Monday, November 16, 2009

A visit to GPO Lucknow !

I wonder whether GPO Lucknow is an accursed place! It has witnessed trials of some revolutionary freedom fighters during British rule. Some of those tried were later hanged. Now this GPO (General Post Office) building is..... well it is self explanatory the main post office in Lucknow. In this age of privatisation and when private players have taken away so much business from post offices, you need to experience the behaviour of GPO employees to believe it! I shudder to think what opinion an outsider will have of Lucknowites if he ever visited GPO Lucknow. It is undergoing major renovation these days but after what I have known of the place I suppose they should be renovating the work force rather than the building. Today I went to post a copy of my own novel, generally I leave that to a guy I pay for doing that, but today I decided to post it myself. It was a big mess out there with all the counters gone. Before this renovation stuff I remember very well that there were about half a dozen counters manned by lousy postal clerks and one had to stand in line for close to an hour to get anything done. This has been happening for year after year but the Honourable Post Master General of Lucknow does not seem to be bothered. Whenever I went to complain about this I could never locate the senior officers because they were hardly ever in their offices. The guys subordinate to them are so clueless and ill educated one does'nt feel like talking to them. They have no idea whatever about simple procedures. I wonder why they should not be kicked out and hardworking young jobless people asked to take their place. Most of them do not know the very basic things about computer hardware or software.
So well I went there today with a copy of my book. I stood in line for nearly forty minutes only to be told by a young inexperienced lady clerk that I had not packed the book properly. How was I to know what is the proper way of packing, there was no inquiry counter whatever , there were no signs to direct people to proper place. Will the Honourable Post Master General of Lucknow pay me some kind of compensation for my time that his subordinates wasted.
I was coming back disappointed when I decided that some senior officer should have a piece of my mind so I asked a clerk for the directions to a senior officer, he answered "Go back and find for yourself yaar!", now this was more than I could take and I said to him "Hey listen if I publish all this and the state of your GPO with your photo you might be in big trouble", this mellowed him down a bit but I knew nothing can permeate their thick skins except invasion by private companies which is taking place surely but certainly. Although as a bit of a Marxist I do not like this but perhaps that is what will happen.
Tomorrow I will my guy to book the copy of my novel for USA - he will go bribe the postal clerk who will book anything for the bribe without checking what is inside.