Who needs mail merge?

Got this letter from my garbage collection agency today. Perhaps they had a meeting that went something like this:


Joe: As you all know, we just changed the garbage truck routes to <Joe makes the double-quote signal with his fingers> insure the highest quality of service for our customers <end quote, snickers all around>. But, that means the pick-up day has changed for some of our customers, and I need to tell them. On an unrelated note, I’ve got this database of our customers and their pick-up days. Team, what should I do?

Team: <blank looks, uncomfortable silence>

Pete: I’ve got it. Send out a notice to all the customers, but leave it ambiguously worded so it will be accurate for both customers that have a new pickup day, and customers who still have the same pickup day. And don’t, and I can’t stress this enough, don’t use mail merge to make the letter seem more friendly.

Team: Great idea, Pete. You rock! <high-5s, hoots> Now let’s all go to the strip club!


—scanned & OCR’d letter follows—


July 8, 2005




Dear Customer,


In order to provide you, our customers, with the highest quality of service we have just completed a reroute of the area you live in. This may or may not result in a day change for your area.


Effective the week of July 18, 2005, your collection day will be Thursday.


We hope this change causes no inconvenience for you and your family. If you should have any questions or concerns, please call our Customer Service Line.


Thank you.





Rabanco Connections/Allied Waste Industries



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