Ad mail ad nauseam
When I was in my teens, we had a family dog that looked like a miniature Doberman pinscher and hated both the postman and the mail he delivered. (I think my mother got it because she lost a bet.)
The mail would come through the slot in the front door, and the angry little beast would light into it, often tearing important correspondence (this was when cheques used to come in the mail, instead of by e-transfer) to bits.
The postman probably didn’t ever see the tiny, enraged and shivering- with- anger beast, but the speed at which the mail shot through the door made us think the postman had a healthy fear of the hound.
Sometimes, I miss that dog. Well, no - I just wish I had a pet willing to angrily rip into an envelope or two for me.
Like the envelope from Bell that seems to come almost weekly, exhorting Occupant me to switch all of my communications services to them - and the second envelope that comes at exactly the same time for Occupant nonexistent in the- apartment- we- don’t- have at our address and every other address on our street as well.
Somewhere, there’s a commissioned salesperson who got a bonus for convincing Bell to double the volume of their ad mail - “Why, there must be hundreds of apartments you’re missing with just one piece of addressed ad mail - send two to every house, just in case.”
I mean, it wasn’t enough they come virtually weekly - and that Rogers, unwilling to cede any customer they might already have, dive-bombs my mailbox, too, with offers that are often better than what they are charging me, already a customer. (It’s like the lost lamb - Rogers apparently likes to wander the hills looking for potentially lost sheep, while the herd is expected to just stand there, munching grass and contentedly sending the monthly tithe.)
Then, there’s the email deluge, spelling out some benefit or other that I’m missing, some way to better enjoy whatever it is I enjoy already.
One thing seems perfectly clear: both my family and the mysterious family also at my address must be a serious commodity.
To put it bluntly, we must be worth big coin for all of the Internet, cable and satellite companies to spend so much on advertising and special packages to try and catch our business.
I guess what angers me most is that all that coin is being spent not on the information we use in the run of a day - it’s just going to the company that delivers it.
Think of it this way: you need water for drinking and showers and to make the bathroom work. Imagine if, when you bought that water, all you were really paying for was the pipe, while the people who purified, filtered and supplied the water got zilch.
Or that, when you bought your groceries, the biggest single beneficiary of your purchase wasn’t the guy who grew the avocados or the woman who caught the fish, but was instead the bag-maker who made something to let you carry the groceries home.
I’m in a business where commenters complain, even when they read things for free, that they haven’t gotten their money’s worth - meanwhile, the pipe that brought my free work to those hostile customers always gets its hundred or more bucks a month. Heck, those same pipe- owners gleefully take television signals from other places and paste in their advertising into other people’s work, ads once again exhorting the benefits of their particular pipe.
And then they use the money to dive-bomb me with ads - and my invisible apartment-dwellers, too. “Get the bundle!” Ha. I’d like to give you the bundle.