Thursday 26/5 (the day before departure)
I love the Post Office. Everybody should love the Post Office. They have these nice big places with lights and sounds and things to buy and they take things and make them go a long way away. Also the staff are all so friendly and helpful. Except, of course, the bloke on the other side of the counter from me who's just told me that I can't have the currency I ordered on-line and arranged to collect, today, from this Post Office. I mean, he's got it, it's not been lost, it was delivered, and it's the right amount of the right currencies – why he's even shown it to me! He just won't give it to me.
Apparently I should have brought my passport or my driving licence with me. Didn't know that, did I?
This is, of course, entirely my fault. After all, seasoned travellers would know and anyhow it says on the website where I ordered the currency that I need to bring my passport or my driving licence. In the terms and conditions pop-up window. In small print. On what would be at least the third page if you printed it. At the end of the section amusingly marked 'Payment' (not 'Collection' or anything relevant like that). Pah!
We have a rational discussion about this which mainly centres around the complete inability of them to swap my cash for their foreign cash, ordered on-line by me and which has my name on the outside of the packet. I mean, I even know the amounts and everything! Its my order, they accept its my order and that I must be who I say I am 'cos I know so much about when it was ordered and I've got a copy of the confirmation e-mail and so on. I just can't have it. When it is politely suggested for the third time that I might like to pop home and get my passport, I refrain from again pointing out that the journey to my house is 2 hours each way and that no, I can't come back tomorrow as I'm leaving for Foreign Parts in the morning. I just leave.
I go back to my office and telephone the complaints telephone number I've been given. Wrong number. Excellent. I look on the Royal Mail website and call the number they have and speak to a Nice Lady who calls the branch on my behalf to try and create a solution. What they come up with is simple but a real pain. I go back to the Post Office, they post the money to my local main Post Office (which isn't terribly local) and then on the morning of my departure (i.e. tomorrow) I go there with my passport and I get my currency, if its arrived. Ha ha ha. Bastards.