Search This Blog

Old world charm of Post Offices

I guess I have earlier written about my family connections to Post Office. At least 3 from our family have worked in Post Offices over the last 80 years or so. But the connection seems to have been lost now.

Hardly I need to visit a post office. Today was one of the days where I went to Post Office since I had to "speed post" an envelope. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Post Office has been fully computerised. They have PC's for all the staff, bar code readers et al. It is so different from the Post Office I have known all my life. When I gave the Clerk at the counter the envelope, he put a bar coded tag, used his bar code reader and updated few columns on his desktop and gives me a receipt for the speed post. Thats it! All over in a jiffy!! But the lack of courteousness of the Clerk hasn't changed one bit. Sad!

It is so different from the Post Office I know about. When my uncle used to be the Post Master of New Colony Post Office at Tuticorin, the post office functioned out of a bungalow. It was so huge a house with a big, really big garden as well. The ground floor housed the Post Office with big counters for stamps, envelopes and SB accounts. There used to be a huge sorting hall where all the letters would be sorted for distribution and Post Master (my uncle) sat at the centre of the hall overseeing everything. The PM's quarters is just behind this sorting hall which is nothing but an extension of the house. The first floor was a sprawling 4 room house where the junk postal stationery were kept in one of the front rooms. I really wonder why they had to print so many Money Order and SB pay-in challans. A big supply chain opportunity, I guess!! There was beautiful balcony as well. I think that house would have been demolished now and a ugly looking 4 storeyed flat would have taken its place. Need to check out when I visit Tuticorin next time!! Oh, Tuticorin, when I am going to visit you again???

Coming back to the present day world of Post Offices, I learn that Accenture India has bagged a billion dollar contract from Department of Posts for re-structuring the Post Offices across India. I guess the idea of this whole exercise is to streamline the functioning of the post offices, make it more efficient through use of automation and computers rather than to privatise Postal services. The credit for whatever computerisation of Post Offices should go to whom, Dayanithi Maran? I guess so. What do you say?


King Vishy said...

Hey Venky.. How have you been? :)

I am currently in the UK.. and here I have had to use the post office a lot more than I have had to in India.. and the experience has been good! The missus and I often wonder why the post offices back home felt so non-intrusive.. One could get on with life for a long time without having to encounter postal services there..

Being a cancerian, I loved every bit of your description of the old post office.. Could mentally imagine the layout you mentioned!! :) Good one..

Venkysdiary said...

Hi Vishy,

Doing good.. thank you^2. for the nice words about the post as well. what takes you to UK PO's more often other than for the good looking intern/part-timer there?!!!!

after you been to UK your posts are few and far Rajni movies! I keep visiting your blog once in a while and return empty-headed (why it should be always handed).... Guess you have become very busy..

Lastly, are you sure you are still a cancerian?!!

Just realised you posted something in January!! Keep it coming!!

Suresh Iyer said...

You comment on the service aspect is very correct. I had a similar experience when I went to a post office recently. Can we bid for a contract to modernise the mindset of the postal workers?


Venkysdiary said...

@ Suresh: Few things are hard to change by.. it takes time. A contract from Dept of Posts & Telecom, I think you are kidding!!