Once or twice a year, I get a letter in the mail that just ruins my day. It’s an announcement from the local newspaper, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, that they’re going to begin a litter campaign on my front porch.
Of course, they frame it in much more positive terms like, “Complimentary Subscription” and “Free Gift.” But the end result is the same: a pile of newspapers that I did not want or request thrown on my property without my consent.
There is a honest-to-God belief by some marketing professionals somewhere that this will inspire me to want to give them money. That logic eludes me.
I suppose if I want to make it stop I could hunt down one of the 38 phone books that have been left on my front porch in the past six weeks, find the number for the circulation desk, which is conveniently not included in the litter announcement, and ask them not to deposit their rag on my front step.
But that takes time and effort, and it makes me sort of exhausted thinking about it. So I never do. I just curse and mumble about the idiots at the paper while they stack up around my house until someone puts them in the recycle bin.
And again, super quick response time:
Oh WOW! This was a really bad reply. See, I didn’t know I was talking to my insurance company, where the motto is “That’s not my job, ma’am.” Apparently, the job of the ArkansasOnline staff is to move this piece of paper from *here* to *here.* And absolutely nothing more!
Really? What do you do? They’ve hired someone to man a Twitter account because obviously they realize people use Twitter and Facebook as Help Desk of sorts, but they don’t actually want to help.
So now, because I have a maturity problem, I want to tweet all.day.long. at this account:
Hey @ArkansasOnline, do you handle sports? I mean you employ Wally Hall? So it’s a little iffy in that department.
Hey @ArkansasOnline, you handle business? You have seriously questionable marketing practices. How’s that working out for for your?
Dear @ArkansasOnline, what’s the latest on the oil spill in Mayflower? Do you handle news? Or is that some other department?
Oh @ArkansasOnline, what’s the weather going to be like this afternoon? Or should I watch television for that information?
In the meantime, I think I’ll start researching the names of the ArkansasOnline and the Democrat Gazette circulation staff. I bet Keep Arkansas Beautiful could use some volunteers.
UPDATE: Victory is mine! Victory is mine! Within an hour of posting this, I was contacted by the ArkansasOnline Help Desk via email:
Thank you for contacting us about the newspapers being delivered to your home. I will be glad to help get them stopped for you. Can you please provide the address where the carrier is delivering them? I will get a message to that carrier to discontinue the delivery immediately.
I apologize for any inconveniences caused.
Oh beautiful Internet, how I love you! I thanked the woman who contacted me, gave her my address and asked for our home to be noted as a “decline” for all future “complimentary subscriptions.”
She agreed. It was all so very civilized…as correspondence should be.