Thursday, March 13, 2008

March 13, 2008 - Merry Christmas and Happy Easter

Kristoffer and I were thrilled that last week we received a notice in our mailbox of a package from Denmark waiting for us at the post office! This week we were thrilled again to have a package from the US waiting for us. Two packages!! Because he was away all last week and because the post office closes at 5pm, we were not able to get to the post office until yesterday when we left work early to make it in time.

When we arrived at 4:40pm we thought we had won the jackpot; because it was so close to closing there was nobody else waiting for a package and we thought we could breeze right through the bureaucracy. This feeling even lasted for a few minutes when we didn’t have to show each item in each package because they really wanted to close the post office and nobody wanted to bother with a full customs investigation.

The package from Denmark was our CHRISTMAS package from Kristoffer’s mom and step-dad mailed to us on December 12th. Kristoffer’s mom had already filed an insurance claim with the post office, assuming our gifts were stolen. As it turns out, the package from Denmark arrived a long time ago and was sitting in the post office for weeks and weeks, but we never got any notification until last week. The package from the US was an Easter package from my parents and my sister Meghan mailed around February 12th.

This is probably a really boring story so far, but the fun began when they told us our “storage” fees for not picking up our packages “on time”. The post office claims to have sent us many notifications of the Danish package, which we never received, and they were charging us Ksh 2,650 ($43 USD) for their trouble to keep our package sitting on an old shelf in their mail room all this time. Are you kidding me?!?! For the American package, which we had only received notice of 2 days earlier, they were charging us Ksh 350 ($6 USD). Now…we are not cheap people, we don’t like to cheat anybody on paying what we owe and we even believe in financial incentives for people to behave correctly in society, but $48 to pick up two packages of presents that people sent us?!? No way. That is just not fair.

Kristoffer had a very polite conversation with a nice postal woman about how it was not our fault that we didn’t receive notice of the package and that Kristoffer’s mom thought the package was stolen. The woman wondered who should take the blame then, because she could supposedly prove that they sent notices to our UN mailbox well before we received them (although she couldn’t show us the notices in that moment because, of course, the office was closing). I mostly stood or sat with steam coming out of my ears, trying not to say something inappropriate.

In the end, because everyone was done working and the woman clearly didn’t want to deal with us anymore, she knocked the charges down to Ksh 1,100 ($18) and let us take our packages. Granted, it was still SO CORRUPT that we had to pay anything at all (it really felt like paying a bribe) but she would not let us take our packages without paying something AND they were nearly locking the doors with us inside.

Luckily our bad mood ended when we got home as we celebrated both Christmas and Easter, laying all of our treats out on our coffee table to admire and eat and enjoy (books! cd! linens! candles! Christmas ornaments! Easter decorations! candy and food and more candy!). Thanks to our families for being so generous, and for providing us with another fabulous experience at the post office for us.

LMW

2 comments:

Peter T said...

found THIS interesting link @cnn.com: http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2008/03/17/vassileva.intv.wfp.free.rice.cnn

Anything you know about, Kristoffer?

Peter, Baekgade 17

PeterT said...

http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/
video/world/2008/03/17
/vassileva.intv.wfp.free.rice.cnn

the whole link - I hope :-)