In these unique circumstances, I’m sure you would have seen signs in shops reminding us to be respectful to the staff. I totally agree with this and wouldn’t stop there. I think we should be respectful to everyone, including customers.
Before I share this little story, I want to put my hand up and say the situation is my fault. I created it and I take responsibility for that. What I don’t take responsibility for is the disrespectful manner in which I was treated by an Australia Post worker.
Many months ago, I purchased a book to support my friend who had written it, published it and launched it. The book was coming from the US. It was going to take a few weeks to a few months to arrive. At the time I was in lockdown in Tasmania so I entered the address for the local post office. My mistake was that I forgot that I did that.
A few months passed. The book didn’t arrive. My friend followed it up. I still didn’t remember I had used the Post Office address. We left the area where we had been staying.
A few days later, I received an abrupt call from the postal worker. “You have a parcel here and it’s been here for weeks and you need to come and collect it.” By this time I was on the other side of the state. I was expecting to be back in the area within a few weeks and basically pleaded with the worker to hold the parcel until then.
“It was sent to you here. You must have given them the address,” admonished the worker.
Of course I had forgotten that I had used the post office address.
“Yes, I must have. I apologise that’s my fault.”
“You must have given out this address. You got it sent here and now you need to pick it up,” she repeated sternly.
In the end she agreed to hold the parcel.
About two weeks later, I missed a call from an “Unknown Caller”. They left a message.
“You haven’t picked up your parcel and it’s going to be sent back to sender. If you’ve got any problems with that, call 131 318.”
As usual, there was no contact number for the post office so I called the 1300 number. Luckily for me, I chanced upon a really helpful and understanding assistant. I explained my situation and asked if they could send the parcel (if it hadn’t been sent already) to the local caravan park where I could pick it up.
“No!” they wouldn’t do that.
It had to be sent to another post office.
Oh boy! Here we are back to the same situation. I now have to travel to get the parcel before the next timeframe runs out.
Like I said, I take full responsibility for the situation. I don’t agree with the attitude and the lack of respect. In these unusual times, I would have thought we could be a little kinder and more flexible to each other.
Am I being unreasonable?
What would happen in your business?