As part of my peculiar quest to cast a vote for a man who stands for a lot of the things I most despise (ie. Ron Paul), I had a quick look on the internet to see if there were any post offices in Glasgow city centre open on a Saturday afternoon. I did find one in the Merchant City, but (and call me picky here) I was somewhat put off by these reviews -
"If your buying from the shop in here then they are friendly, helpful and courteous…
but if you venture into the depths of hell (the post office at the back of the store), you’ll be greeted by satans spawns themselves. Every friend I have spoken to about this store has the same thing to say “horrible”. The staff are slow, they make things way more difficult than they need to be, ask questions which are irrelevant to the item and give you a row if you drop in anything on a Saturday or Sunday… apparently your only supposed to drop letters or parcels in on Mon-Fri!
I have been a few times in the hope that it was just an “off day” and had some bad luck but the same happens every time I go, and people in front of me always come away complaining."
"AVOID at all costs. These people are rude, dismissive and completely unhelpful. I had a package redirected to them, and have had to research, prove and verify what I knew all along: it is sitting in their store room - they are just not bothered to get up and go look for it. There was one lone woman working in there who was decent and she lasted about a month."
"I appreciate that a lot of their regulars may be unsavoury but if you've taken the time to queue alongside them the least you can expect is courtesy when you finally make it to the counter, but good luck getting it (there is one woman who works there who is totally fine at the moment, but give her time, she'll learn!)
Due to the shutter at the front of the shop being stuck today I had to use a further away post office and was pleasantly surprised to find that they had normal staff who weren't rude, obnoxious, condescending or all of the above."
"Grumpy uninterested and slow. This is the worst Post Office in Glasgow. When the queue stretches out the door the fat grumpy looking assistant gets up from her post and walks as slowly as possible to the other stations one after another. If she's looking for something its not obvious what it is. After 5 minutes of this avoiding the customers she returns to her seat having not achieved any mission other than to further inconvenience the customers. Go to the pleasant well run place across the river in the Gorbals."
"What a joke. Close the joint. Go somewhere else. These have to be the most unhappy people in Glasgow. The woman at the open counter gives the personality of a wet sponge, while Bareka and Tony hide behind their window and bark at people. Bareka is always in a rush, never looks you directly, half fills out the paperwork, argues with the customers over needless issues. She sneers if you ask for stamps, or cause her to stop gossiping with Tony. And these people want pay rises and all? P-Lease. They should all be replaced."
"All this place needs is a pentangle on the wall. There's definitely some heavy duty bad energy floating around in that post office. The guys behind the glass part seem friendly enough. It's only when you have to encounter the three gargoyles on the open counter that you realise why the men are protected behind safety glass. This place is worth going to if only to see how accurate the reviews are. But take a crucifix in with you."
So, sorry, Ron, but you, I and "freedom-lovers" everywhere will just have to hope that tomorrow or Tuesday is soon enough to get in my request for a ballot!
Part of the reason I was in the city centre yesterday was to see the final day of the Celtic Connections open stage event, and as I was talking about Shetland in my last post, I thought a final link to a song might be in order. This is actually from Friday night, and the performance is by a young brother and sister from Orkney - but their third song (if you can track it down!) is Rowin Foula Doon, in the Shetlandic dialect of Scots. It's so sad that such a beautiful dialect is reportedly in such sharp decline - which is just one more reason to hope that independence is around the corner, because the experience of other countries shows that it is possible to make a conscious decision that Scots will survive (and revive) as a living tongue. But to put that decision into practice does take commitment and effort, and that's never going to come from the UK government.