Previously the last collection on a weekday was at 5.30pm. Now it's at 9am.
And that's rubbish. Unless you post your letter by breakfast time, the Royal Mail doesn't guarantee to pick it up until tomorrow, and then it might get to its destination the day after.
Given that the Royal Mail no longer delivers my mail before lunchtime, thanks to cuts and 'efficiencies', the post has gone for the day before I can possibly get round to responding to today's correspondence.
But OK, it's not the end of the world. As the sign says, there is another postbox nearby that still has a 4pm weekday collection. It's not on my daily commute, so I'd have to walk out of my way to pass it, but so long as I remember to use the Stroudley Walk postbox rather than the convenient one, I can still catch an afternoon collection.
(Incidentally, isn't "O/S Bow Mspo" a ghastly piece of jargon to describe a location? I presume O/S means outside, while it turns out Mspo means "Modified Scale Payment Office", which is nothing any member of the public needs to know. And it's wrong. The Post Office in Stroudley Walk closed down last year, and you'd hope the Royal Mail would have realised that)
And if I really need a late collection, as late as 6.45pm, the sign tells me I can always go to 310 Burdett Road. But that's over a mile away, halfway between Limehouse and Poplar, and would take either two buses or two trains to reach. I bet there's a more convenient postbox in a neighbouring collection area, say in the middle of Stratford, but the Royal Mail are only willing to tell me about one box on the other side of my postcode.
As for Saturday collections, surely they're taking the piss.
Previously the last collection on a Saturday was at 11.30am. Now it's at 7am.
And that's hardly a weekend collection at all. Unless you're a real earlybird, you need to have posted your mail by Friday evening to have any hope of it being collected by Monday morning.
By the looks of it, 7am is the best Saturday collection time the Royal Mail are willing to offer. There might be a later collection time in Stroudley Walk, but they're not saying, so I assume not. And there might be a later collection time in Burdett Road, but they're not saying, so I assume not.
Suppose you have a birthday card to send, first class. For a Tuesday to Saturday birthday it now needs posting two days beforehand rather than one, and for a Monday birthday three days rather than two.
And has there been a big fuss about any of this? Nah. They announced all this back in August, you may remember, affecting lightly-used postboxes across the country, but nobody really complained.
These days we expect our public services to get worse, so when they do, we just shrug. These days we expect cuts, indeed we even applaud cuts, because our politicians tell us this makes the economy better. And these days when something we don't use very much gets eroded, well it doesn't matter does it, because we don't really use it much.
I find the creation of a 'third class' postbox somewhat depressing. It's a sign, I tell you.