posted on Apr, 29 2007 @ 11:58 PM
Finally, with Closing Time drawing rapidly nearer, I considered what I should do. Should I stand my ground, even if the Post Office closed? Would
that force the Post Master to summon the authorities -- ANY 'authorities', be that local police or the Security Group?
Or would it place me 'in the wrong' for refusing to leave a government office after it had closed?
The place was almost empty. The staff were clustered in a back room, emerging every now and then to s'n-word'.
I cracked. Decided any action was preferable to this.
Departed the post office, announcing as I left that I was going directly to the Police.
Hared up the road as fast as I could, stupidly holding the plastic bag of evidence out before me 'in clear sight' so that a witness or two might
later be able to testify that it WAS in clear sight as I passed.
Stopped at the top of the road, deciding whether or not to go to a solicitor or to the Police Station. Decided the latter was the more 'correct'
Entered the Police Station on the verge of heart-seizure: it was just touching 40 degrees celsius, humid, and the road to the Police Station had been
uphill. And I'd been going like mad to get there in the least possible time.
The Police were so laid-back it was hilarious. Mostly, they were curious about why I'd buy anything on Ebay ! 20- somethings who gave me at least
three stern warnings about the 'dangers' of buying online.
We checked the bag. Miraculously, the Art Deco, platinum and 13 diamonds ring was still inside, plus a few other things. Paid $53AU for that Art
Deco ring: all old-cut diamonds. Recent insurance placed its value at $3,000AU plus. Yes, sergeant -- I figure buying on Ebay to be a calculated --
and often worthwhile -- risk.
Made a written, duly signed and dated statement of what had transpired at the Post Office. One of the policemen phoned the Post Master from the back
of the room: lots of chuckles, and 'yeah, yeah, well, have a good night mate' noises. Guess the Post Master was known to the Police as a 'great
Was provided (upon request) an Incident Number. And then home.
Next day, phoned the head office of Postal Services and related the incident. A few 'tut tuts' and promises to 'look into it'.
I drafted a detailed email of the entire incident, including previously opened mail items two weeks earlier, re: which I'd completed a form *at* the
same Post Office and been provided a Reference Number. It total, 5 of my Registered/Insured mail-items had been proferred to me by postal staff in
tampered/previously-opened condition. This had followed intense questioning by a female postal staff-member shortly prior to the rash of
tampered-mail .... concerning WHY I was purchasing so MANY Money Orders. Naive and stupid, I'd happily told her that I'd begun buying jewellery on
Ebay. This immediately precipitated the rash of tampered/opened mail. Don't need to be a Rhodes scholar to connect the dots.
I sent email to the Minister whose portfolios included the Aussie Postal Services.
I DID receive a response from him ---- oh, it must have been 3 or 4 months later: a one-liner advising he'd instructed his staff to forward my
complaint to the Postal Security group.
But, back to home. Three or four days after the incident at the Post Office, I was contacted by a female member of the Security group. She said they
were understaffed and overworked and she MAY be able to 'get back to me' within a few weeks.
But, for some reason, she 'got back to me' only a day or so later. To advise me that she had 'investigated' my written, detailed, emailed
complaints ---- and had concluded that the Post Master AND his staff .... 'had no case to answer' ? " The investigation is now closed.", she
" Investigation? WHAT 'investigation' ?" I asked. " Last I heard from you, you advised me NOT to touch my mail items, but to keep them under
lock and key. You SAID you would come to my home to collect this evidence. Now you're claiming you've ALREADY concluded your investigation, yet
you haven't SEEN the evidence, let alone subjected it to scrutiny. You haven't SPOKEN one word to me, or sought my version of events. HOW could
you have 'investigated' this very serious breech of postal security? And HOW could you reach the conclusion the perpetrators are innocent?"
The Security Officer turned quite nasty and yelled to me a few times: "This investigation is closed. "
I asked HOW the investigation had been conducted.
Reply: " I asked the postal staff if they'd tampered with your mail at any time, and they all said 'no'. "
" Are you kidding me?"
Then ------- I heard the sound of laughing voices. I felt sick. I asked: "Are you there now --- at the Post Office? "
Grudging response: " So what if I am."
I couldn't believe it. She was WITH the postal-staff supposedly 'under investigation' and they could HEAR every word she was saying. She and they
were BUDDIES, apparently.
Despondent but not down, I asked: " The staff's claims are worthless. What about the security videos? I saw at LEAST four in the main post office
and there must have been others as the Post Master was pushing me through corridors. Have you examined the security videos? Have you watched how
MANY times I asked him to follow procedure and summon the Security group? Did you SEE the Post Master standing with legs apart, arms in the air,
screaming 'We have no plastic bags?' ? Have you watched the beginning of that situation, where I declined to accept what were clearly
previously-opened mail items. The videos would surely have shown the packages were ripped and torn across the seals. And I still have those
packages, complete with post office staples used to try to re-seal my items. How can you just take the staff's word for it, when the security
tapes contradict those claims absolutely? "
" Our investigation has been concluded. We have no more to say to you."
And that was it. Months later, the useless Minister washed his hands of it by writing to say he'd 'forwarded' my complaint to teh appropriate
Only satisfaction to be gained from the fiasco was the fact that approx. one month to six weeks later ----- that post office became staffed by a
completely new group of people. The old staff vanished.
The government at no time admitted any wrong-doing on the part of its public-service employees. Instead, whitewash, cover-up, denial. Transferred
the corrupt staff elsewhere, no doubt. And staffed the place with shiny new faces.
Of course, I was on top of their sh*t-list. I was treated like garbage, as if I were the debil-incarnate. It's took well over a year of REALLY
TRYING TO BE NICE and LIKEABLE, before a few of them were prepared to return my smiles. There must be a memo in the staff room, with my name on it.
They of course know my name. I am the bad-guy in town: the one who 'caused problems' for the previous staff. I am thus 'wrong' and to be treated
coldly and forced to hurry, to grab my change and disappear into the floor so they can serve the next person, with noticeably warm smiles.
The postal workers union is Powerful ! They're touchy. They're sensitive to criticism. Politicians and heads of departments know better than to
even mildly criticise postal workers, or before you can count to ten --- there's a nationwide 'postal strike' ( spells death 4 politicians). The
public and its rights will always rank low on the ladder in such a corrupt environment.
The police likewise bow before groups of seemingly 'respectable' authority figures when they claim, en masse, to be 'disturbed and upset'.
So, with burning issues of injustice & government corruption rankling, I discovered forums. And thanks to them, am regaining my sense of humour,
'fighting for justice in a virtual world'. Shame justice isn't reflected in the 'real' one.
Thanks for letting me rant.