Jennie Ridyard
2 minute read
11 Nov 2013
7:14 am

Please, Mr Postman, look and see

Jennie Ridyard

Dear postal worker. Please keep an eye on the mail for me.

Jennie Ridyard

Well, I know you do anyway because so many of my parcels seem to be of great interest to you – so much so that you tend to help yourself to whatever you fancy.

For instance, in September I posted my mum and dad a signed copy of my book. Six weeks later it’s still missing in action.

I sent it via registered mail, but I should have known be er. Past experience has shown that “registered” is a red flag to you, presumably screaming that the content is of monetary value. But this was only of emotional value; I doubt you could sell a book that I’ve scribbled all over.

Still, I like to imagine that you’re reading it; that you’re getting lost in my world of espionage and aliens.

It’s preferable to thinking that my book is discarded inside a dumpster, beneath onion peelings, dirty nappies and everyone else’s pilfered post: yes, those birthday cards that once held gift vouchers, the unpaid bills liberated from their cheques, the wedding invitations that will never be received, the notes of gratitude that will be presumed not written.

It bemuses me, because ultimately the loser is you, since every item of post that never finds its way means another person turns
to online banking, e-mail, or couriers.

Every time you help yourself you screw yourself over; you sabotage your own job security. And yes, I gave up reporting missing items several years ago, several losses in.

If it was unregistered the response was silence; if it was registered the response was a case number and silence. It’s now years since I sent a card to my nephews on their various birthdays, because how could I risk one lad being congratulated and another feeling ignored when his card was lost?

Yet hope is a funny thing…

Last week I sent out nine more books to people in South Africa.

I didn’t register them because there seemed to be little point – you’ll help yourself regardless. But could you deliver them, like you’re paid to do? After all, you’ve already got one copy of my book.

I hope you liked it – and maybe you’re desperate to read the next one. Well, if you’d just ensure that my latest batch of parcels gets through the mail, I’ll post you a free copy.