grunted word or two out of him - and a small smile.  OH reckoned it was caused by wind!

Then he was absent - he wasn't there any more,  casual enquiries at La Poste revealed he had retired, with a knowing smile😁  

Now we have cheerful happy female posties. We always try to treat our delivery people well - in other words, get your a r s e out to the gate ASAP so as not to keep them waiting - that's the secret!

Edited by Harnser
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Maybe it's all the fresh air and mountain views around here but all the postmen and women have been great since we arrived 22 years ago. If there is a parcel too big for the box they leave it in a secure place by the house., always a wave or a smile. In complete contrast  is the woman who works in the little post office in the village. Miserable vache doesn't come into it!! Then again she doesn't get the fresh air and and certainly doesn't have the views!!

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In our last village, you could leave parcels in the post box, after notifying the post on line.  The postie would then pick it up on his way past.  He also carried stamps with him for us to buy.  Our last lady her in Nantes (she retired last year) knew us by name and sight and would stop to deliver us our mail if she saw us out walking.

Many of them here run on electric bikes and tri-cycles.  We were treated to the comic and somewhat dangerous sight of two of them haring round a corner in front of us, obviously racing back to the depot.  The main post office in St Seb  does have the odd "fermeture exceptionelle", normally when you go by foot with a parcel.  The staff there have a keen sense of humour.  One of them complemented my wife what beautiful hand writing she had.  She herself, she told us wrote like a pig! 

Edited by Lehaut
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