As someone who has lived through the excesses of the beauacracy we enjoy in the UK, you might think nothing would faze me when dealing with one the institutions who has helped give the nation the reputation of being one of that promotes red tape.
And yet there I was last week finding myself being jaw - dropping gobsmacked by the Post Office’s ability to surprise. After all I was only trying to redirect the mail of a friend who is no longer able to cope with his own affairs.
The process of having mail re-directed is in fact quite straight forward. All you have to do is fill in a basic form, hand over your money - no cheques accepted, and the ultra efficient PO will do the rest.
Mind you the form does have its quirky questions, including the need to know if there is a dog at the new address. I would have thought our brave girls and guys who deliver our mail would be well up to dealing with a mere dog. Or did I miss the point of the question? Was the Post Office trying to dodge any claim after mail is chewed up by a four legged friend. I’ll never know, nor was I tempted to say no we do not have a dog, but occasionally dog-sit for my Deeside son.
The real issue was the one of identity after filling in the form, and presented my driving licence as proof of who I was, I was staggered to be asked for further identity in the shape of two paid utility bills.
At this point I exploded in best Victor Meldrum style: “You have to be joking,” was met with a quiet smile, borne of long time dealings with impatient old people like myself.
I recovered to apologise, and signed up for all the requirements, even if I thought £59.44 for re-directing mail for a year was a bit steep, although I refrained from making any observation.
Last week I was happy to praise the democratic process we have been through in Scotland
I am, however, less happy, or impressed by our various politicians, and in their attitudes. Starting with our soon to be no more First Minister Alex Salmond who in my opinion was most unwise to lay the blame for the defeat in the referendum on the over 65’s. Attacking mature citizens, experienced in the ways of the full of false promises politicians was not clever, while bordering on poor sportsmanship.
But just in case Mr Salmond thinks I am picking on him, my lack of regard for Ed Miliband after his forgetful party conference speech is such that I have difficulty in seeing him as Prime Minister in - waiting. Not that the current incumbent David Cameron has exactly covered himself in glory, all of which leads me believe there is no chance of an 87% turnout at next year’s General Election.