January 20, 2011

Hello Mr. Postman (Let's go to the postoffice!)

Greetings friends!

I had ordered some "Toys" from Amazon.com, these "Toys" are all nerd related so to say.

We have the following "Mega Super Ultra DAMN YEAH Nerd Gear" (TM).

A G35 headset, this is a 7.1 surround sound digital headset, it is one of those things you will never need. This is the kind of headset you buy only if you have 1: Too much money left and 2: Got no real clue what a good headset looks like. This is a logitech marvel of engineering, which means it will most likely break within the next 1-2 years. Yet it looks so nice and the sound quality is a lot better then my old headset. So I got it.

Then we have another logitech "Nerd Machine" (TM).

The G13 (What is it with putting G in front of all their "top" gear? Still waiting on the G-Spot with force feedback pro vibration action and USB plugin.), it is a programmable keyboard that fits precisely under your hand. It basically one of those "must have" devices, if you are a true gamer. I find it is slightly to bulky, but I have yet to really use it more, so might just need some time before I get used to it. If you are a normal person you would never even consider buying this, nor would you even care what it is for.

Then we have the Naga Mouse.

This is a 17 (Yes seventeen) button mouse, it is way overkill even for me, yet I still got it. Why did I get it, well, I am insane. This mouse is really handy if you have hands that can bend 6 different ways of backwards. It looks nice, feels great, and the use, well it takes practice. All in all a pretty good mouse, but my hand looks like it is doing the Kamasutra with the mouse.

Also two 460 GTX video cards that can run in SLI. This one sentence alone is enough to make 80% of all humanity go "Huh?". Let me explain it a little. A video card has a name, this one is the 460 GTX from NVidia. This particular video card can run in SLI, SLI means Scalable Link Interface which means google the damn thing. These 2 cards are going to be connected through the SLI cable and so "work" together to give maximum "Nerdness (TM)"

So that is what I ordered, not that you cared of course but there you go.

So I go too the post office too pick up my new "Toys". I park my car and walk into the building that somehow looks way larger from the outside then it does from the inside. I come inside and instantly get greeted by a smiling postman with a funny uniform and he's giving me the thumbs-up. Of course it's a cardboard cut out, as smiling postman do not exist.

I walk inside and see a giant line in front of an empty window, I can hear my brain go "ok?". Next to the empty window I see a not so empty window, a woman eating a sandwich. I walk towards the woman and open my mouth to speak "I..." that was all I could say before the woman spoke. "Sir go stand in the other line please". Confused I look around, did she somehow read my mind, did she find out that I am here to pick up a package. Am I that obvious to read? I try to mentally project to her that I want a cookie, I receive back a face saying "Back of the line NOW!".

Disappointed of not getting a cookie I walk back of the line. While I walk back I see a security guard. At least that what I think it is, as it is a man in a blue suit sitting in a broken chair behind a strangely school looking desk. All he's doing is looking forward towards the door. Like he's ready as a cheetah, to jump out and run to some magical attacker that will rob the post office of 10 cents stamps. I ask the guard in my friendliest voice where I have to go to pick up my "toys". The guard slightly looks up, smiles in a freaky way and just points to the line. So back to the line I go.

So I'm standing in "the line", and it's not moving, people in front of me clearly have been there for a while already. The woman in front is looking twitchy as a rabid squirrel. She keeps looking around as somebody is going to steal the little piece of paper she has in her hands. Her eyes darting left and right while trying to keep a smile up. Clearly she has long since lost her mind.  The person behind her is an elderly man, that clearly was not that elderly when joining the line. Seems all he can do is stare at his shoes, which while beautiful shitty brown leather, are not that interesting. So the insanity moves backwards through the line till it reaches the point of me. I can see the increase of frustration and sticky sweat clearly in front of me. All I can think at this time is "Bring it on". The window remains empty, and empty some more, for 15 minutes there is no movement other then the relentless chewing of the woman next to the empty window. Enjoying her clearly way to dry sandwich, sipping what looks like tea. She is finishing her last bite while moving towards the empty window. My pulse races, my blood pressure rises, my smile grows, and dissipates as she clearly reaches for a napkin and then walks away. Suddenly from the back a sound, as a medium build, medium aged man walks toward the counter. I shall not be fooled again I think. Yet I was, as this was actually the man to help us.

The first woman/squirrel gives her piece of paper, the man looks it over, stamps it 7 times looks something up on his computer. Then something strange happens, he grabs a paper bundle and looks up a number he got from the computer. He marks it, grabs another paper bundle and starts to walk to the back room, and comes back with the package. The process took a total of 15 to 20 minutes. Why you may ask, because to look it up on the computer took 3 minutes, to look it up in the paper bundle took about another 15 at least. Why have even a computer if you are still keeping track of everything through documents. Pick either the computer and keep track there totally, or just papers. Use some kind of system please instead of a mutant inefficient hybrid.

The line moved as the woman got the package, so the ordeal continued for 8 more times. After about 1.5 hour it was finally my turn. The man takes my paper, types a number in the computer. Grabs a paper, stamps it, grabs some documents and starts flipping through them. After 10 minutes he marks something, grabs another document and walks to the back room. After 5 minutes he comes back with my package. But what is this, he shows me a bill for almost 400 guilders. That can not be right I say, computer equipment is tax free on imports. I ask to see the customs agent, she's actually sitting in the back. She agrees to see me, which I found actually a surprise that something was going so fast. I inform her that the equipment I have is computer related and should be import tax free. She looks the equipment over, clearly not having a clue what it is, yet agrees with me that it is "Uber Gear". She agrees to drop the taxes, I smile as I almost could not believe something would go this smooth. As I walk out to pay I see that the next person in line is being helped, ok I think I will wait till he is done. After about 10 minutes the man is done and I ask him if I can pay. Gladly he takes my papers and informs me the charge is now 66.80. I give him the money, take my box and walk out. Hearing the grinding of teeth behind me from people still waiting in line.

In short, I was pleasantly surprised  how smoothly the post office went. I had to wait less then 2 hours, I was helped in the end in a friendly and timely manner. Must say not a bad experience except for the old filing system.

And my advice for the post office, when going in just stand in the line.

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