Some times I wonder
It’s happened so many times before in my life in England, that I provide clear and conspicuous information but people then ask me for clarification. I often wonder what the heck is going on.
Here’s the situation. I send out letters to professional colleagues with my postal address, telephone contact details and email, clearly visible on a green and beige coloured box on the top right corner of my letter. I’m seeking responses on certain professional matters by a certain deadline, by postal mail only (due to the confidential nature of the matter). Letters went out last week. So this morning I receive and email from one asking me “I would be grateful if you could clarify where I should send my report.”
Well I’ll deviate to tell me what my initial psychological response to that was ( Imean my thoughts) i.e. “Did I not print the address on the top right corner?“. You see this kind of question made me think ‘Heck could I be at fault, have I cocked up again‘. But no, I always check my paper correspondence about 5 times before sealing and posting them. Really! I consciously do a checklist of all parts of my letter like here at English Plus. Well, no! I have to stop doubting myself.
The next thing I’m thinking, “Can’t he read..after all he’s got the email address off the letter…and the postal address is just two lines above that.” Or “Maybe he’s too busy… Oh – right, so because he’s busy I must spend my time duplicating information that is so conspicuous“. No – it’s not me. I’ve done nothing wrong.
And then I think “Hmm…is it something with my address? Is it too short? Does it look suspicious in any way?” It is factually a very brief address because it is a named postbox. What’s that? In the old days you would have “PO Box 1234” or something like that. These days you can name your post box like ‘BM Surgery’. Yes, the funny thing I’ve noticed about living in England is that people in general like to double, and triple check the obvious, with a sort of ‘just in case’ point of view. However, the strange flip side of that is that there have been monumental cock-ups with data security of names, addresses, credit card details etc in England. So you kinda have to wonder ‘Well is it because of a culture of cocking-up that these people are so flipping suspicious and obsessional?‘
So what did I do in the end? I replied to the email and politely give the same postal address. And then I decided to write this.