Thursday, March 01, 2007

Card-Carrying Genius

Guess what? I'm a genius. I have a card to prove it. So what if I had to pay for it?

No, it has nothing to do with self-congratulatory groups like MENSA. (I coulda been a contender anyway.) This Genius card is offered by none other than my favorite place in town, La Poste. Which is now La Banque Postale. And while they're at it, in addition to being a post office and a bank, they're now acting as a temp agency as well. I couldn't believe it either, but it's true. So of course I signed on the dotted line. Not to be a genius, actually, but to hire one.

It all began this morning when I practiced my weekly self-flagellation of standing in line at the Poste. Actually I have grown to love this special drama, so the waiting room at La Poste draws me like a magnet. Good thing I get some inspiring plot-lines somewhere, since my France Telecom TV service still isn't working and it gets expensive renting videos every night that I'm home. But, as usual, I digress.

So today as I am entering the tail end of the line at the Poste to buy my enveloppes déjà timbrés there are three very smiling young faces greeting me -- Julien, Elise and Magali. They tell me that they are Geniuses and want to "simplify my life". Oh wow, this doesn't get any better. Unfortunately, this happy trio is made out of cardboard. Life-sized and handsome, but mute cardboard nevertheless. So like the rest of my compadres I must wait in line on tenterhooks until I can quiz the the lady at the guichet, "How can these Geniuses de-stress my life?"

And so here's the deal: for just under 10 € annually, you can buy a Genius card. This gives you access to all sorts of temporary "personal help" from agencies screened by La Poste.

Need a babysitter so you can escape your little mophead for the evening? Call a Genius.

Fido or Cesar desperately needs walking while you're at work? Call a Genius.

An extra pair of hands is essential for hanging those curtains or preparing for that dinner party? Call a Genius.

The laundry is piling up and you're just too busy to iron? Or wash. Call a Genius.

Mamie needs someone to help her with her computer or paperwork? Call a Genius.

Your teenager is flunking and desperately needs tutoring? Call a Genius.

You need someone to pick up your dry cleaning and run other errands? Call a Genius.
You get the picture. Genius gives you access to all sorts of personal helpers, at basic market rates, screened by a known entity.

So, let me see. If I have this right, I could hire a Genius helper to ....go stand in line for me at La Poste?

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