The Postman Never Rings Twice

The Turkish postal system is a hit and miss affair at the best of times. We do get mail delivered to our house. Well, not delivered exactly, more chucked over the wall into the garden. I’m not joking. The postman always rings twice? Round these parts he can’t be arsed to ring at all. Thankfully, we’ve had little to do with post services since our arrival from Blighty. This is just as well. Receiving the credit card bill a week after it is due to be paid is a novel approach to financial management. Recently though, I’ve been sending one or two of my books to people hereabouts. Complementary, of course; I’m not allowed to make money here. I’ve been down to the main post office in the centre of Bodrum a couple of times now. What is it that makes post office counter staff the world over miserable, surly and unhelpful?

23 thoughts on “The Postman Never Rings Twice

  1. I too have not always had good experiences with US postal employees! Which no doubt is probably entirely my fault (according to them)! I have gotten so when a postal employee is kind, helpful, respectful, etc. I tell them how much I appreciate it, right out in front of the other employees and patrons! At least they chuck your mail over your fence, into your yard…I’ve seen door to door postal workers throwing peoples mail away in what ever trash/garbage can was handy. That way your bill wouldn’t be late…it just would never be!

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  2. Sounds like the Jamaican postal system. We have a post box at the nearby post office, which works very well. Do you have them? Yes, P.O. staff are always grouchy. I think it’s because they are probably really poorly paid… and bored. My dear husband has managed to charm all the ladies in our local one, so we don’t have a problem (he’s good at that, they break into coquettish smiles when they see him!)

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  3. Become best mates with your Turkish postman. They are such lonely, loving souls. Coffee, tea, sweets and they’ll make the round to the house far more often.

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  4. It all depends on where you live. Some areas are good and some disastrous as far as post is concerned. Our village gets a vanload of post from Milas when they have enough to justify the trip. It gets dumped on a table outside the teahouse and then there is a free for all. Funnily enough all the bills seem to get left there to rot. My neighbour kindly brings mine up to the house for me. I also have a back-up…a PK box (postbox) at Milas post office. It cost me about 6 or 7 lira a year and is much more reliable.

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  5. Oh you are unfair, Jack! Mrs Yok gleefully shouts out “Yok!” (there is nothing” as soon as we push the door of the Post Office. I don’t even have to ask whether there is a parcel for me that hasn’t fitted into our P.K box. I think though her gleefulness is due to the fact that she has got the real cushy job of selling stamps and nobody is stupid enough to use the postal system for sending anything, everyone uses cargo. In fact every time we are in there, there are more employees than customers, and those that are in there are only there for Western Union.

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  6. ah Jack our latest encounter with the Turkish postal system cost us a fortune in interest on a car fine. The tax office unhelpfully waved an envelope at us which had not been delivered last August because the PTT couldn’t find our house and wait for it…we don’t exist! Still demanded the full payment though….only in Turkey!

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  7. Our local Dutch post office was closed as a cost-savings measure. While I can’t say that they were the cheeriest bunch, they were efficient and did help me with my rudimentary Dutch. One day they were laughing AT me (not the preferred WITH me), and one woman told me in Dutch that I was ‘too clever’. Rather than get offended and huff off, I told her ‘I do what I can’. They all laughed heartily and after that I was ‘accepted’. When the post office closed, they moved to a contractor-run small postal station in the local book store. (No hardship for me there) I miss them in a nostalgic way, but I do have to say that the contractor staff are soooo delightful! But my friendly young mail man delivering the daily mail to the doorstep? I’d fight to the death to keep him. The substitute grouch? Eh, not so much.

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  8. Ours arrives when there’s enough for a PTTman to carry on his moped the 4km to our village. Most residents leave for Istanbul or Ankara homes in winter so volume is low then. Interesting to get Xmas cards at Easter.
    My mother was posted to Nairobi some years ago, her magazine subscriptions were sent to the PO there. They never arrived. But she could buy the missing issues from the nearby street vendor. The vendor even personalized the magazines for her by having a label with her name & address on. Funny that.

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  9. Hi Jack
    Hi Liam
    Got your book yesterday through bookdepository .com after ordering thanks to the review in the DT.
    Just wanted to say hello and it was a good read. Must be a film script in there, nicht?
    Best
    Matt
    Helsinki

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  10. Our post has been very good, to date. When something is sent that is too big to put in our box, they are supposed to leave a note. They don’t. They sit in their van outside the house and hoot, and, if we are in, we get our parcels. If we are not they look for us and, when they see us in town, they take us to the post office and give us our parcels. I think our postman likes to practice his English speaking skills.

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  11. Our postman leaves the post on a wall at the top end of our site – whatever the weather! Not seen a letter for ages due to wind and rain. As for the post office, I quite like going to ours just because if I’m feeling a bit low for some reason I come out feeling great because I know I’ll never look as miserable as that lot. 😉
    Julia

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  12. Not the same the world over 😉 I lived in rural West Virginia in the US for three years and the post office people were friendly and efficient. Generally you’ll find that in the rural US people are friendly and helpful.

    Here in Moldova I have not seen my mail delivery person yet, but utility bills do end up in the mail box next to the door. In Armenia, where I lived for six years, the post office people tended to be a dour lot, rather Sovietesque one might say.

    Expat life, it’s an adventure 😉

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  13. I must have post luck as the staff at my local post offices in both Malta and Germany were both friendly and helpful. In Germany in particular they went out of their way to help and advise me. They were keen to practice their English with me but always taught me a little more German where language or cultural differences on each visit. Much less expensive than UK mail in both countries too!

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  14. I’m with Dina on this one – living in a village we have a post office box in a nearby town. If the ‘Postmen Pat’ see us we get flagged down and told we have mail; we get escorted back and the office opened up for stuff too big to fit in the box and when they knew we were waiting for a very special gift from Holland (a book, not dope) they hijacked the big delivery truck and delivered to our door.
    All it has ever taken is a polite interest in them, their job and bit of appreciation for doing their job.

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  15. I think the post in Mersin has improved a bit, at least most post from the UK seems to be getting through than a couple of years ago when something like 20% would go missing. I have noticed though that packages have often been opened for inspection by customs.
    We live in an apartment and everyone’s post is delivered to a table in the lobby where we have to sort through to see if we have had any deliveries.

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