Friday, 31 May 2013

The “cheap and nasty” land gets nastier

Although it is annoying to have to cycle from Mentone station to reach Name A Game, I must say that I actually enjoy it because it provides very good exercise for my obese body, and in the pleasant winter weather of southern Australia it is not a tough ride even when one rides on the footpath in fear of fast cars and my bicycle’s soft tyres.

Today, I went very early because of the need to have a meal ready for Mummy, who is also busy. Despite problems with the stand on my bicycle, I had no trouble on a surprisingly empty train to Frankston, nor in cycling to Braeside despite the threatening weather, which remains threatening as I contemplate my future options.

When I carried on the familiar routine of calling to talk to Christian (who is now insistent that I do not come into his workshop) he said that the West Coast v North Melbourne game from the sixteenth round of 2000 I had expected two weeks ago (and which I had ordered on 25 March) had already been re-sent. I tried to talk about the problem of what would happen if this second parcel is lost - which I already knew to be a very probable outcome given the bad and declining quality of Australia’s mail services - but I failed to get Christian and thought it better to go home than to call him up in person a second time.

The trip back to Mordialloc station was smooth, but when I put my bike on the train I had no choice but to use the lock since the stand was not holding it - I have meant to ask about repairs or replacement for the stand for some time - yet the lock held it much better and with less obstruction to fellow passengers than I hoped. Once I was back at Flinders Street I rang Christian and he did say the West Coast v North Melbourne game would be re-copied again if it were lost in the post a second time, then after considering my options I though I had enough time to check my mailbox. This is where the trouble began. With a decent mail service every solitary parcel within a metropolitan area would come in a straight day with absolutely ZERO RISK, so that I unfortunately assumed my game would be waiting for my hot little hands. When it was not, I became sulky, asking suggestively the post office people who said there was nothing, then going outside and calling Mummy to tell her another parcel had been lost.

It was then that I went hysterical as I am wont to do when I have waited and waited to no avail. I know that, contrary to what the post office people and my mother say, the probability the parcel will come is zero: it was lost no doubt due to inadequate checking by the postal service. This poor checking no doubt results from inadequate staffing to prevent errors in the electronic mail checking - or perhaps even faults therein.

What this really shows to me is how Australia’s comfortable, relatively affluent working class, with its vast actual and potential housing space, abundant economic opportunities and low energy costs tolerates much poorer qualities than almost any other working class in the world. They have negligible demand for specialised, high-quality goods, and very little individuality of any sort in their quiet, low-density suburbs, resulting in probably a low use of mail services compared to the Enriched or Tropical Worlds. The low tax rates of Australia mean inadequate regulation of so many things - not only the environment, but even less critical things like mail checking. Because people falsely assume Australia to be a “developed” country, tracking is not made compulsory as it is often to other countries known to have high mail loss rates.

… reserves the right to refuse shipping to countries with a high mail loss rate and to suspect buyers.
if they knew about my experience, I can imagine may eBay and sellers would refuse to sell to Australia and I would have to have them posted to my brother! That would be painful but possibly more reliable since a relative will have some serious interest in motives other than profit from the unwary.

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