Posted by: travelrat | April 4, 2008

Bring Back the Stamp

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This morning, I was in the Post Office. While we were waiting for the printer to print the postal labels for my packages, I asked the assistant if it would be easier and quicker to have pre-printed labels.

‘That’s a good idea!’ she said ‘We could call them stamps!

She explained that they had to buy the stamps, at exactly the same price I would pay for them, so there was no profit in it for them. If she printed a label, though, they would get paid for each one issued.

I wonder if I’m the only one to mourn the passing of the stamp in favour of the anonymous, faceless label? According to my grandchildren, philately, or stamp collecting is considered rather a nerdy thing to do. Whereas, when I was at sshool, we were all at it. I think it’s fair to say I learnt more geography for my stamp collection than I learnt from ‘Old Algy’ … and that’s saying something; he was damn’ good!

I knew a stamp with ‘Helvetia’ came from Switzerland; I knew Caracas was the capital of Venezuela, and I could point out Bechuanaland on a map. (Don’t try it yourself, though; it’s called Botswana now!)

You see, there’s a lot to be learnt about anywhere by studying its stamps … its flora, its fauna, its scenery, its famous people ….

Also, there’s the profit for the Post Office. Let us say it costs fifty gronks to post a letter in the Republic of Upchuk. It costs forty gronks to actually carry the letter, so the Post Office has made ten gronks profit. But, if I buy a fifty-gronk stamp, and take it home and stick it in my album, it’s all profit! Indeed, for this reason, many countries have issued stamps intended for collectors, and certainly not meant to be stuck on letters.

I don’t collect stamps any more, but I do get mail from all over the world. And, it seems such a shame to throw the stamps out. But, I don’t know anyone who collects them!


Responses

  1. I was an avid stamp collector as a child. It really improved my knowledge of geography. It’ll be a sad day when stamps are completely replaced by labels.

  2. I hate to say this, but the first time I ever saw a label was a till receipt stuck to the envelope on a letter from …. Brisbane!

    I think, though, that the postal workers were having some sort of issue with Australia Post? Maybe even a strike?

  3. You still get letters??!!

  4. Sure do! … mainly bills and circulars, but occasionally a CD, a DVD or something too bulky to email. Or cards.

    And, there are still one or two people out there who don’t do computers.

    (Also, the bank … I refuse to do business with them electronically, and won’t even give them my email address)


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