I, like most people, hate standing in queues, and in my opinion there’s nothing much scarier than the Post Office queue and the people standing in it.
First of all there’s Mr No Bath. He hasn’t washed since 1962, refuses to wear deodorant and the idea of a washing machine is completely alien to him. However, what makes him particularly scary is that he also has no idea of personal boundaries. Out of everyone in the queue, he’ll be the one standing as close to you as possible – while you’ll be the one desperately trying not to pass out from the fumes.
Then we have the Queue Jumper. I’ll always remember the day when I was minding my own business; when out of nowhere, I became aware that there was a man underneath my coat.
No, he wasn’t an extreme space invader; he was someone who thought he’d crawl under the ropes to get to the front of the queue.
He misjudged of course, and ended up with his head up the side of my long winter coat. A quick whack with my handbag put paid to his nonsense, and he was swiftly dispatched to the back of the queue.
Then there is Mrs Proud Grandmother.
This normally sweet old lady becomes an absolute menace in a post office. Why? Because not only does she have a million and one things she wants to take care of at the counter, but she also wants to share news and photographs of her grandchildren with the cashier.
Case in point – a few days ago my dad and I were standing in line, waiting to post a parcel. Mrs Proud Grandmother was ahead of us, setting up post office accounts for her grandchildren; taking out premium bonds and giving the cashier a full run-down on the amount of grandkids she had; what there names were; and what cute things they had said that day.
To make matters worse she had two little rugrats with her, and every now and then they’d go bolting off round the shop, with her chasing after them. The whole process took 30 minutes, by which time my dad and I were grey-haired with frustration. The crowning glory came when at the very end of her transaction she left the counter, only to turn back and ask, ‘Oh, can I also have a first class stamp?’
I’m afraid I can’t repeat what the other queue members had to say to that question, but I think you have a pretty good idea…