An old lady walks in: "Hello".
The staff member: "Hello."
The lady is waiting in a long line.
Finally, it's her turn.
"I would like to buy these and these stamps."
"Hm, but we do not have these."
"They ran out."
"What if I come tomorrow, will you have them?"
"Well, probably not."
"Hey, what kind of Post Office is this?"
"Well, ma'am, even the grocery shop sometimes runs out of the bread..."
Sneaky laughter of the stuff and other people waiting. Of course, a lady who wanted to buy the stamps at the Post Office has become a victim of laughingstock (plus she didn't get the stamps).
With her head bowed she went away.
Me still waiting in the line. Thinking.
Remembering a friend who once told me a real story.
In his town, everybody went to buy 'things' just across the border. The cause was not in smuggling, cheaper stuff or other "suspicious" transactions. The cause was elsewhere.
In that shop there was a nice man selling and he was the cause of these mass visits.
In the shop:
Buyer: "Good Day".
Seller: "Oh, hello, hello. Go ahead, go ahead. What would you like to buy today? "
"I need such and such screws."
"Ok." The seller finds out that he has no such and such screws. "Unfortunately they ran out. But no worries. You can wait here until I get them or you can do some shopping elsewhere and take the screws on the way back? "
'No, no, it's not necessary, I'll come some other time."
'Oh, they will be here soon, I'll just call another shop and I'll get them in an hour or so. Really."
'Well, if it so, I'll come again on the way back. "
Seller calls another shop. No screws there. He calls the third shop. They don't have them either. He calls another shop. They do have such and such screws. They agree to deliver. Within an hour the screws are in the shop of the seller...
What have I learned from these two stories?
If I was an employee at the Post, I would:
- call the other Post Office, if they have these and these stamps in stock.
- ask the lady (who, among other things, was not-so-young, and certainly hasn't come to the Post Office every day to annoy employees) if she could wait a bit.
- not let the lady wait in line to tell her that we run out of these and these stamps.
- throw out all that trashy stuff, and ugly toys, and candles, and plastic glasses, and things like that which don't belong into the Post Office and replaced them with these and these stamps, cards, letters, stationery of all colors and forms, packaging kits and other things that certainly belong into the Post Office. Yes, and I would make sure that the Post Office, where the first task is receiving and sending mail, doesn't run out of stamps. N-ever!