In general I like the services provided by Canada Post. With fewer folks using the old mail system, the post office has tried to keep up with things to remain relevant. Ironically this includes using the same technology that is cutting into their business. Sometimes this technology can cut both ways.
Not too long ago I ordered a book online. I had it delivered to my home, understanding that I may not be in when it arrived and I would have to trek to the post office to pick it up. Nonetheless I decided to take my chances; maybe I would be home.
Within a few days I was walking along approaching my building when I spotted the Canada Post truck parked right in front. I dashed the last half block to make sure I got to the carrier before he could leave.
As I entered the lobby I saw that my book was indeed firmly in the grasp of the carrier. He had just placed the “Sorry we missed you, go get your package at the Post Office” card in my mailbox. Phew, said I, that was close. May I have my package please?
At this request I noticed that the carrier, someone I have known for several years and a very nice guy, started to look sheepish and uttered ‘Um … no.’
He explained that the package had already been scanned and therefore entered into the system. I thought this was silly, but figured all I had to do was open my mailbox, retrieve the missed delivery card, present it to the carrier who would then hand over my book.
I proceeded to do this only to have him look me straight in the eye and tell me he could not give me the package. It could now only be obtained at the post office. He was standing not five feet from me, with my package in his hand, but could not give it to me.
Thinking that he may be joking I asked him to un-scan the package. That cannot be done he told me. So let me get this straight, I said, you can’t give me my package, the one you have in your hand, even if I give you the card. He agreed that I had fully grasped the situation.
Still looking for a Just For Laughs camera, I relented and said I would take the card and go to the post office later. He cautioned me not to do that until after midday the next day, as it would take that long for the post office to process it.
Ah technology …