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The Ukrainian Postal……..”System”

April 24, 2009

In response to a dear reader, today I am going to “outline” the Ukrainian postal “system”…….and delay the much requested launch of the “Slavic Woman’s Fashion” posts until tomorrow……..although tomorrows post will deal with a general outline of Slavic Woman’s Fashion, and be followed by more “in depth and detail posts” later……….

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So boys and girls, as it has been a repeated request, following the “Slavic Men’s Fashion” post……..better to “bookmark” or “add to favourites” my blog now……..lest you forget!

Anyways, returning to the Ukrainian postal………”system”, as requested I will provide you with my observations based on numerous years of experience in both sending and receiving……..eventually……mail.

Firstly, if you are sending mail either internally in Ukraine……..or to foreign destinations, you should consider the actual importance of what you are sending to either yourself or the recipient……….and any alternative method of delivery……..like email or private courier……..hmmmm, I will include fax……if only to explain the drawbacks of faxing from Ukraine, particularly to foreign recipients.

If you are sending a letter…….which simply states “Dear Mum…….I’m still alive…….the weather is great…….I’ve met a girl…….”…….then the postal service is Ok………………..although you will probably be married with 2 children, both of whom are soon to graduate from university before the letter actually reaches your Mum………..but, it will, eventually arrive.

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If you don’t believe me, I got a postcard from my Mum and Dad from a cruise they went on……..18 months after they returned……..In fact, as they cruise once a year, they had been on another and returned home safely before the first postcard had arrived.

Obviously you can’t do everything by email or use the traditional postal “service” as some documents require “original signatures”……..making email a “non-starter” and the postal service less than timely……..even recorded and special delivery will not ensure timeliness………as I will explain as I go on.

As I still own a profitable company in the UK…..yes, there are still a few there, even now,……items requiring my “original signature” are DHL couriered back and forth and normally a document can be sent to me, signed, and returned within a week……..which is acceptable to say the least……..particularly given any alternatives here.

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My advice therefore is, for important documents, time-line critical documents, and those requiring “original signatures”………..use DHL, UPS or TNT all of which are here.  I use DHL over and above all the others for only one reason…….it is closer to where I live than the others and I pass it almost every day.

What?……….Yes, I know DHL deliver to my door…….but I’m not in much…..and don’t you get pissed off when you get home to find a note telling you someone has tried to deliver something and to phone a number to arrange a time to be in so it can be delivered?

……….Exactly, so DHL and I now have an understanding……..they call me and I collect it when next passing and everyone’s happy……..Well almost everyone……..my UK firm has offices of TNT much closer…..who are also in Odessa…….but nowhere near where I live and therefore I don’t pass it often……..so they have to bugger about at their end with DHL……..What do you mean……that’s not fair……..I am still the owner and RHIP…….if it weren’t for me they’d be working for a Boss that was in the office all the time……..not once every 2 years or so……….who would you rather work for?

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Eh?………Oh, RHIP = Rank Has It’s Privileges.

Now I did mention “fax” earlier……..which is not such a good idea.  Why?…..Well, as you know dear reader, I have a few American friends here………please don’t hold it against me………I choose them carefully and none fulfill the American “stereotype”…….Ok?

Anyway, every year, the US demands they complete a tax return………despite not having been in the US for at least 3 years……. if not longer……..how rude, I don’t even know how long they have been here in Ukraine, although I guess it doesn’t matter. 

The tax return is about 18 – 20 pages long and cannot be returned by email……..but one of the permissible options is fax………and obviously having already mentioned the speed of the postal service, it is most definitely not an option unless you want your grandchildren picking up the tab for the late receipt of your tax returns……..which even posted 1 month before they were due, would probably be delivered 4 years after your death through old age!!.

Nothing complicated about faxing a 20 page document to a foreign country?…………Dream on dear reader, dream on!!

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Problem number one, you have to find a fax machine here that will allow you to fax outside of the country.  Then this line needs to stay open long enough for the fax to be scanned and sent.  Your next problem is the receiving end may or may not be open due to the time differences and if the receiver runs out of paper then all the document may not be delivered…….maybe only half……..or just the first page. 

The last attempt by a US friend of mine to return his tax declaration from here by fax meant using my father-in-laws fax machine in one of his shops, sitting there at some ridiculous time, so that the US receiving end was at work, a phone call to ensure they were at work, the paper tray was full and there were not 10 million other returns waiting on the spool……..and 4 attempts to get the line to stay open long enough for all 20 pages to go through……..followed by another phone call to confirm receipt……..and the keeping of the confirmation at our end as a “back up policy” when someone in the US decided that they hadn’t received it, even though they had, but had put it somewhere and now couldn’t find it……..therefore rather than blame themselves, it is easier to say you never sent it in the first place……Typical government service twats in other words…….who seem to be incompetent and useless regardless of nationality, government or service!!

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Ok, now I have explained the benefits of using anything other than the postal service, which does actually work…….it’s just it doesn’t work in a timely fashion.

Why?…….Well, unless you use the City Central Post Office………where all the “postal outposts” send there mail for collation and redirection……things are slow……….very f*cking slow!!

With regards to mail coming here, it will arrive at the central post office and be fairly swiftly forwarded on to the major City post offices………who will fairly swiftly forward it on to the “outposts” around the city and “beyond.”

This is where “time stands still”.  I have never seen a postman…………. or post woman for that matter…………in all the years I have been here.  Not once………Never!!!

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Now it seems to be that, if you are in an apartment block, when there is enough post for the cumulative apartment block to be “worth while”……..then the post will be delivered……..and not before……..even if it is recorded delivery or special delivery, this will not make the process “fast tracked”……..in fact it slows it down. 

Why?……….Well, once there is enough mail to “justify” someone getting off their arse and making a delivery, they will only deliver you a note stating that you have recorded or special delivery mail to be collected from the post office…..not that they will say which one of the hundreds of post offices there are, which could possibly be holding it waiting for you to come and sign for it. 

This “document” may have been at the “local” post office for a month or more waiting for enough mail to be accumulated for someone to deliver the post……..and your note stating that it is awaiting your collection and signature………and the note obviously arrives when you are at work……..and the post office is shut by the time you get home and doesn’t open before you need to be at work……..You starting to get the picture?

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This are even more difficult if you live in a house………because obviously post accumulates much more slowly for a house than for an apartment block of 20 or more addresses…………so you are looking at a postal delivery of once or twice a life time.

If you are determined to send mail via the Ukrainian postal service, go to the central post office in your city/town…….if not, take the majority of the above paragraph or two……..or three…….or four……. and reverse it.

It is quite possible that the “local” postmaster/mistress will have retired on their State pension…..even if they were only 2 weeks into their postal career when you dropped off your letter……before it reaches the main city post office……..as again, there has to be enough post to “justify” getting it to the central city sorting office.

I hope, dear reader, that has answered your question as to the Ukrainian postal……”service”.

Now I must begin the preparation of the much requested “Slavic Woman’s Fashion” intial post……..which now doubt will have my blog “stats” rocketing tomorrow……..just like anything I write about Slavic ladies…….can’t think why that is???

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