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back to article Robots? What a bunch of workers...

Robots have taken over my newsagent. Well, it’s more of a general store than a traditional sweet shop, I suppose. Also, the mecha infiltration so far seems limited to the tiny Post Office counter situated between the beyond-sell-by-date tinned produce and the freezer chest full of Captain’s Table gag-fests. Yet it’s from such …

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GPO snoops

Love the way they now want to know the exact details of what's in a parcel.

Perhaps this is to allow for a more targeted professional level of thieving?

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Re: GPO snoops

you must have very nosey Post Office staff. When I post something the only thing they ask is "Is it worth more than £20?", presumably to try and sell insurance on it. A simple No and they're quite happy.

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Re: GPO snoops

Don't admit there may be any written word inside or they'll be charging you double for a letter instead of a parcel...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: GPO snoops

Love the way they now want to know the exact details of what's in a parcel.

And I always tell them it's something that it isn't. No point in being honest, since they never pay out the insurance when they either:

- let one of their light fingered staff thieve it

- leave it on the doorstep of the wrong address (usually in the pouring rain)

- use it as a makeshift football in the depot

I sell my old computer books on Amazon, and earlier this week I told the Post Office drone that a parcel contained a latex gimp costume when it really contained the "ARM Achitecture Reference Manual". Yes, I have no shame and a warped sense of humour.

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Its all about the up sell

Whats in the parcel sir?

- A tshirt

Whats the value sir?

- £5

Well sir this return doesnt cover you for financial loss, I can send this back super duper post that will insure you to the value of £500 and be guaranteed next day, its only £8.

- err, no thats fine thanks the freepost will be fine.

Sir! that means should the parcel be lost you will have no insurance?!

-Thats fine, its a £5 tshirt ill survive

But sir this does not cover you for loss nor next day delivery]

-JUST SEND THE F*CKING PACKAGE FREEPOST!!

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Anonymous Coward

Who Needs GPO robots....

Go with the future and equip your mom with a 3D printer so she can extrude (sorry) the "Big Boy ‘Prolapse II’ strap-on double-pronged dildo vibrator with lube" from the comfort of her kitchen*

Now would not that be much more fun?

I am sure U235 and linen tidbits are also easily achievable - but a real potpourri now that's high art - you might need to wait for Windows 9.0 featuring smell-o-synth for that.

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GPO snoops

"What's in the parcel?"

"Mind your own damn business and show me the card. and if there's anything on the restricted list I'll tell you."

They haven't asked me since.

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Bronze badge

Re: GPO snoops

Restricted list? So the idea is that if I'm a terrorist and put a bomb in the parcel, I'll get caught out when the Post Office bloke asks me what I put in the parcel?

Hmm, I wonder if there's any way for someone to circumvent this devious terrorism prevention measure...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: GPO snoops

So the idea is that if I'm a terrorist and put a bomb in the parcel, I'll get caught out when the Post Office bloke asks me what I put in the parcel?

It's a bit like the cards they used to dish out shortly before landing on flights headed to the USA. Two questions, asking whether you've ever been convicted of trafficking drugs across international boundaries or committed war crimes between 1939-45.

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Mushroom

Re: GPO snoops

> Hmm, I wonder if there's any way for someone to circumvent this devious terrorism prevention measure...

Judging from the fact that there are people on ebay who are willing to send you bottles of hydrofluoric acid in the post, I would say yes.

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Re: GPO snoops

Does the landing card for non-EU passport holders still ask if you have ever been involved in "genocide"?

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Facepalm

Re: GPO snoops

So the idea is that if I'm a terrorist and put a bomb in the parcel, I'll get caught out when the Post Office bloke asks me what I put in the parcel?

Well... Possibly... There was a couple of US chappies who sent a parcel of goodies to the IRA, back in the 90s. It was supposedly a consignment of Barbie parts - but got intercepted at Coventry Airport I think. Lots of lovely guns.

Anyway they'd gone to their local parcel office, to send it off air-freight. And the office noticed that they'd not put a return address on the paperwork. Well you wouldn't, would you?

In full view of the CCTV cameras they filled out their own address, real address not a fake one, paid up and left. 'Twas a tough investigation for the police!

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Re: GPO snoops

The US Customs forms used to ask "Do you intend to overthrow the government of the United States?" To which several wags responded "Sole purpose of visit."

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Try Collect+ instead

its cheaper and might be nearer.

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Thumb Up

Something for the...

Yes, it's weekend! Excellent Friday's read again - thank you, Alistair.

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Joke

My suspicions were aroused when the part-time fool..

What is he the rest of the time? Most of the ones I've met have been full-time fools.

Anyway don't bother using the PO for parcels. It's cheaper (and often quicker) to order a courier online. Most of them will even come and pick your parcel up instead of you having to trudge over to them.

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Bronze badge

>> What is he the rest of the time?

This is a local shop, remember. This means the Post Office is closed for most of the time. When it *is* open, the queue runs from the counter right through the shop and out the door. Makes you wonder why they keep closing them down.

Not sure about paying for a courier. Given that my eBay item will have sold for £1.50, no-one will want to pay £10 for it to get lost *professionally*.

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Anonymous Coward

Anyway don't bother using the PO for parcels. It's cheaper (and often quicker) to order a courier online. Most of them will even come and pick your parcel up instead of you having to trudge over to them.

Unless you pay mega-bucks for DHL or UPS, you'll be using someone like Yodel or Hermes. They farm out deliveries to people using their own car or van and paid peanuts. They're notorious for leaving stuff in unlikely places or not delivering at all. Last Yodel delivery I had was discovered days later in a hanging basket that's above head height near my front door. I'm 6' 4" tall, and can't comfortably reach into the basket so I guess the delivery person threw it in basketball style. No card through the door either.

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Courier companies

I've seen a lot of DPD vans around. This makes the Dabbsies giggle because of a puerile pun in French. 'DPD' in English sounds like 'dee-pee-dee' but in French it is pronounced 'day-pay-day', which sounds like 'des pédés', which is an old-fashioned and derogatory way of referring to gay men.

Not that we laugh at gay men. But it is funny when my wife looks out the window and appears to be telling me that there are some gays at the door: "Il y a DPD à la porte."

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Joke

Re: Alistair Dabbs : Gallic punnery

If only they did high-speed deliveries using Toyota MR2s

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Bronze badge

Re: Alistair Dabbs : Gallic punnery

Will this do?

http://www.wired.com/dangerroom/2011/12/robot-helicopter/

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Joke

Re: Courier companies

Ironically, DPD is owned by La Poste (French post office)!

http://www.dpd.com/dpd_portal/company_profile/the_group

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Anonymous Coward

"Last Yodel delivery I had was discovered days later in a hanging basket that's above head height near my front door. I'm 6' 4" tall, and can't comfortably reach into the basket so I guess the delivery person threw it in basketball style. No card through the door either."

Ah, Yodel...

Their usual trick with me is to leave a card which says 'over back gate'... yes, they drop parcels which are wrapped with 'Fragile: Handle with Care' tape over a 6-foot gate. *facepalm*

Fortunately nothing has been broken yet, but I've taken to leaving a bag full of grass clippings or leaves swept from the driveway behind the gate just to be safe!

Another one which was quite frustrating was when I'd booked a specific delivery slot on a Monday when I wasn't working and would be at home to take delivery. It didn't show up, so I contacted them and was told that they'd forgotten to put it on the van. So I booked a re-delivery for Friday of the same week, which was the next time that I was going to be home. The parcel was delivered on the Thursday, when I wasn't in, and left behind the dustbin on my driveway.

With logistic skills like this, I'm not sure how they've managed to survive so long as a courier!

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Silver badge

Bit disappointed.

Came for robots, got a generalized gripe about how a guy at the author's post office doesn't give very good service.

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Re: Bit disappointed.

Surely you're *very* disappointed. I know I would be.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Bit disappointed.

Sometimes the comments are as funny as the articles :)

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Re: Bit disappointed.

So, erm, I'm a bit confused.

Was the guy behind the counter a robot or not?

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Anonymous Coward

As a PO Robot...

The local post office only gets a few pence for each label they print to supplement the core pay, some on new contracts get only the commission and no core payment. From this they pay the rent, bills, staff and insurance.

If you go in with a prepaid label you are costing them time and money, and expecting good service for less than free. Meanwhile PayPal is raking it in for no work, and you're paying them to print your own label and use your own adhesive.

Only one and a half winners. PayPal and possibly Royal Mail, but certainly not you and certainly not your local sub Post Office.

Staff may be over zealous about asking what's in your parcel, but are required to for hazardous / banned items and also to stop you sending a 500 pound watch, 1000 pounds in cash, plus your car keys alongside the box of chocolates and biscuits in your second class parcel.

Because the staff do not want to be responsible for the loss of that, nor an exploding can of paint, and would much rather you can track your valuables and ensure that whatever you send gets there safely and that you get your A+++ eBay rating.

They certainly don't like having to say "sorry royal mail lost your faberge egg but as it wasn't tracked or insured all you can do is fill out this claim form and hope it turns up. But why did you say it was just an egg cup when you posted it? For £2 more we could have had it delivered Special Delivery"

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Re: As a PO Robot...

They certainly don't like having to say "sorry royal mail lost your faberge egg but as it wasn't tracked or insured all you can do is fill out this claim form a ...

The rotten Swedish mail bastards certainly would absolutely like to say precisely that, it would be the pinnacle of their career ... the stuff of mail-non-delivery legend, to be retold and embellished upon at every gathering of the evil minions.

As it is, I simply have to put track & trace on all packages sent because, if I do not do this, they will simply mail the package directly back to the sender address, this apparently being the easiest option or funny or something - leaving only a smeared stamp as "evidence" so you can't even see which sorting office did it - for when you fill out The Complaints Form!

My local office make their profit from what they can nick and customers having to send their mail twice!

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Gold badge

Want a real laugh, ship internationally.

Maybe someone could please explain why Japan Post, China Post and the legendarily godawful US postal service all seem to manage to get a package to continental Europe rather more reliably than the British postal service?

The odd thing here is that, while you can pretty much set your watch by the delivery times from everywhere else on the planet, anything coming from Britain will arrive sometime between next day and three weeks later. Package type, size and content do not appear relevant to this, so I'm guessing that dice rolls are involved somewhere along the line.

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Bronze badge

Re: Want a real laugh, ship internationally.

For even more of a laugh, order something from one of the gazillion chinese drop shippers. You'll quite likely get your parcel with SWEDISH!! postage stamps. This made me do a double take the first time I got something in.

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