At the post office

In 3 weeks I am attending a conference in the Emirates. Payment for this particular conference is made by money transfer, since there is a glitch that does not enable folks to register via the web.

Like many things in Israel, doing something simple is often difficult. Western Union (money transfers) has several agents, but no parking within 100 miles; luckily it also operates out of the post office. The Israeli post office. Remember that Israel used to be Ottoman, then mandated British and then Israeli. The post office is a remnant of the Turks, except for the British looking postbox.

I arrived at the post office at 8.00 and I was the first the enter. No one else entered during this whole saga, which took 40 minutes. Hagar (f) was drinking tea and chatting with a colleague. “Do you have an appointment”, she barked. Never the diplomat I said, “can I draw the madame’s attention that the entire establishment is empty”. 

“Go the machine a get a number and request the appropriate service”. I returned after having chosen “fund transfer”.

“That’s incorrect-the service you need is foreign currency. Go back again”.

“No; I want to speak to the manager”. “He comes in at ten”. 

Me: And that is obvious. וכך זה נראה.

The seminar and hotel come to $1900. The post office clerk told me that I need cash, in Israeli currency. “What is the exchange rate”. “Am I a bank?”, she replied. “We are a money transfer service “affiliated” to WU.”

She sent me off to the ATM at the nearest bank, some ordeal because I am recovering from (my third) virus this winter. I returned and she said “take another appointment from the machine”. There was still not a soul besides me and the staff in the post office.

Now this would not be in an OD blog were it not for the security guard told me when I left. “You know Dr, she gets paid per number of clients she serves in a day. That is monitored by the appointment software.”











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