Saturday, 19 November 2016

Parcel Delivery

One big parcel
The other day we had popped out for a few minutes and when we came back we found a note from La Poste telling us that we have a parcel waiting to be delivered. I hadn’t ordered anything, had Cees? It is not our birthdays and still too early for Christmas – a bit of a mystery. Cees was convinced that I had ordered something and forgotten about it, I know I am a bit forgetful, but a parcel??

There is a brilliant system here by which you can go on-line and reschedule your delivery date (next day possible) or have it dropped off at a post office or other accredited shop - newsagent, garage you name it they are all on the list, if I did nothing the parcel would go to Cormatin post office and I could collect it any time after 11.00am the next day. As the next day was Saturday and the post office closes at 11.30, I decided to have the mystery parcel delivered here the next day.

Address "corrected" by Mme La Poste
On a Saturday Madame La Poste comes before 11.00m but at 11.00 there was still no parcel, so at 11.00 I went off to the post office to make sure it had not been delivered there – no, no parcel there either. I then set off on a tour of the villages around here which I know are on her round trying to find her, as we had to go out. After travelling more than 15km I decided to give up and head for home, the parcel would have to wait until after the weekend. What did I nearly bump into as I rounded the last corner on my way home, Madame La Poste’s little yellow van!

She greeted me with a cheery “what a coincidence I have a parcel for you”. I explained that I was driving around the countryside looking for her which caused some amusement. She opened the back of her van to show a huge parcel. “Funny thing though”, she continued, “they put the wrong address on it.”

As I have said before, addresses can be a little vague around in this neck of the woods, everyone who lives in Cormatin has the address Cormatin, no road name or number, just Cormatin, so the postman or woman has to know where everyone lives. We are supposed to have our name on the letterbox, but not everyone complies with that rule and even though we have now been given “proper” addresses with road names and numbers, no one uses them, so even with the modern world encroaching on our little bit of rurality, the postwoman still has to know her stuff.

An added facilitation to post delivery is of course the post code. In the UK and in The Netherlands this postcode will narrow the address down to about 5 houses. Here the postcode narrows it down to about 10 villages.

So with that little bit of background in mind, let’s get back to my parcel. This parcel was indeed addressed to Madame La Tuilerie de Chazelle with our postcode, but there was a road, house number and village name, which were not ours, in fact the house in question is about 10 km from La Tuilerie and not even on our postlady’s round. But at that moment, the mystery was solved.

With its rightful owner
Having a small business, I receive all sorts of offers from suppliers, from paperclips to cars and other useful or semi-useful items. Not so long ago I received an offer for coffee pods. Not using the things, I passed it on to some friends who do buy them. They actually read the offer properly and it wasn’t for cheap pods at all, it was a free coffee pod machine with your next order of pods! As their machine is a few years old and a new one costs in the region of 80 Euros, this was an offer they couldn’t refuse.

So they placed an order in the company name La Tuilerie de Chazelle, with their address but they just happen to have the same post code as us. As I mentioned earlier, Madame La Poste knows darn well where La Tuilerie de Chazelle is, so instead of delivering it to the “wrong” address in a village about 10 km away, she decided to deliver it to its rightful owner ME. What a woman, what a service and what proactivity.

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