Friday, April 27, 2007

Japanese Post Office

OK, living near a nuclear power plant, as we do, we recently received a 9000Yen check. I saw the damn thing and wondered, how the heck do we cash a Japanese check? Well, that is easy, you go to a Japanese Post Office. Now the Japanese Post Office is the epitome of Japanese efficiency. There were a total of 7 windows. The last three were for insurance/money orders/check cashing/etc. The bright, cartoonish and colorful signs and posters were muted while standing in comparison to the drab, professional and colorless Post Office furniture/people. In an American Post Office, you might have 2 people standing behind the desk, one of which MAY be taking customers. Here, ALL SEVEN windows were operating and there were several people in the background also with a job to do. The first 4 windows were for the usual postal services. The last three windows (5-7), you had to take a number, which wasn't the numbered tickets as we are used to in the states. No, this was a receipt-type printer hooked up to a pixelated board, which, when the next number was called, the Post Office Clerk would press the button, and Voila, the computerized voice would yell out the number and ask you to step up to the clerk. You would initiate the transaction, then reseat yourself until the clerk called you back to finish your transaction.

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