The ultimative improvement in post service.
I just subscribed for 'Packstation' (packing (or package) station) -
They are new here in Germany - The first one I saw was last summer on my way to work - there was a new construction, like a big container of plastic on the side of the passageway, with a keyboard, a card slit & a scanner plate on one site of it.
While examining it curiously I found out, that it was something to receive & send parcels - somehow - someway - hmm - where does it open?
I often get parcels mainly from amazon & ebay (& Santa Claus & other such crazy people). In most cases I'm not at home when they arrive & sometimes the postman comes so early that I'm still in bed.
There's a lot of different possibilities how the postman reacts.
The situation is, that I live on the third (the highest) floor of this house, the letterboxes are 'on parterre' inside the house. To come into the house you have to have a main key or ring the bell of someone living in the house who pushes a button to open the door to the street.
Every day there are a lot of people around dispensing commercial (junk) mail to all available letterboxes. - In a closed house like ours these people preferably ring the bells of the highest floors, because they don't want to meet the people living in the house - they just want to get access to the letterboxes to stuff it with commercial paper junk.
So every day about 3 to 5 times someone rings at my door & if ever I care to open, of course no-one comes up the stairs. - I just hear some clapping of the letterboxes & if they are slightly polite I hear them shout into the void of the stairway "Post!!" -
So since years I don't react anymore if someone rings at my door. - It's only commercials or some sales agents or Mormons or 'Zeugen Jehovas' (those watchtower people) or people asking for donations to imaginary purposes.
People who want to visit me, have to call me before - otherwise: no chance.
But if I know an ordered parcel arrives I tend to push the door opening button - but the postman tries to avoid to walk up the stairs to the 3rd floor. - So if ever he only rings one time very short like those
junk dispensers - so I don't notice. - He then throws a note in letterbox, that I could fetch my parcel next day at the post office, which is often difficult if you work, because the opening times of that office are very limited.
But sometimes he puts the parcel somewhere in the floor downstairs - sometimes he gives it to a neighbour to pass it to me & one time he even climbed all threes stairways to lay it down directly at my floor (well maybe it was just a friendly neighbour who brought it up here).
I hate it if it lies somewhere in the stairways of this house, because there live 8 different families or single persons in this house & on the first floor there is a little bordell, where 2 prostitutes welcome their customers. I don't mind that they work there (anyway prostitution is legal in Germany & they even pay taxes - a quite respectable profession), but I don't trust their customers to not steal one of my parcels just lying there all day long under my letterbox. -
One time I was sometimes away, but a book parcel from amazon had arrived - I never got it. - I asked some neighbours whether they had seen it & yes - it has been laying there on the floor for about 2 days & then it was gone & totally stolen by someone ignorant - I'm pretty sure he couldn't even use it, because these books were in English & most people here aren't able to read English books.. (Anyway - Amazon was very fair - I wrote them that I never got that parcel & they sent it again without extra costs)
You see you never know what the postman does & he apparently has no regular plan how to handle my parcels.
So till now I'm always a bit afraid whether my ordered books will ever reach me. -
Recently I noticed an improvement - the postman had put in my millbox a card with a notice & a bar scan-code on it. With this card I could go to one of this new parcel containers (only 100 meters from my house) & get it there while typing my name on the keyboard & scanning this bar-code. - After entering your code somewhere on an unexpected place the container opens a wide slot mouth & spits out your parcel (or somehow like that)
The improvement was, that I wasn't bound anymore to post office time limits to get it.
But still better: On this card was a note, that you could subscribe via internet to this packing station service, which of course I did at once.
In future I get an e-mail with an ID-Number or barcode if a new parcel arrives - With this information I can get my parcel any day & night time, without being dependant to the moods of my postman, my neighbours & all kind of mysterious things that could happen to my parcel lying openly around in my neighbourhood - aah I like it!
In other words: Tomorrow I'll have my new digicam - straight from Packstation!
PS: But as you see here on the picture:
It's still a mystery to me where do they open? - why are they always just on the next street corner available? - Do they fly 'just in time' to that places, just when you need them? - & how do they know that you need them? - How do they spy you out? - & where in this small container are all the million parcels stored, that must be in there? - Is there a deep cave under it with escalators & lifts, bringing the parcels up - just in time? - I really deeply wonder!
Hey you containers - spit out all my parcels!
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