Royal Mail: strike. La Poste: polite

So Royal Mail are on strike again.

This is damned inconvenient as we are just about to complete the sale of our house in the UK and have some important documents to send/receive.

It is also pretty stupid as they are losing customers already, having recently lost the large Amazon contract.

And the British think of the French as a nation of strikers. This is simply not true. Britain and America both have more days lost through strikes than France.

There are other differences in how the Royal Mail and La Poste treat their customers.

This weekend in France we received a letter from Le Directeur de Centre Courrier (the manager of the delivery centre in based in the large, nearby town).

About a month and a half ago we blocked up the letter box in the door of the apartment and put a large post box on the wall next to the door of the main house. This would ensure our guests were not bothered by mail for us being delivered to them.

At the time I wondered if there would be any repercussions: I had not filled out any paperwork; neither consulted with the local post office, nor the Mairie.

Dark thoughts of dread invaded my brain as I opened the letter; my head full of tales of French bureaucracy. You really don’t want to upset the people who deliver your mail.

I read through it several times, and then passed it to my wife (who can actually read French).

It translates something like this:

Sir, Madam,

Re: Equipment of a normal letter box

You have acquired a normal letter box. The condition and reception of your mail will be improved.

The post office thanks you for installing equipment of a nature that assures the delivery of all types of mail in good condition.

I hope you will take, Sir, Madam, the expression of my distinguished consideration.


The Manager of the Delivery Centre.

Can you imagine receiving such a letter from anyone in the Royal Mail?

It strikes me (no pun intended) that perhaps Royal Mail have something to learn from the French about treating their customers with respect.

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