One of the problems with, you know, having a job in a place where there are ultimately some sort of customers, is that–sooner or later–if you’re an intolerant snob (such as myself), you will eventually arrive at the inescapable conclusion that People Are Stupid.
And yes, even Stupid People (heck, sometimes ESPECIALLY Stupid People) contribute to the great “Circle of Life” known as “My Paycheck,” so it’s hard to complain about them without sounding ungrateful and bitchy. This will not deter me, of course, because I’m already well aware that I’m ungrateful and bitchy.
And maybe–just maybe–there’s a force at work here which someone can explain to me. Maybe People Are Confusing or People Are Mysterious or even People Are Working On An Important Secret Mission That Closely Mimics People Being Very Stupid and once I’ve been enlightened, I will be forced to admit the error of my ways. I’m willing to be educated.
So here’s the thing: It turns out that whenever my company mails things out, a whole bunch of pieces end up coming back to us as undeliverable or whatever. And once upon a time I guess the returns were processed as they came in, but at some point the person who used to do it stopped or left or died, I don’t know, and by the time I came along, the stack of returns was taller than me. Fine. Last week, I took it upon myself to clean up our mailing list (small company = random tasks that don’t belong to anyone that sometimes have to be done by whomever has time). I processed every returned piece of mail and reconciled or removed every screwed up address in our database. Huzzah.
This week I decided to go the extra mile and clean the database of any remaining obviously faulty addresses. Because I love my job and want to give 120% at all times. Or maybe just because I’m a wee bit anal and OCD.
Too bad the database contains over ten thousand entries. Has anyone seen my eyeballs? They may have burst around line 9,439.
In case you’re wondering, these addresses are entered by people on a COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY form on our website. Folks are not required to share their addresses; there is an option to provide an address if you’d like to receive mailings. It looks something like the following.
Hi, please fill in your address if you want to get mail from us!
Address Line 1:
Address Line 2:
Seems pretty straightforward to me. But here comes the part that I don’t get. It seems to me that if you don’t want mail from us, you shouldn’t fill in the form. Furthermore, if you DO want mail from us? I think you should fill in, I dunno, say… YOUR ADDRESS. I know; it’s crazy talk! I mean, go figure! I’m a revolutionary, what can I say.
About a dozen folks in our database live at “sdfsjgskhg sadfjalkfjs akdfjhaslf.” I suppose they’re all together in some sort of commune. There’s a sister complex down the road at “abcd efgh ijklm,” by the way.
One fellow lives at “PLEASE DON’T SEND ME MAIL THANKS.” Which is all good and well, except that 1) apparently he couldn’t read, 2) apparently he couldn’t THINK, and 3) our mailing process is automated and we’ve been sending stuff to “PLEASE DON’T SEND ME MAIL THANKS” for a couple of years.
Many of our customers in China are too polite to refuse sharing their addresses. Most of them live at “Beijing Beijing Beijing China.” Across the water live their comrades at “Taipei Taiwan Taipei Taiwan.” A few astute gentlemen realized this was not, in fact, enough specificity to get mail to the correct destination. They were kind enough to lend more details; one fellow lives at “Second Floor Beijing Beijing China” and another at “my office, street, Changsha, China.”
I don’t know much about India, but apparently it’s customary to give destinations via landmarks, there. Everyone who lives in Bangalore lives “near” something. “#2 near Main Street,” “Grey Station near Old Village,” etc. Well, almost everyone lives near something. One poor guy lives at “Utility Pole Number 4” in Dubai.
And it’s not just our international friends with the interesting entries. Here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. there’s plenty of confusion, as well. I think our “Country” field is an alphabetized drop-down box. At least… I hope it is. That’s the only explanation I can think of as to why so many people who live in Texas or New York seem to believe they reside in Albania.
Also: Los Angeles is not in Colorado. “Apartment” is a lovely descriptive term, I suppose, but is generally more useful when followed by numbers or letters. Zip codes are 5 digits. “South Street, Boston” is not enough information. A certain gigantic company on the west coast will not deliver mail that doesn’t include a mail stop in the address, because they employ several gazillion people (a hundred of whom are in our database) and also have large sticks up their butts, so probably you were already aware of this rule. Taking the time to fill in your city, state, and zip without your street address is either moronic or narcissistic. And your name is not really Dirk Diggler.
This is how I spent my day. Tonight I will have nightmares.
People Are Stupid.