29th Elul 5770
A few days ago my wife received a slip from the post office informing her that she had received a package and that she can pick it up at the local branch. So, being the good husband that I am, I went to the post office to pick up the package for my wife. I took a number upon entering the post office and patiently waited for it to be called by the computerized line managing system.
After waiting for about ten minutes, my number was finally called: "Number 854 at window number 3". I went to window number 3 and handed the postal notice to the lady clerk behind the counter. "Who are you?" she asked.
"I'm Mr. X. The package is for my wife."
"Did you bring your wife's ID card?" the clerk inquired. Unfortunately, I forgot to take my wife's ID card with me.
"No I did not", I replied.
"Then you can't receive the package", responded the clerk curtly.
The stern expression on her face made it clear that there was no use in requesting a dispensation. A person with less experience would have went home and come back another day with his wife's ID card. Others would have started a loud and embarrassing argument with the clerk that would leave them with nothing but a sore throat. However, I knew better: I went and took another number, with the hope that the computer would send me to a different clerk.
After waiting a couple of minutes the computer announced: "Number 861 at window number 5".
I handed the postal notice to the clerk at window 5. After checking my ID card, she was more than happy to bring the package to the harmless looking bearded man (that's me) without asking any further questions.
The moral of the story is that there are some clerks that are very strict and do everything by the book. Others are more flexible.