Sunday, August 29, 2010
Japan Post Makes Amends
The Japanese Post Office is the cheapest and simplest way for expats to send money overseas: you fill out a form, flash your passport and your alien registration card, and plunk down some cash for a wire transfer money order--then the money shows up in your US account in about 10 days.
But sometimes something goes wrong, as was the case when the post office here lost their photocopy of my passport. I got a call a few days after my visit from a very contrite employee (who spoke excellent English) asking me if I could come back with my passport that afternoon. No problem: the office is only a block from the school, and I had given myself plenty of time for the payment to go through before my bills were due, so I wasn't concerned. The whole ordeal, from my desk to the post office and back, took maybe 15 minutes.
Right before I left, though, Japan Post surprised me: the employees of this particular branch had prepared a little gift bag to apologize for the delay.
I opened the bag at home later that day. The first two items made at least a little sense: a piggy bank in the shape of a Japan Post mailbox . . .
. . . and a thermal mug in JP colors (though with no overt JP branding).
Then things got weird. Item number three was an entirely nondescript white towel, of the sort people here drape around their necks on a hot day (read: every day).
Nana suggests that the office workers were sick of seeing me stagger in drenched in sweat, but tragically towel-less.
The fourth and final item was . . . a perfectly normal Ziploc container.
We're pretty sure, by this point, someone looked at the "I'm sorry" bag, decided there wasn't enough crap in it, and started stuffing it with whatever they had lying around. White towel? Off-brand Tupperware? Sure! Toss it in!
Anyway, if you read this, Japan Post: consider yourself forgiven. After a year of wrestling with the Royal Mail, you could have smacked me across the face for my troubles and it would have been a welcome change.