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Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Post Office Queues and Giant Tetris

Our hearts sank to our boots when we saw the queue in the Post Office. It snaked back beyond the theme park style metal barrier funnel, past the travel guide aisle, into the seasonal biography releases of people no-one has heard of. We looked down at the small envelope that was the sum total of our business and sighed in resignation. We would have to queue, we needed proof of postage.
That was when we spotted the man in front of us trying to wrestle too many presents into a large brown jiffy bag. It was like watching a giant game of Tetris. We found ourselves making suggestions and groaning in sympathy as each new attempt failed. He took a wry look at the long queue and noted that he at least had plenty of time to find the solution. The parcels were wedged in, removed, gathered up by others in the queue and handed back, ready for the next go.
Finally, with the watching crowd cheering heartily, he managed to fit them all in. With a little help, he sealed the envelope and borrowed my pen to scrawl the address on the front. Next year, he said, he would get all the items delivered direct and spare himself the trouble.
It was certainly an entertaining way to pass the time. And all around us similar scenes were being enacted. People even had coloured paper, sellotape, tags etc. and were industriously wrapping presents as they waited, usually with the assistance of the other customers around them. Despite the long wait, everyone was happy, helping each other, laughing and joking. Kind of reminds you what it's all about really!

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