I only go into the post office for three reasons.
1. To buy postage (either stamps, or to send packages).
2. To pick up parcels.
3. To renew my post office box. (And in fact I think you can pay that online these days.)
I don’t understand the people that go to pay endless numbers of bills, not to mention buy the other crap they seem to sell in post offices these days — anything from printers and computer monitors to discount DVDs to racks and racks of Smiggle stuff — in other words, stuff you’d normally go elsewhere if you actually wanted to buy them. (All this is why, as I’ve said before, you’ll go in to find a slow-moving line of twenty people when all you want is a book of stamps.)
And of course it narks me somewhat that most post offices (pretty much all apart from agencies, it seems) are only open 9-5 on weekdays. Given my post office box is at such a location (which happens to be the most convenient to home), it means when I do get a parcel delivered, it’s difficult to pick it up.
Then I discovered the secret door.
The secret door is really a service window. It’s present at some post offices near the boxes. There’s a small bell.
Thanks to a tipoff (not from the post office people, I might add), I discovered that outside business hours, you can ring the bell and if you’re lucky, someone will open the window and you can pick up parcels. In my post office’s case, they seem to be regularly there well before 9am, such as 8:15 this morning when I came past on my way to the station.
That saves a bunch of hassle.