The Postman Cometh

(Actually, the postman dropped something off at the local post office. We don’t get door-to-door delivery in these parts.)

Last night I got an email notice that there was a package waiting for me at the post office. This would normally be a reason to cheer, after all, who doesn’t like getting packages, especially those containing craft materials like fleece? Well, me, actually, but that’s a fairly new thing.

Until recently, I loved parcels. It’s like Christmas in the off-season, getting stuff in the mail. The folks at the Torbay Post Office have killed this joy for me over the past several years, however, through utterly horrific customer service on multiple occasions and general rudeness and bad manners to boot. My experiences include (but are not limited to):

  • being refused the right to pick up a package, even when I present them with a tracking number and printout from the website that says it is available for pick-up at the post office. (Note: there is no chance the package is “still on the truck.” If it is “still on the truck, the CP system says “out for delivery.” If it is in my mail box, it says “delivered”. If it is at the post office, it says “available for pick up at Torbay Post Office”)
  • being told that they will not even look to see if the package is there unless I bring my little “your parcel is available” chit. It takes them an additional 24 hours to put that in my mailbox and it is NOT required if you have ID. I have lots of ID. Oodles. They’ve never, ever asked for it.
  • being told that their local system is completely different from the Canada Post tracking system and that the CP system will not help them find my package in the back room. Note: Torbay only has a population of about 6000 people. How many packages can there be back there?? And what the hell do you mean you have your own system?
  • I had one woman tell me that she was going to smack me if I didn’t bring my parcel notice from now on.
  • This same woman ignored me for almost ten minutes while I stood in front of her, at the counter. She didn’t say, “I’ll be right with you,” or do anything other than what felt like wait for me to go away.
  • I watched a woman, whose first language was French, attempt to get help from the clerk and she was told that they “didn’t have to provide service in French,” and that she should go somewhere else. When that customer decided to stay and send her parcels to France as best she could, the clerk rolled her eyes and pushed her parcels aside, looking to help the next customer. I was the next customer and told her sweetly that I could wait until she finished helping the lady ahead of me. Then I told the lady ahead of me, in French, that the service at this PO sucked. She grinned.

So I’m not a fan of visiting the post office and I think I’m going to stop bringing my parcel slips, just on principle.

Today was a good day, though, and there was a polite gentleman there who was friendly and helpful. I felt like I was in some freakish alternate universe. Waiting for me was a lovely 4lb Romney/Rambouillet fleece from Newland Ranch, a sheep farm (with a blog) in Saskatchewan:

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It’s well-skirted (thank heavens) and has been fairly well picked over. I’ve set a small batch washing (I use an extra-large pot with a spaghetti insert – works great) and so far it looks gorgeous. I’ve been wanting to play with different breeds and to see how they handle, dye and spin. This should be great fun!

I also ordered a sampler package of a few varieties of different sheep (4oz of each, except the Romney) and this is what was included (chosen to reflect what I said I was interested in getting):

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Cotswold – dark
(4.7oz, washed)

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Cotswold – light
(ewe – 3.4oz, raw fleece)

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Romney
(ram – 1 oz raw fleece)

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Corriedale/Arcott
(ewe – 4.5oz, raw fleece)

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Corriedale Cross
(ewe 3.4oz raw fleece, VM picked)

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Corriedale
(ewe – 4.1oz, cold soaked)

There’s enough in each one for me to get a feel for how they wash and handle and to play with. I’m quite excited about the Cotswold, as I’ve never looked at it closely before and the cleaned portion is lovely and soft, with a wonderful lustre. I’ll post more photos and feedback as I work through it all, but thus far it looks like an excellent deal on some wonderful fleece!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Natasha says:

    Your PO sounds nonsensically bad. Sorry to hear it. Beautiful wool though! I’ve never spun Cotswold, but I have helped skirt Cotswold fleeces. I have to say, I found it pleasant work for lovely fleece.

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