Post Offices, Banks
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Post Offices / Banks When you enter a post office you can see several counters: for sending money, for sending recorder letters and buying stamps, for ordering phone calls and sending telegrams or parcels. It is a long way from sender to the addressee. When the letter has been written, folded, hand corner and the address (including the post code) written in legible script, the letter is ready to be dropped into a letterbox. The box is cleared at certain times of the day; there are usually two collections daily. The mail is taken in a postal van to the main post office. There it is postmarked and sorted according to its destination and put in mailbags, and these are then loaded on trains. Further sorting goes on inside the mail van. When the mail finally reaches the place it is going to, the postman sorts it again according to the postal districts in the town. Later in the morning a postman delivers the letters, usually dropping them in letterboxes situated outside houses or inside the halls of blocks of flats. Before a parcel is send off it is weighed. A label may be put on it, such as “Urgent”. Parcels should be tied up with care so that the string does not come undone. The brown paper can become torn on the way too, since the parcels are handled by postal staff several times before they reach the person they are addressed to. When a parcel cannot be delivered because the addressee is not at home, a note is dropped in his letter box asking him to collect the parcel at the post office. Postal clerks must know all the postal regulations in order to be able to answer all sorts of questions: “How much is postcard to France, please?” or “Have I got the right stamps?” or “I hope it´s not overweight – those books seem awfully heavy, “ or “Can I have some kind of commemorative stamp for an airmail letter to the Fiji Islands?” The clerks must be very patient. On the other hand, at the telephone counter it’s the people who must be patient. It often takes some time to put through long-distance calls. Before each call a person should thing about what he wants to say, to make the call clear and brief. But many people, once they lift the receiver – especially in local calls – talk endlessly. Those waiting outside the phone booth get more and more annoyed, but when they turn comes they often talk a long time too. Women seem to have more to say to their friends than men. Banks Banks offer a large numer of services both for business and for private customers. For example, they procide loans and helpexporters and importers to transfer money to and from other countries, introduce automated teller machines, etc. If the bank lends you money to buy a house, that money is called mortgage. Commercial banks hold also current and deposit (savings) accounts for their customers. A savings account is for people who want to save. Money is paid to the account and while it stays there, the bank pays interest to the customers. Current account holders pay money into the account but withdraw it again to pay bills or to buy things. A current account holder also gets a regular bank statement telling him how much money has gone in and out of the account. If you spend more than you have in your account you can have an overdrawn you are in the red (as opposed to in the black). Of course, if you are a holder of a credit card, you can move practically without a penny in your pocket. You get goods, and services simply on presentation of such a card or you can withdraw the needed cash from the cash dispenser.