Friday, November 26, 2010

Mail pondering - snail and otherwise

Why did someone invent envelopes with windows?  What happens to all the paper cut out from the envelope? Have you ever inserted something into one of these open-faced windows upside down, sideways, backwards?  And, if you did, was it accidentally mailed?  Why does one open-faced envelope not fit another's contents?  Is it a conspiracy to keep the envelope from falling into the wrong hands?

What about Dead Letters? Years ago while I was living in North Carolina I put an unstamped envelope into a mailbox. The minute it dropped in I realized my mistake.  Luckily, the mail carrier who came to empty the box possessed genuine Southern-gentleman-manners, and let me rummage through the stack and stamp the envelope, avoiding a long wait for its return from the Dead Letter Office.  Do they still call it that?

Are lost letters or strayed packages "returned to sender"  nowadays? Or do they pile up somewhere in a musty warehouse? Occasionally I have been contacted about the non-receipt of something which I am certain I mailed.  Validates "the check is in the mail" belief, but causes frustration for me, and the non-recipient.

Mis-addressed emails are no longer returned "unable to deliver."
Either there were too many for our ISP's to handle, or someone lost his/her job programming the software to return them.

This time of year my mail box overflows with catalogues -  obviously many companies have yet to stop printing - even though they all have comprehensive websites - and often suggest that there are more
items to view on the internet than in the catalogue.  Covering their bases no doubt.

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