Saturday, September 16, 2006

Going Postal

Blogger's Note: Two posts again! Lucky readers.

Going to the Post Office in Guyana is the most frustrating experience ever. I’ve had to take a mini-bus 45 minutes into town twice knowing that I had mail sitting in the back, only to come home empty handed. If the American postal system frustrates you, try dealing with the Guyanese one. Sometimes you just have to laugh it off to keep from going postal.

First Trip Friday afternoon:

Me: I’m looking for a letter here that was sent back from Soesdyke.
Postal Worker: (flips through a small stack of graphing paper with hand written notes) It’s not written in here. Come back on Monday and we might find it by then.
Me: But I’m a teacher and I can’t leave school. I was only able to leave today because it’s the first week of school and we don’t have our timetable yet.
Postal Worker: Then call back on Monday. Maybe we will find it by then.

Second Trip next week Saturday Morning:

Me: Hi! I would like to pick up my package, but I don’t have a package slip because it was sent to an office address instead of my home address.
Superintendent: Where do you live?
Me: Soesdyke.
Superintendent: Well you will get a slip at Soesdyke, then you will come here and pick up your package.
Me: But the package was addressed to an office address in Georgetown, not to Soesdyke.
Superintendent: Then you come here Mon-Fri before 3:30 and go upstairs. They will give you a number. You come back downstairs with your number and we will find your package.
Me: But I’m a school teacher and I cannot leave school to get here in time. I know two other school teachers who had packages without package slips and were able to pick up theirs last Saturday.
Superintendent: Do you even know if it’s here yet?
Me: Yes, it was sent 6-10 day airmail from the United States and it’s been over 2 weeks.
Superintendent: No, it’s not here. It will be here in 3-4 weeks.
Me: But the girls who picked up their packages were sent from the same place and it arrived in 6-10 days.
Superintendent: Do you understand what I’m saying? You come here Mon-Fri, go upstairs, then come back down with your number and we will get your package.
Me: Is there anything you can do to check for me right now?
Superintendent: No. These are the guidelines and you have to follow them.
Me: (sigh of deep frustration) Sir, then can I have your name please?
Superintendent: I’m the Superintendent. If you need me, just ask for the superintendent.
Me: But what is your name?
Superintendent: Mr. Patterson.
Me: And what is your supervisor’s name?
Superintendent: I’ve already give you too much information and I’m being very patient with you. If you want my supervisor just ask for the Post Master General. Good-bye.


stinkylin said...

that's terrible. you'll never get the cupcakes i sent you back in august!!!!

Anonymous said...

Yvonne, your blog is both funny and informative. I like it. Could you please tell my friend -- and your World Teach companion -- Ross Markwort to make his blog funny and informative too? Thanks

Anonymous said...


I love your blog. Especially this posting. You put a funny and informative spin on life in Guyana.

I once lived in a foreign country and they "lost" a package of mine for three months. Why? Because when they put their version of the U.S. delivery sticker on the package, they handwrote the wrong address. I feel for you.

PS-Could you please tell your co-worker Ross J. Markwort that his blog could use some interesting anecdotes like yours?

Anonymous said...

any luck on getting the package? thank god the instant noodles wont go bad for months and the granola bars.... reading this entry is like watching a comedy sketch. it can be very frustrating indeed dealing with any kind of inefficiency. miss you! <3f

Anonymous said...


Long time reader, first time blogger. Your blog seems to give a pretty good assessment of what life is like in Guyana.

Unfortunately, I have been unfulfilled through a friend's blog who also lives in Guyana. To put it simply, his blog misses the mark.

If you see Ross Markwort, tell him to "get on his horse" as they say in his hometown of St. Louis, MO; or if he needs the translation, "get on your goat."