Thursday, December 04, 2008

Class Action

Here in the UK we have two classifications for regular post: First Class and Second. The idea is that a First Class stamp gets your letter to its destination faster than one bearing a tawdry Second Class variety. When you think about it, though, this isn't strictly true. Not round here, anyway. What actually happens is that the First Class letters simply get into our postman's bag faster than their cheaper, nastier counterparts. Thereafter, unfortunately, the egalitarian cunt seems to go by his own rules.

Yesterday, for example, I had two letters delivered, both First Class. Today I again received two, but Second Class this time. In both instances, however, the postman took exactly the same time to cover the 60 feet or so from my front gate to my front door. This is clearly an iniquitous situation, which makes complete nonsense of the concepts of First and Second Class postage. Indeed, I feel I'm due some sort of refund.

In my opinion, if he's delivering a First Class letter, he should reflect the fact by sprinting. Only if he's delivering Second Class should he be allowed his usual leisurely amble. After all, if the people who sent them clearly couldn't give a fuck how slowly they reach me, I feel similarly justified in showing a commensurate lack of enthusiasm over exactly how quickly I get to read them.

Of course, someone is now going to ask what happens if, on the same day, I receive a combination of First and Second Class letters. No problem: the postman should examine the letters prior to opening my front gate and then base his walking speed on the aggregate of their Class. So, for instance, two First Class and one Second would probably merit 3mph, while one First Class and two Second would only justify 2mph. And so on.

The only problem here is the postman might subsequently take it upon himself to examine all the letters in his bag prior to setting off, and then base the speed of his entire postal round on the aggregate of their Class. This would be unjust in two ways. If the majority of the letters bear First Class stamps, then the cheapskates who bought Second would effectively be riding on the coat-tails of their postal superiors, akin to an Economy passenger being given a free upgrade to Business or First Class. Secondly, if the majority of letters are Second Class, those who paid for First Class would be unfairly slowed down.

I think that, until the Post Office sees sense and introduces dedicated First and Second Class postmen, I'll have to buy an Alsatian and have him chase the postman at a consistent speed throughout his entire delivery route. And I'll bill the Post Office for his cost and upkeep. That should jump-start them into taking some sort of action.

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