ELEMENTARY: The art of sleuthing lives on at the Torquay Post Office as staff try to unite mail with the correct owners.
ELEMENTARY: The art of sleuthing lives on at the Torquay Post Office as staff try to unite mail with the correct owners. Robyne Cuerel

Snail mail gets stamp of approval

AUSTRALIA Post may licence some of its offices to private owners, but the famous dedication to getting the mail through remains undiminished.

With core business of inbound and outbound mailing under siege in a digital world, the Torquay Post Office on the Esplanade in Hervey Bay shows how a new business model can remain old at heart.

Jennifer Stone has worked there for 12 years and watched from the counter as entire new product ranges and services were grafted to the business in search of a competitive edge.

Despite the love affair with email, there is still a nostalgia for, and a pleasure to be had, from getting something via the caustically nicknamed "snail mail".

Big moments still arrive by traditional post.

Christmas cards come, birthday presents are received and wedding invitations are sent.

The emotion that attaches to these relics of a slower world motivates the postal workers.

"We had something that came in from overseas the other day and all it had on it was "Greg, Torquay," Jennifer said.

"Luckily we discovered that it had a telephone number on it so we tracked him down.

"I do the redirections and I am still getting mail for people who have not had a post box here for six years. I have been sending one client's mail back to Telstra for three years but the address never seems to change."

The Torquay Post Office only delivers mail to its post boxes but exceptions have been made in extenuating circumstances.

Staff have been known to take a parcel around to somebody elderly or infirm on their way home.

It's a glimpse of a mindset that used to characterise small town services, but is finding a place in an anonymous corporate world.

"We have got post office box holders from when the post office opened, maybe 30 years ago," Jennifer said.

"In a way it is still like a family atmosphere because we know the vast majority of our box holders and a lot of our customers."

I can vouch for their professionalism.

Without it, I'd still be looking for a package addressed to Mat Wott Scarwzss, Hrvzy Bay.



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