lifestyle

The moment I realised that I am not a functioning adult.

Rosie.
Rosie.

By ROSIE WATERLAND

So… I have an embarrassing Gen Y confession to make. I know many of you will judge me. Many of you will worry about me.

But I’m certain I’m not the only on who’s been through this, so I’m hoping maybe a few of you will at least understand. But please know: I’m not proud of it….

Here goes:

I’m 27 years old, and I don’t know how to post a letter.

I realised my idiocy a few days ago when life required that I perform this complex, mind-boggling task. A form that needed my ORIGINAL signature (I put that in capitals because trust me – I tried to worm my way around the requirement for weeks) needed to posted, via snail mail, ASAP.

Fine, I thought. I’ll head to the Post Office.

How hard could it be? I’ve returned stuff to ASOS before. ASOS understands that most of their clientele deal exclusively in email, so they make snail mail easy – they give you a sticker with an address on it that you just stick on a bag and give to the Post Office people. What happens from there is a mystery to me. But ASOS emails me when they get the returned items so I assume it all works.

I looked in my envelope – no sticker. Hmmm. There was some letter that had an address on it, except there was no .com at the end of it so I was confused. I figured I’d just wing it.

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When I got to the Post Office I had a vague idea of what I would need – a stamp and an envelope. But do people actually just buy one stamp and one envelope? Or is this a bulk-purchasing situation? I took a slow, hesitant walk around the shop. I eventually found envelopes, but no stamps. This stumped me. I figured it would just be easier to line up and have the Post Office people deal with this complex problem.

When I arrived at the counter the following exchange took place:

Me: Um… I need to post a letter

Counter Lady: (confused look) There are post boxes outside. You didn’t need to line up.

Me: Oh, I know. It’s just… I, um…

Counter Lady: (clicking in brain that I am another Gen Y idiot): Do you not know what to do?

Me: (trying to save face) What?!? I totally know what to do, it’s just, I didn’t have any envelopes at home so…

Counter Lady: There are envelopes on the shelf right next to you.

Me: Right, right. So, do you guys sell stamps in singles or…

Counter Lady: (over it, big time) The envelopes are prepaid. See that picture in the corner? That’s the stamp.

Tell me about it, Maz.
Tell me about it, Maz.

Me: Ohhhhh, I thought that was just, like, a picture showing you where the stamp should go.

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Counter Lady: No. It’s not. Do you want to buy the envelope?

I bought the envelope. Then I made my way over to the desk to write the weird .com free address on the front. Again, I was lost. How am I supposed to know how to format an address without Microsoft Word?

I saw a young guy next to me who looked equally confused. We gave each other an encouraging look, as if to say “Don’t worry, you’re almost through this.”

Ten minutes later, after solving the Good Will Hunting-esq address formatting riddle, I lined up again so I could send this bloody letter. They need to check it or something, right?

Counter Lady: (about to explode) Is there a problem?

Me: (beaming – extremely proud of my self) Nope! Just want to post my letter!

Counter Lady: Didn’t I say before you could just put it in the box outside?

Me: Oh. Right. Don’t you need to like, approve it or something?

Counter Lady: (officially over my Gen Y bullshit) Just give it to me.

I gave it to her.

Counter Lady: (exasperated pause) This address says ‘Reply Paid’.

Me: (worried I had failed at cracking the address code) Um… I just copied it straight down. Did I do it wrong?

Counter Lady: No, it’s just that – don’t you know what ‘Reply Paid’ means? It means you don’t have to pay. You just put it in the envelope they gave you and they pay from their end. Did they send you an empty envelope?

Me: Yeah, but I didn’t have any stamps, so I chucked it out.

Counter Lady: You know you could have just posted this without having to come to the Post Office?

Me: I’m not sure I know anything anymore.

I left the letter in her capable hands and left. I don’t blame her for being snippy – I can’t imagine the amount of dimwits like me she has to deal with on a daily basis.

I may or may not have hugged my computer when I got home. I’ve never been so happy to see the Apple logo in my life. Here’s hoping I don’t have to go to the bank any time soon.

I hope that other guy made it out alive.

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