When I arrived at the post office to mail a single letter I was confronted with the machine that gives you a number. Now this I expected because it wasn't my first time in a post office, and this time I was nearly positive I would pick the right number. To give you some background, Italian post offices work like a meat counter in the supermarket. You enter, you pick a number, you wait till your number is shown at a counter, you get your transaction done, then your out. Sounds overly simple right? WRONG.
|number ticket machine|
At this point this wasn't my first time mailing a letter so I was rather certain P was the button I needed to press. I was correct, and was actually really excited because for once it seemed like I would be helped rather quickly. They were on P158 and I had P167, so that didn't seem like to bad of a wait, or did it? I had arrived at the post office just before 1, and was hoping to be in and out quick enough so I would have time to eat lunch at home and get back to uni in time for a 3:00pm class. Seemed totally doable because only 9 people before me had to send packages, that could happen a minute per packed, and Lia is out of the post office in 10 minutes. HAHAHAHAHA. YA RIGHT.
|description of letter options|
Luckily the woman finishes being golosa and puts her pastry to the side and continues to help the next customer. By 1:25 I was two away from being helped and lunch was in my future. Finally P167 flipped up on the number scrreen and I went to get my transaction done at counter number 3, P124 still arguing next to me at counter number 2. I asked to send my letter to the United States, he said 2 euro, I handed him 2 euro, transaction was complete, I was out of there by 1:27, and I was pissed because I could've just bought the standard two euro stamp in any tabacchi, but I had assumed a letter would cost more than a postcard so convinced myself the post office trip was necessary, but now I know!
1. Avoid the post office at all costs.
2. Efficiency is rare.
3. Take a ticket for all options on the number machine to avoid being sent back to the end of the line.
4. Stamps are expensive.
5. If you absolutely HAVE to go to the post office, do not go near lunch time.