Our main post office is, unfortunately, franchised to the Co-operative chain of grocery stores (The Co-op). What used to be a well run office, based elsewhere, with efficient and knowledgeable staff under Post Office management, is now nearly a pathetic shadow of its former self.  Customer service is dire. This is true to long running form for the Co-op in my experience. Customer and staff care are not too high on their agenda. Many good full and part time, long-serving, experienced post office counter staff have left the Co-op in the last six months, in ire, at the way they have been treated and neglected. 

Early October, I waited in a queue snaking to the door, it was late afternoon, well after the time the day's post would have been collected.  Why was I there so long? There were two counter staff working, one of whom was inexperienced and had an obvious arm injury. The remaining four service points were unstaffed.

The Co-op, have decided that the way to deal with the under-staffing of the main post office, is to reduce the number of service points, so that the lack of staff will not be so obvious!!!

In the middle of all the chaos, an open ended booth has been erected in line with counter service point four. The booth allows driving licence applications to be made and photos to be taken for the licences. If anyone has any difficulties, the post office staff are expected to assist from the counter side of the booth. Therein lies the rub; what staff? 

My guess is, the proposed physical reduction in size of the post office counter will work down from the booth that has been installed. The booth effectively blocks out your view of the counter and its staffing.

I could go on to describe the permanent gap in the ceiling tiles, allowing drips of water to fall into the long term fixture of the bucket at ground level; the queue barrier has now been diverted (at last) around the bucket, instead of, as it was, going 'through' it. (Never mind all the electrics).