## Going Postal

So, I just spent half an hour at the post office in La Courneuve so that I could come right back home with my letter STILL in my hand.

As is usual for this particular location of La Poste, there were only two people working (very slowly) and the line seemed to be a kilometer long. But I was patient … sort of. I assumed the requisite mindset of beaten-down resignation. Sometimes that helps. When I finally arrived at the counter after — no exaggeration — twenty-five minutes in line, I placed my fat envelope on the counter and told the postal worker that I wanted to send it by registered mail. She handed me the form for that, but then sympathetically informed me:

“But you can’t do that here. You have to use a machine for that, and it only takes change or debit cards.”

“I can do this at a machine?” I sighed. “So, I didn’t have to wait in that line after all? Okay. Well, I can pay with my debit card. It’s that machine over there?” I pointed in the general direction whence I’d come.

“Yes, I’ll come with you.”

She kindly escorted me back over to the area of lobby with all the machines. On the way, she asked me if I hadn’t seen the “welcome desk” when I came in.

“Why, yes, I did see it. But no one was there half an hour ago when I came in.”