You could say that the Post Office's days were numbered when some young boffin sent his or her very first email (presumably with the subject line: 'Test'). You could say that the nail in its coffin was the buzz of the very first text message - or at least the one sent from the CEO of Amazon to the CEO of Home Delivery Network asking them if they'd be up for fulfilling all its UK parcel orders.
You could say any of these things - but you'd be wrong. Oh yes. Because the Post Office's death knell was, in fact, sounded on the day that it introduced The Most Stupid Letter And Parcel Measuring System In Worldwide Postal System History.
I'm not quite sure what was going through the minds of the top bods at Royal Mail when they introduced this system, but it appeared to be: "You know what will keep our old-fashioned physical delivery company afloat in this age of digital communication and information transference? Making it more difficult to send things!"
Yes, instead of simplifying the UK postage system - making it ridiculously easy for any of us to pop a card/present/elephant in the post on a whim, for example - the Royal Mail decided to introduce a stupid, over-complicated method involving size, weight, thickness and aura (I may have made the last one up).
Is your letter thin enough to pass through the slot on this plastic thingummy the Post Office counter clerk is holding up? I don't know - let's ask them. Oh look, they don't know, either - they've got to try to pass it through the slot on their plastic thingummy! Is it heavy enough to be a packet? Is it too narrow to be a packet? Is it too large to be a letter yet too small to be a large letter but too light to be a parcel yet not wide enough to be a packet? Will it fit in a cat's mouth?
I don't know! And guess what? NEITHER DO THE COUNTER STAFF, 'COS THEY'VE GOT TO WEIGH IT AND MEASURE IT AND TRY TO PASS IT THROUGH THE HOLE IN THAT STUPID PLASTIC THINGUMMY!
Well done, Royal Mail. You could have been encouraging us all, young and old, to be writing more letters and sending more parcels simply by aiming to make the postal system in Britain the most user-friendly in the world.
But instead, you made it a chore. And now you say you're forced to increase the price of a first-class stamp because you're making such a massive loss.
Well, may I venture to suggest that one of the reasons you're making such a massive loss is because you've made it so massively complicated to post things? And may I venture to suggest that you possibly try to now make it easier for us all to send cards/presents/elephants to each other? I mean, I realise this might be trying to shut the stable door after the horse has bolted - but guess what? The horse has bolted because it's got to get to the post office during its lunch break to make sure its large letter fits through a slot on a stupid plastic thingummy. So stick that on your stamp and post it.