Jordan Post: Add a Little More Complexity, Please

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I have visited the downtown branch of the Jordan Post about 20 times in the past year in order to pick up packages. During that time period, the Powers That Be have rearranged some various offices, rooms, and desks in an attempt to improve proceedures, but customers are still left with a model of extreme inefficiency. Let's walk through the process of picking up a package, shall we?
  1. Packages can only be picked up at the downtown branch post office. Unless your package fits in the P.O. Box, you can just resign yourself to the fact that you will be making a trip downtown.
  2. The trip starts with a notification of an incoming package of some kind, either by phone, which is rare, or by post, which tends to take a bit longer.
  3. The downtown branch post office is unmarked and fairly indistinguishable. Unless you know where it is ahead of time, you could spend a day wandering around looking for it.
  4. If you happen to finally locate the building and make your way up to the second floor, you’ll find that the interior layout is just as ambiguous (as in obscure, enigmatic, nebulous, unintelligible, indeterminate), with various desks and offices scattered to and fro and no type of flow or organization whatsoever.
  5. A non-descript desk in the middle of the main room is where you must pick up your Official Mailing Slip, which is simply one of the triplicate copies that shipped with your package. Most of the time, it takes several tries for the clerk to locate the Official Mailing Slip from the large stack on the desk.
  6. With the Official Mailing Slip in hand, you must now wander around the office in search of the I.D. and Book Entry Guy. The I.D. and Book Entry Guy enters your personal information and the contents of the Official Mailing Slip into a huge ledger. One might assume that this process would be computerized, but one would be wrong. (There is a computer on the desk, but it hasn’t been used in years. I think it’s a paper weight.)
  7. Once your information has been entered into the ledger, you are now free to take the Official Mailing Slip to the Package Room where a Package Retrieval Guy will enter the contents of the Official Mailing Slip into a second ledger before retrieving the package.
  8. Once the package is in hand, it is time to find an unmarked desk that belongs to the Package Inspector Guy. The Package Inspector Guy will request that you open your box so that he can rifle through the contents to make sure that you don’t owe any tariffs to the Kingdom.
  9. Upon satisfactory inspection, the Package Inspector Guy will fill out an Official-Looking Document that must be signed. If this Official-Looking Document claims that you owe a tax, you must make your way to the accountant on the third floor in order to pay before you can continue.
  10. Now it’s time to leave the package while you go get an official signature from the Official Document Signer Guy, which is sometimes the Custom Official and sometimes is the Director. Who knows? It changes every time. Once you have the official sign-off, it’s time to take the paperwork to the…
  11. Computer Entry Guy. The documents need to be stamped (if it didn’t require at least one stamp, it wouldn’t be an official governmental process) and entered into the computer. This is the only computerized step in the entire process. If no one is manning the computer, just wait a while until they get around to you. Customer service is not a top priority.
  12. Once your documents are entered into the computer and properly stamped, you may now take the paperwork back to the I.D. and Book Entry Guy and pick up your package.
Yawn. Let's add a few more steps to this process, just to make things interesting.


Blogger Jad said...

dude, you are dying slowly in Jordan go back home heh
I can feel it, I had this "interesting" experience with them, actually I received 100 FREE cd contains FREE operating system and they wanted to charge me 50JD for the free cds? but I was smarter and went back home, downloaded one copy and started burning to spread it in some FOSS even.

5/16/2006 4:18 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Ha, not dying slowly; I actually like it here very much. I'm just pointing out the various cultural differences and struggles that a foreigner must get used to in order to function. It would probably be the same for Jordanians adapting to American culture.

I've had several instances where they wanted to charge me for items that I either a) already paid for or b) were free gifts from family members. I've sinced learned that creative packaging can save you from hefty tariffs. It also doesn't hurt to have some wasta with the guys who work at the post office.

5/16/2006 5:12 PM  
Blogger Firas said...

Dave, I was planning to post about Jordan post some time!

Anyways, I guess I'm pretty much lucky! Becuase I'm not sure if I have ever used a key to get my mail.

The way I do it:
1. Walk into the post office
2. Head directly to the employees door (you know the restricted area)
3. Walk confidently inside and search for my mail box
4. Check mail, if you have one of those packages slip take it and go the guy sitting between piles of packages (keep in mind no one should be going in there)
5. Say Hi to him, and ask him where he has put my package (he knows me by name)? So he’ll point to some pile and asks me to search for my stuff in it!
6. Well no ID check, no questions no nothing!! Lol This is why I love Jordan!
7. I am done in 5 min!
8. Dave, do it the Jordanian way (have a little chat with the guy in the post office and he’ll be your friend for ever)!

5/17/2006 12:25 AM  
Blogger Rambling Hal said...

HA. My experience? Walk into the deserted post office. Start fuming because there is no one in sight and I came specifically to buy stamps needed to mail the damn insurance companies. Notice that the guy is sitting in his manager's office, where they're both having a smoke and a cup of coffe. Watch him get off his lazy butt and take his sweet ass time in making his way towards me. Glare at him as he souts at me from across the room, What do you want? Watch as he rummages through all the messy drawers as he searches for stamps and fails. And finally, I storm out to the car and give up.

5/17/2006 10:28 PM  

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