Going postal

My faktura for Zosia’s phone arrived the other day. She who must be obeyed had retrieved it from the postbox sometime earlier and I moved it from the dining room table to the terrace for a read. This was purely for intellectual purposes as it was already paid after more detective work had found the SMS notification on Zosia’s phone. Sometimes I have to work hard to find the bills, in addition to working hard to pay them! Such is life.

On closer inspection of the table on the terrace I found a strange rectangle of metal. I give you exhibit A –

Zosia models postal-ware

I asked who this strange metal belonged to and was informed, as if it was a stupid question, that it had arrived attached to the T-Mobile envelope. Duh! Of course it did! All our post arrives with strange metal attachments. Silly me!

Clarke & Kubrick could not have come up with a better plot. There was a strange monolithic block of metal on my terrace and I was wondering where the apes were.

I displayed my best “WTF is going on here?” face for a while and was rewarded with further information that some people, T-Mobile obviously being one of them, attach metal pieces to their outgoing post to allow them to avoid Poczta Polska (the Polish Post Office). More microscopic attention to the metal showed it was stamped with details of a firm called InPost and a little online work revealed the world of “Postal Wars Polska”.

InPost the largest independent postal operator, with a nationwide range states that we accept for the delivery only mail that weights more than 50g. We would like to emphasize that according to article 47 point 2 of the Polish Postal law, accepting, moving and delivering of a weighted parcel by an operator does not constitute the violation of the postal law in Poland.

As a part of the internal EU market, the Polish postal market is regulated by special rules of law. Additionally, the business that is based on providing postal services both domestically and abroad is subject to the Polish Postal Law act from June 12, 2003. InPost follows the listed regulations and operates in accord with them.

However, article 46 of the Polish Postal Law guarantees Poczta Polska as a the sole operator on the market the right to deliver mail that weights less than 50g without charging clients additionally . According to the 3rd Postal Directive of the European Parliament, the full liberalisation of the Polish postal market will take place in 2013. Until then, the minimal price used by independent postal operators, including InPost, for delivery of mail no heavier than 50g has to be at least 2.5 times higher than the price offered by Polish Post for a priority letter in the lowest weight category. It means unequal rules for competition with the national, monopolist operator in terms of delivery letter lighter than 50g.

We believe that the year 2013 will be the ultimate date of postal market liberalization, which will result in an increase of number of operators who could provide postal services. Libearlisation of Polish market will surely increase competitiveness within prices and improve the quality of services, which will be beneficiary to clients.

Rafal Brzoska, The President of the Board of Directors

I’m unable to weigh the metal block as the batteries in our 12yr old kitchen scales have decided to ‘shufflel off their mortall coile’ but I’m guessing it’s enough to boost the weight of the simple one page letter from T-Mobile to something just over 50g.

There must be something seriously wrong with a system that encourages the delivery of letters with slabs of metal attached to them. Not to mention the utter madness involved in producing, attaching, delivering, discarding and then dealing with the waste material, which must amount to many tons of metal when you consider how many customers T-Mobile (formerly Era) have. Not to mention other clients of InPost.

 

Going postal, in American English slang, means becoming extremely and uncontrollably angry, often to the point of shooting people dead, usually in a workplace environment.

The expression derives from a series of incidents from 1983 onward in which United States Postal Service (USPS) workers shot and killed managers, fellow workers, and members of the police or general public in acts of mass murder. Between 1986 and 1997, more than forty people were gunned down by spree killers in at least twenty incidents of workplace rage

 

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5 thoughts on “Going postal

  1. They’ve been doing this for YEARS. We don’t hardly get any bills via the post any longer – it’s all online dontchyaknow – but I remember seeing this quite awhile back.

    I didn’t even think twice about it. Of course the government gave some absurd “rights” to the post office monopoly, of course the monopoly is grossly inefficient and, of course, people found a way around it (kombinowac) that was slightly less absurd or inefficient than the existing way. Life in Poland.

    I keep hearing that the Polish post office will “soon” be losing their monopoly due to EU rules but since it held on so damn long we honestly gave up long ago. Nothing goes through the local post office that doesn’t HAVE to. When InPost is finally allowed to do their thing unrestricted and has local drop-boxes and stuff like that we’ll switch everything over that can be switched.

  2. scatts says:

    I wonder if there are any other countries where you get a piece of metal attached to your letter? This might be a worldwide phenomena that I’ve been hitherto blissfully unaware of.

  3. Kolin says:

    At least our Aster bills come with a little paper booklet/notepad thing instead of a useless piece of metal. I use the booklets for collecting polish vocabulary, drawing stick figures, or folding up to stick under the leg of a wobbly table or chair. What I’m interested to know is if someone has found a useful purpose for the scraps of metal in the house??

    K

  4. Once you have enough, you can sew little pockets to fit them into a garment; lo and behold, you have a bulletproof and stab-proof vest for the next time you’re visiting inner-city Britain!

  5. Sylwia says:

    LOL Recently I wondered when Polandian would write about it. Nordea adds notepads too.

    Ahh, just to think how many rolls of toilet paper the communists would give us for the goodies!

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