Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Encounter with a Postal Clerk

Well, this morning I gave a postal clerk an experience that neither he nor I was expecting. I decided to try the post office for transferring money to my U.S. bank account since the transfer costs only ¥2,800 as opposed to ¥4,000 from my bank.

First he asked me to write my address in the U.S.  It took several minutes to convince him that I didn't have an address in the U.S.  He kept saying the address I used when I started the account, and I tried to explain that I receive my statements at my address here in Japan, and that even my checks have my Japanese address.

Then came filling out the form.  Even though it was in both Japanese and English, I ended up having to redo it 4 times because of various mistakes - the confusion of what language to write my address in, the fact that there are about 7 versions of my name in Japan (not counting CA Edington), and the tiny spaces in which to write.

Then, every time I made a mistake, I had to use my inkan (stamp) over the error. In between each time, I had to wait for other customers, so the whole ordeal took me about 45 minutes for a 1-page form.

Oh, and during that time, the dollar rose, so I ended up paying ¥193 more!

The clerk apologized to me several times and presented me with a cheap towel.

I thought it was over, but there was more to come.  Later in the day, my doorbell rang, and it was the postal clerk coming to my apartment, bringing me the form to correct once again.  I had written US$ for the type of currency, and it was supposed to be USD.  Out came my inkan once more after making the correction.

At least now he's seen my classroom and knows that I teach English.  It would be nice to get a new student out of this!