If you’ve ever been into an Italian post office, you’ll know why I’m later today.
It took them an hour to change my daughter’s savings book from a child account to an adult account.
When it was finally done (really, it took a whole hour) the teller handed her the new savings book and she asked to withdraw some of her money.
The system had blocked withdrawals, probably due to the change in account status (they were unsure) and hopefully just for 24 hours.
Perhaps she would come back tomorrow?
The post office here still uses a PAPER system of records, by the way.
There’s a long row of floor-to-ceiling cupboards, each full of dusty ring-binders hand-marked with letters of the alphabet.
The ring binders contain, for each client, a fat plastic envelope stuffed with copies of every pertinent document.
In my daughter’s case, these were all the forms we filled in EIGHTEEN YERAS AGO when we opened the account, which today had to be updated and supplemented with yet more paper forms.
So that was an hour of the teller’s time, an hour of my time, and an hour of my daughter’s time, for something which, in a modern economy, should have taken, at most, a few seconds.
In a parallel universe, they’d check the client I.D, click a box on the screen to switch the account type from ‘child’ to ‘adult’, and perhaps get one signature on a single piece of paper just for tradition’s sake.
They’d then give her the cash and press the button to call the next customer, who’s already tutting because she’s had to wait thirty-seconds to transact her business.
There are many reasons why Italy is in a mess, but the post office would be near the top of MY list.
Anyway, finally I’m back at my desk!
So then, here’s another native-speaker conversation, with transcript.
This one is on ‘Chi sei?‘ (Who are you?)
It’s the same daughter speaking, and fortunately was recorded before the post office incident, as she’s now incoherent with fury.
The interviewer, who speaks more naturally, is a former boyfriend.
Here’s the link:
I’ve added this one to the others in the series on our ‘New’ page.
And the questions from the interview are from one of our free conversation lessons.
Find them here.
A venerdì, allora.