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Multiple Mail Fails

, , , | Right | May 20, 2022

I used to work at a company that processed mail for other companies. Whenever a customer sent in a letter or form to one of those companies that were our clients, it was actually sent to our office. This included promotional mail which people returned for whatever reason.

Some of our clients did so much promotion through mailings that some potential customers made very clear how fed up they were with it. This included many swear words written on the envelopes, but it also sometimes included filling the envelopes with some weird stuff in the hopes of getting back at them, not realising that the effect would be limited to the people processing the mail, even if those had been working for the client company directly.

The most innocent examples were the ones attaching a brick or a piece of wood to the envelope, the idea being that the client company now had to pay the postage for that, as if that would really harm them.

Others went to more weird and disgusting measures. There were envelopes filled with nude pictures cut out from some cheap dirty magazines, envelopes that felt like an adult toy was stuffed in there, envelopes filled with itching powder, or envelopes filled with gravel. Why people thought this would really shock a big business is beyond me, but who cares.

The worst cases in the end weren’t even the envelopes filled with the indecent stuff or even actual garbage (like a package that felt like it just contained a pair of old shoes). The worst were the anthrax hoaxes some dissatisfied customers pulled off. It happened about three times during my time there. Every time, it turned out to be innocent, but not before some special experts from the police arrived to make this conclusion. Until that time, the room where it happened would have to be closed off.

In the end, it had resulted in a policy that every suspect envelope was to be thrown out without opening. Therefore, the attempts at revenge actually backfired since the return wouldn’t be processed. Given the frights or distress that they sometimes created, I can’t feel sorry for those people.

During those years, my wife and I visited a friend, and one of the “physical spammer” companies once was brought up in conversation.

Friend: “Well, if you want to make them stop, just send the envelope back with a brick attached to it.”

My Wife: “I used to think that too, until [My Name] had to stay locked in his office a few times due to anthrax hoaxes. It’s not funny at all.

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