Thursday, 26 January 2017

Post ParadigmShifting

Instagram janniemay 
There was a time, within living memory, when every English town, village and hamlet had a Royal Mail Post Office. Believe it or not, some large towns and cities even had more than one. You could usually recognise one as the largest building on the street with queues of customers snaking out of the doors. Here is a photo typical of almost any day.

The bods in charge of this shambolic organisation decided that the way to improve was to shut them all down.

Traditional Way
Royal Mail once had a useful source of revenue from flogging stamps to collectors and to people who actually wanted them to post a letter. Then, in further cost-cutting procedures thay chose to kill this golden egg laying goose as well.

Margate Post Office - still an empty shell for a year
As a result of these improvements we now have a tiny area in the corner of an ordinary chemist or newspaper store with a Post Office logo on a nearby wall. There will be four 'counter positions' but only one will be staffed so that the tradition of queuing is maintained. Instead of stamps the clerk ... oops ... Customer Services Advisor ... will print a sticky label and slap it somewhere on the front of your envelope or package.

The Brave New World
Oh yes! Paradigm Shifting is when a long established and universally held belief is replaced with something totally new.

They were only kids when they arrived!
For instance, like thousands of other small boys I collected stamps that were lovingly mounted in the pages of an album according to their country and years of issue. That's how many of us learned basic geography and recognition that Magyar meant Hungary and that Helvetica was Switzerland. We learned the basic principles of logic, order, classification, accuracy, type sorting and neatness. We even learned that the gum used on thin paper stamp hinges tasted foul.

But recently a paradigm shift ... thanks to an Instagram posting by JannieMay who revealed that her method of stamp collecting, seemingly shared by many, is to use a Midori Travelers Notebook with stamps arranged by theme like aircraft, or colour, or shape, or whatever.

As far as I know she simply saves stamps from her incoming mail. I was astounded yesterday, to hear someone on the radio talk about the latest 'special issue stamps' from Royal Mail who apparently have little or nothing to do with Post Offices or is it Post Office Counters? I had no idea that they still did this sort of thing as they seem intent on keeping it as a State Secret.