JOAN’S ROME “BELIEVE IT OR NOT” EDITION
I had a very interesting experience this morning at an Italian post office near my home. Almost 100 percent of the time I post letters, etc., at the ultra-reliable Vatican post office but the Italian p.o. was just yards from where I was going on another errand at 12:30.
I entered, made way for three people who were leaving, got a number from a machine near the door and was about to wait my turn in line when I noticed there was no one else inside, except the four post office employees behind the counter. I was delighted at not having to wait in line, and immediately went to the window where I saw the Number 58.
I need to back up a little ……
You must first understand that an Italian post office has multiple windows but also multiple functions, and the one for mailing or picking up letters and packages usually seems to be the least trafficked. You can get your pension at the post office, pay your utility bills, buy and pay for insurance and perform a number of other functions. The machine that gives out numbers for waiting in line has a special button for each function. I had pressed the button for mail services, and got ticket number O49.
When I looked at the numbers above each of the employees, I went to the number closest to mine, even though it was above mine. I did wonder how O58 could have been called before O49!
I gave the gentleman my numbered slip and he said I had to wait until that number was called!
I responded: “But there’s no one else here, I’m the only person in the post office. Also, how did you get to 58 if I have Number 49?”
He said I had to wait until 49 was called. I said, as politely as I could manage, “You are kidding me, aren’t you?!”
He said he was not kidding. He waited a few seconds and then he pressed a button (buttons?) to his left and number 49 appeared on the screen!
He weighed the letter, I paid €2.31 and did not say another word before I left.
All I could think about was writing this column, telling a story about life in Italy!
VATICAN BANK PUBLISHES 2017 FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Vatican City, May 22, 2018 – The Institute for Works of Religion (IOR) publishes its 2017 Financial Statements and its Annual Report. The Financial Statements have been audited by the independent auditing firm Deloitte & Touche S.p.A.