This happened about 2 years ago.
A parcel could not be delivered because I was not at home and a signature was needed for delivery. I deliberatly did not agree to safe dropping of parcels with any postal service because of reasons.
As is usual with the postal service involved the parcel was brought to the local post office and a note was dropped into my letter box stating where my parcel was and that I could pick it up during (stated) business hours. The parcel would be available from the day following the attempted delivery for 6 business days. If not collected inside this time frame it would be returned to sender.
As luck would have it I did not find the time but on the last possible day - a Saturday.
Sidenote: I live in Germany. The former "Deutsche Bundespost" (German federal post office) did combine postal services, telekommunication services and bank services until these were converted to different private businesses. My local post office legally is a branch office of the bank that offers postal services as an external contractor. (quite simplified, but detailed enough for this story)
Back to the Saturday in question.
I have my pick up note and ID on me and head to the post office. It was a normal Saturday. Working hours are 8:30 am to 11:30 am. There are round about 10-12 customers in line in front of me (single queue, 3 of the 4 counters open, first customer in line gets called to a counter as the previous customers transaction is done). I wait for 20 minutes or so, step to the counter and state my business to the lady working there. Hand over the pick up note, get my ID out of my wallet while she looks in the back storage area for my parcel.
When she returns empty handed the fun begins.
One last preface: she seemed annoyed from the beginning. Well, every person has a bad day sometimes - no big deal.
She: There is no parcel. Are you sure it is meant to be here?
Me: Yes. This is what it says on the note you are holding. Also I checked using the online tracking before I left home.
She: Well, it is not here. I can not help you. You need to call the corporate hotline. Here is a card with the number.
(There were multiple hotline numbers for different departments. She pointed out the one I should call.)
Me: Sorry, but the hotline can only tell me what I already know, the parcel is here according to the tracking system.
She: Sorry, I can not help you. The parcel is not here. Maybe it was picked up already or it was returned?
Me: The note you are holding states I can pick it up up to today. Why would it be returned soon? How could I still have the note?
She: Your parcel is not here. I can not help you any further.
(At this point I got the impression that she gave me quite an attitude. Maybe I started to annoy her - on top of her already sub-perfect day. In all honesty: I did not respond well to that and considered AmITheAsshole
Me: OK. Then please get me someone who can.
She: There is noone here that can help you. After all we are a bank and doing postal services only as a side offer.
(Here I missed a perfect opportunity for a mean comeback along the lines of "Do you handle money as well as parcels?" This thougt came as soon as I left the building...)
Me: But you offer the service. My parcel is here. Do whatever neccesary to get it.
She: I can´t do anything. There is no one here who can. You need to call the hotline.
Me: (pissed at this moment) O. K.
Cue the MC: I took my cellphone, unlocked it, startet to dial right then and there. When I put the phone to my ear I stood there and looked her in the eye. Unsurprisingly I saw a muxture of annoyance, disbelieve and anger. There still were about a dozen customers waiting in line. Blocking one of the counters would inconvenience those customers and all counter agents.
She: You can´t do this here.
Me: Yes I can. I do. (answering questions of the computerized part of the callcenter proceedings, typing in the parcels tracking number, beginning to listen to the waiting music and the annoying "the next free agent is reserved for you" spiel...)
She: You need to leave. You are blocking my counter.
Me: Just get me my parcel. (returning my focus to the call)
She: (huffing and puffing)...(trying to log on to the free counter, obviously without success)
After a surprisingly short waiting period (just 3 or 4 minutes, 20-30 min waits are more likely with this hotline) a callcenter agent grabs my call.
He goes through the usual "How can I help you... according to tracking system the parcel is at this post office..." in the usual manner.
2 minutes into this conversation the lady from the counter got a male colleague of hers to help her with her problem (yours truly). He tries to talk to me.
Me (at the male post office worker in front of me): I´m sorry, I´m on the phone right now concerning my parcel your colleague failed to find. I can talk to you after the call. (Turning away from him, not acknowledging him any more)
Me (at callcenter agent): Sorry, I was interrupted by your desk agent (continuing phone conversation)
Me (after some more minutes to the female desk agent): your callcenter colleague says the parcel must be here. Could you look in the storage area again or can you give me a "report lost parcel form", please?
She: (stomping there without a word. Nice double-edged dagger looks)
Me: (continuing to ask callcenter agent for further options)
She: (returns after 2 minutes with my parcel) I found it
Me (on phone): Oh, thank you for your help, the parcel turned up
Callcenter agent: Great. Is there anything else I can help you with?
Me (on phone, looking counter agent in the eye): No, thank you. I don´t want to block the counter longer than necessary.
I disconnected the call, got my parcel, she took my ID and signature, I left.
I know, the customer is not always right. But sometimes...
OK, when she gave me the parcel she explained. As it was the last day of the storage period and a Saturday and the postal employees as well as the bank employees like to finish on time my parcel was already moved from the usual storage rack to the mobile racks used to transport them out to the delivery area for returning it. I get this practice. But why didn´t she check there? She is experienced in her job at this location. I knew her for 2 years at this point (I moved there 2 years earlier).
She still works there, we sometimes deal with each other. She remembers me (not surprising. I do stand out a bit...) TLDR:
If this was to long for you to read you missed the story. I won´t press it on you. Maybe return later when you have the time. Enjoy whatever you do with the time saved now.