Following the guilt trip I had been enjoying since telling you all about the conversation with my mother last week, I did something nice. I took the time to print off some family photos for her that I had taken during the Christmas holidays. I had to do this as old people do not use computers and the Internet, so sending her a link to Flickr was pointless.
There were about twenty photos in total, with family members in varying states of inebriation. I knew she would like them.
Unfortunately, I had to visit the Post Office as I had no idea how much it would cost to send them since the Post Office changed their rules so that anything more than a sheet of rice paper requires two first class stamps.
I waited my turn in the queue and was finally dealt with by a chipper gentleman who seemed a bit too happy about the fact that he was behind a post office counter on a Friday afternoon.
“That’ll be £1.10.” he told me after weighing the photos and including the envelope I had purchased in order to post them.
I handed over some money and waited for my change. He mumbled something at me as I picked up the shrapnel he had passed to me under the bullet proof glass.
“I’m sorry?” I queried.
“I said, can I interest you in credit card?” he repeated.
I didn’t know how to respond. I have heard of post office workers raiding personal mail in order to get hold of credit cards and spend on them before they are listed as missing, but it was a bit brazen of him to offer one to me. I only wanted a stamp.
“I’m not sure I understand.”
“Would you like a credit card. From us here. We have some good deals.”
Ah. It was a legitimate business offer. This made a bit more sense. I did not want a credit card as it happened, but I found it strange that in these times of crunchy credit, people are finding it extremely difficult to borrow money from a traditional source of cash; the banks. And yet here, in a place I least expected it, at the Post Office, they could not give me some almost-but-not-quite-free money fast enough.
Is the solution to all our problems really as simple as getting the Post Office to lend money to the banks?