The Shillong General Post Office (GPO), despite not having all that many customers to service, appears to be finding it difficult to cater to even a few dozen people a day, whether because of a shortage of staff or slackness in those who work there.
Visiting the GPO and there is invariably a static queue of people who have to wait in line for ages to be served.
As was witnessed today, there was a line of around 10 people standing in the line for Speedpost outside the GPO’s doors. But when the line did not move forward at all even for more than half an hour, a look inside the building showed that there was a queue of 20-something persons waiting inside. On inquiring, they said that they had been waiting for quite some time as well.
Although there were two manned counters, the one for Speedpost was vacant.
When one person standing in the queue wanted to submit a complaint to the Postmaster, they were told that the Postmaster was not present. The Deputy Postmaster, W Ryntathiang, however, explained that the employees were doing their best but were short staffed.
Ryntathiang informed that vacant posts in the GPO are outsourced to contract workers but as the Speedpost counter deals with cash it cannot be outsourced.
Instead she urged people to use the sub-post offices scattered around the city instead of crowding at the GPO. She particularly pointed out that the people who found it convenient to come to the GPO could also go to the Meghalaya Secretariat sub-post office, which is only a few metres away.
Be that as it may, there were only a few dozen customers waiting and not being able to serve them could be put down to a slack work culture rather than anything else, said the listless customers who had come to the GPO as their first choice. One of the customers also pointed out that this unnecessary crowding in the GPO should be stopped as the chances of transmission of Covid-19 is stronger when people have to stand in queues at length.