Receiving packages from PostNL, the Dutch postal service, can either be a breeze or a tragedy. Sadly, it can also be a lot of shades of frustration in between, and now there’s a Facebook group entitled ‘We hebben u gemist’ (roughly, ‘Since you weren’t home’) that collects notes left in mailboxes by delivery personnel, and a lot of them are hilarious.
“Package left in the orange bin”: yes, they leave stuff in actual bins. In this case, there was a brown bin and a grey bin, but no orange bin. Another one says ‘PAKITINTAON’ (In Dutch, it should be written as ‘Pakket in tuin’, which means ‘package in garden’, but someone just wrote it phonetically.
One of the reasons they leave a lot of notes is because people are not home during business hours (duh) or because the delivery folks want to ‘drop’ that package as fast as possible, as they are more often than not paid per delivery. For example, since my office is at home, I tend to sign for other people’s packages. You could also be a shit neighbour and steal stuff, which happens, but PostNL just wants to drop those packages wherever they can, including unguarded bins and gardens.
There’s a lot of hilarity to enjoy, especially if you can read Dutch, but I’ll share a note left by someone that sums up PostNL’s passive-aggressive work ethic: “Don’t order if you’re not going to be home. Your neighbours are also fed up of it. So are we.” PostNL pays not much and attracts people who don’t have too many options. As well, many people do this job on the side, such as students, pensioners, and so on, to give you a bit of context.
(Link: bright.nl, Photo: wehebbenugemist)
Tags: delivery, packages, PostNL
In 2016, some 41 packages with police uniforms were delivered to the wrong people, possibly falling into the wrong hands as well. And Dutch police union APNV are calling this regular occurrence “the tip of the iceberg”.
A few days ago, a man who had quit the force came home to find a package on his doorstep from the police: parts of a police uniform, a package he was never supposed to have ‘received’ in the place. Received is a big word, because the package was left in front of the door in plain view.
Sloppy delivery, you say? For sure. And many of the uniforms are delivered to the neighbours instead or next to people’s dustbins.
Last November around Amsterdam there was a robbery involving criminals impersonating the police wearing actual police uniforms. Geez, I wonder how the baddies got their hands on the uniforms!
The police union wants to stop this type of unsafe delivery and get the police to pick up their uniforms at a police station, but the police claim say it’s too expensive in terms of logistics and personnel costs.
I had a casual talk with a criminologist yesterday who was worried about the police’s image in the media. I wonder if he realised how unbelievable ridiculous the police comes off in this country sometimes.
(Link: nhnieuws, Photo by Facemepls, some rights reserved)
Tags: packages, police, uniforms
I work at home and often accept packages for my neighbours who like many people are rarely home to receive their wares. People who are often at home for whatever reason end up playing post office for the entire street. Once the delivery people know you’re at home often, you’re screwed. Sure you can refuse packages, but not without having to defend yourself against pushy delivery people. You get that ‘but you’re at home doing nothing’ look from the delivery person who is ‘just trying to do their job’. In fact, you’ll end up doing their job for them. For a woman in the link below, it was so bad she turned off her doorbell and still had delivery people banging down her door, trying to deliver their packages. And that’s harassment.
I’ve unofficially turned into the package delivery point, and since I believe in getting along with my neighbours, I don’t really mind. Of course, it was terrible when I was on crutches with a broken leg in 2012 and the delivery people would ring and bang on my door, but that was par for the course. It stopped being OK a few weeks back when someone tried to deliver a huge bouquet of flowers to a sick neighbour who wasn’t home. I told the guy I wouldn’t accept it because the neighbour in question had been away for a while and that the flowers would wilt. He tried to convince me that flowers are nice and I could enjoy them until she got back. I told him that if he expected me to deliver wilted flowers to a sick woman just so he could make his delivery, that he was a bit of a dick. He told me again how nice flowers are and I told him he’d better leave before I put in a complaint.
My front door has a sign that says ‘no salespeople, no donation collectors and no religion peddlers’ (see photo), which I thought covered the scope, but apparently not. The woman who was being harassed put a ‘no packages’ sticker on her door, which sounds like a good idea, but Michiel Nieuwkerk from Zeeland went much further and turned a common problem into a business opportunity.
Annoyed at having to get his packages from the neighbours who were never home in the evenings, he set up package pick-up and delivery points with willing neighbours on ViaTim.nl, which charges people for that service. ViaTim service now has 22 points in South Holland and Zeeland and is growing fast.
I’m off to ponder joining in on this.
Tags: deliveries, packages, Zeeland