I've been waiting almost a fortnight for a particular cheque to arrive. Today I received a mangled envelope, carefully put inside a plastic bag with an insincere Post Office apology printed on the side, and inside that a cheque, ripped neatly in two.

Over the years, the Royal Mail have lost quite a few things sent to me; crushed stuff that was marked fragile; bent things to prove that the boast 'photographs do not bend' is an idle one; left boxes marked 'please leave in a shady spot' in full view of the sun; posted letters through the door that look like they've been sitting in a puddle for most of the morning; and even written notes saying 'no-one at home - unable to deliver' whilst I've been standing at the window watching them. My monthly comics order, sent from Aberdeen, has only once arrived in the same month it was sent, despite Mike almost always posting it out in the first week. Sometimes the parcels never get here, being sent back to him in a very poor approximation of their original shape, so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that Royal Mail's expensive machines shred the only good thing that was going to happen to me this week. 

In the same post was an invoice for £100 or so for building supplies, and this year's Council Tax bill, for more like £1300. Either of those I would have been happy to have seen destroyed, but no, they have to go for the cheque. I can phone the person who wrote it and ask her to write another, but that means I don't get paid for another week at least, and gives the Post Office yet another chance to screw me around.



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