Kakonomics is based upon the type of exchange where both parties are complicit in sub-standard delivery while professing a desire for top quality.
I wouldn’t say that my relationship with the Post Office has reached the point where my side of the exchange is done at a discount, but I certainly appear to be edging into a state of docility. The institution has progressively been rolling out a new point of sale system, to replace one which cost a fortune in software royalties. The cynic in me assumes that the new system had to have been the subject of a rigged tender, at a vastly inflated price, but I have no evidence, so cannot make the allegation.
What I know for a fact, because I’m at the receiving end of it, is that the new one is crap. Transactions take much longer to process. Some transaction types cannot be processed, and payment by card hardly ever works.
The first few times that I proffered my card in payment, only to be told that they could accept cash only, I got all huffy. Now, I’m ashamed to admit, I drive to the Post Office via an ATM. I do a quick mental calculation of what I expect the total to be, and withdraw that amount of cash.
I’ve given up on being huffy. Instead, I stand there like an impotent patsy, with R2000 in my pocket.
Card payments earned me eBucks on every transaction. Now, I expend my time – and some bank charges – in drawing cash.
A constant feature of the Post Office, regardless of which point of sale system they use, is that delivery of international mail is not only inconsistent, but also devoid of any useful tracking information.
I saw Bruce Whitfield quoted as saying that, unlike most private sector companies, the Post Office cannot be shamed into doing the right thing. That would explain why the organisation can get away with being as crap as it is. The absence of alternatives means that we’ll just continue to suck up the abuse, because that’s what it is.
In exchange, I’ll occasionally make public comments (such as this one) about the Post Office’s extreme crapness. I’m not sure if my reciprocal verbal abuse qualifies the exchange as Kakonomics, but there’s certainly plenty of ‘kak’ in the experience.