My letterbox and me

I don’t know about you but I have a hole in my front door to enable strangers to put things through. I didn’t make it but it was there when I bought the house. It’s an interesting concept that a few years ago you would take for granted but how relevant will it be in 10 years I wonder?

The ongoing postal dispute may be an inconvenience for many people but the general scale of disruption is nothing like that brought about by strikes of years gone by because it is no longer central to many transactions in our lives. Thanks to Tim Berners-Lee and co a huge volume of mail has become internet traffic.

What does the postal service in 2009 mean to me? A trawl through my weekly mail reveals unsolicited Kleenese and Avon catalogs, delivered unfailingly for years despite me never placing an order or even returning the catalogs. I used to leave them outside the front door for retrieval as requested but they weren’t normally collected and I tired of having my doorstep littered so now they go in the bin. On one occasion I informed the Avon lady of this and she got very angry saying that it cost her money. She seemed unconcerned that I didn’t want this junk through my letterbox in the first place and that technically I own the floor either side of my front door.

Of course, there are plenty of mailers who are not the least interested in what I do with their junk after it lands in my hallway. The sheer volume of pizza menus I get is truly something to behold and most of them hail from establishments much further away than the excellent local outlet meaning they haven’t a prayer of patronage from anybody around here. Almost as numerous are the Indian takeaway menus, yet despite such intense competition for trade they manage to precisely duplicate each other meaning they have no competitive edge. But the flyers I can least comprehend are those for double glazing. My house is one of 80 on an estate build 7 years ago. Every one of these has double glazing covered by a 10 year guarantee so chances of a sale must be somewhere in the region of nil. At best.

What then we are left with after all the straight-to-recycle fodder are birthday and Christmas cards. Bank statements I can get online so I’m not sure why they send them to me. When occasionally I order something for delivery the postie usually comes while I am at work resulting in a trip to the collection office. In other words I only need a hole in my door in the days leading up to 26th May and 25th December.

So the postal service no longer has anything to offer. Not so! I’m saving a fortune by collecting and reusing the red rubber bands the postman dumps on my doorstep each week.

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