Today I went to the Post Office to send a small parcel. No big deal, I thought. Take me 5 minutes.
Well, I could not have been more wrong! The conversation went like this –
PO – Are there any flammable oils or dangerous items in this parcel?
Me – No. (this is where I made my first fatal mistake….) There is a small bottle of essential oil.
PO – Is it flammable ?
Me – No
PO – I will need to check as some essential oils are flammable. We have a checklist …
Me – I receive these in the mail every month. They are delivered by the PO.
PO – I expect you have never been asked these questions.
Me – No
PO – Is it a courier service? Some courier companies are specifically approved for carrying dangerous goods.
Me – It comes via a PO courier service.
PO – Are they licensed to carry dangerous goods?
Me – I don’t know.
PO – I will have to open it and have a look.
Me – It is securely packaged in a sealed cardboard tube and gift wrapped.
PO – I will have to open it and have a look. I will rewrap it.
Me – If that is what you must do, then do it.
PO worker cuts open the mailing envelope, removes gift wrapped bottle and opens it. Looks at print on the cardboard tube.
Me – The contents are different to what is written on the tube.
PO worker opens tube, removes bottle. Print is too small to be read by naked eye. Rummages around looking for a magnifying glass.
Me – That tab on the side of the bottle lifts up. There is more information underneath.
PO – There is nothing on the bottle to indicate whether it is flammable or not (looking at me critically, making me feel personally responsible for what is deemed to be poor labelling..)
Me – silent …. (thinking these oils can be used to scent burning candles for crying out loud!)
PO – It says it should not be in contact with the skin.
Me – That is because it is a citrus oil and it can stain the skin if you go outside in sunlight.
PO – (raises eyebrow, looking dubious ) What is the bottle made of ?
Me – brown glass (duh – it’s in your hand! Essential oils are always stored in coloured glass to ensure they are not denatured by sunlight…. besides, it could melt the plastic. Oops, better not say that.)
PO – worker raises eyebrows in horror stating, I will have to send it by road. If the contents leak out our workers may get injured. We cannot accept that risk.
Proceeds to rewrap everything. Then slaps on a big red warning label.
Me – smile nicely and say thank you, thinking I should have just said there is nothing dangerous in the parcel ….
My five minute trip turned into half an hour. I know they have a job to do, but seriously, where is the commonsense ?
© Raili Tanska