For the last two years, I have been closely following the Post Office scandal thanks to the Private Eye. I think it is absolutely shameful that some post office workers had to go to prison thanks to an almighty IT glitch. It beggars belief that alarm bells were not ringing when the workers expressed concern about the phantom shortfalls.
What shocked me most was to discover yesterday that the former Chief Executive of the Post Office is an ordained minister in the Church of England! She is a non stipendiary minister.
In the tradition that I grew up in, being a minister is a calling and a vocation so I had never heard of a non stipendiary minister before I joined the Church of England. I still am not sure about non stipendiary clergy as I am not convinced that they can commit a 100% to their calling if you can call that.
Here in the Vicarage, occasionally, we receive letters from abroad. The envelopes that the letters come in usually have very beautiful stamps of their native flora, fauna and sometimes of their buildings and tourist spots. It made me wonder why here in the UK, our stamps are so unattractive. It never used to be like that. In the past, I used to look forward to letters in the post and would admire the stamps for a good few minutes before I opened the envelope. These days, I rarely receive a local envelope which has a beautiful stamp. It is always the plain blue (2nd class) or orange red (1st class) self adhesive stamp. I have tried buying stamps at the post office but I just get the same old plain ones. The only exception is at Christmas when we might get some Christmas themed stamps.
I am always writing to people and really want to use beautiful stamps to compliment the pretty envelopes that I use. I started trawling the Royal Mail website for beautiful stamps. For a start, they only offer free delivery for orders over £50 or more! Then I discovered that there are very few choices when it came to second class stamps. It was a choice between Coronation street and Roman Britain! I opted for the latter.
I have now received the stamps and am enjoying using them. I sincerely hope that the recipients will like these stamps as much as I do!
“There is no room to paste the postage label” said the man at our village post office. He shook his head while looking at the small parcel. Just that I had over 20 of the same sized parcels to be posted.!
“What do you want me to do?” I asked. The man continued shaking his head. At that point, I realised that I had to take matters into my own hands. There is no way I was going to redo everything! I asked him to sell me sufficient postage stamps so that I will be able to paste them myself.
He shook his head again! He didn’t have sufficient stamps!!! He finally concluded that he will be able to affix the computer generated postage label after all. Hooray! Battle won!
However, he won’t be able to do it right away. Fine. I was happy to pay for them first. He shook his head again! For some strange reason because he wasn’t going to process them them right away, I won’t be able to pay by credit card, it had to be debit card. Fine.
Can I please have a receipt? No… I think one can guess where this is going. He shook his head yet again!!!!!!!!!! I can’t have a receipt because he wasn’t going to process them immediately. He suggested that I come back either on Thursday or Friday for the receipt?????? Mmm… It was only Tuesday and he said that the parcels will be processed the same day so why would the receipt only be available on Thursday or Friday???!!!
Anyway, I was exhausted by then and the Mhinisteir was waiting in the cold for me so I decided to leave it at that and pray that the parcels will reach the intended recipients!
I have always favoured 2nd class stamp to first. Why? I don’t usually require my post to reach the recipient the next day. I am fairly organised so I always post my letter a few days in advance so that it will arrive at the right time. I only use a first class stamp if I am needing to act upon something urgently.
After moving to England, one of my many observations was that almost everybody here only use First class stamp!
I began to feel self conscious and tried to change my habit. Old habits die hard! I went back to second class stamps after a few months! Years later I am still using second class stamps!
Here in rural England, there is no RBS branch. In fact, most of the banks on the High Street nearest to us have closed down. Those of us in rural communities are being asked to use the Post Office to do our banking. In theory, it is all well and good. In order to bank in anything, you need a quick deposit envelope, paying in slip etc. I don’t know where I can get quick deposit envelopes. Cheque books come with just a handful of paying in slips and so I quickly run out of them!!! These Post Offices are half Post Offices and half shops so you don’t get the full service of the “proper” post office!
Last week, I had to sadly break open my piggy bank! I was very reluctant to bring the cash contents to the Post Office/shop to deposit. I couldn’t stop wondering if the person behind the counter might be tempted to pocket the contents. I know we will get a confirmation slip but what if the person absconds with the money? I don’t mind depositing cheques but I have serious doubts about depositing cash! I suppose this is when I have to exercise faith!!!!
There was an advert in yesterday’s newspaper to remind the public that the last date to submit any PPI claim is 29 August 2019
As usual, I got reminded of my own PPI story….It happened about 7 years ago!
One day, the Mhinisteir received a letter from RBS. He said it was just another marketing letter and handed it to me for shredding.
As I took it to the shredder, curiosity got the better of me and I started reading the letter. It was a very wordy 2 page letter. When I turned to page two, I read that we were owed over £900 in mis-sold PPI!!!!
I marched back to the Mhinisteir’s study and made him read the letter again. That’s when the penny dropped for him.
Anyway, God works in mysterious ways because thanks to PPI, we were finally able to go on a holiday after 12 long months without a single break!