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Junk the Junk Mail

Uploaded by CollegeKid2002 on Oct 22, 2001

It is another Wednesday morning, and I am again sitting at the front desk of my dormitory at 9 am. The US Postal Service just delivered today's mail, and the other Wednesday-morning deskworker and I are preparing to search for names, check mailbox numbers, sort the mail, and place it into mailboxes.

I hate working the mail shift, but I do it because I get paid nine dollars an hour for relatively brainless work. Even though I lose a few hours of sleep, I get some good laughs and entertainment in return, especially on a day like today when an array of catalogs stocks two entire mail bins. After three years at this job, I continue to be amazed at both the number of catalogs certain people receive and the type of items that can be acquired through a catalog.

Take, for example, Resident Jane Doe, who gets J. Crew, L.L. Bean, Ann Taylor, Victoria's Secret, Pottery Barn, Bed & Bath and Beyond, and Staples catalogs, each of which arrive on average once per month. Residents like Jane Doe are notorious amongst deskworkers for the volume of mail they receive, and their room numbers are firmly imprinted on our brains because we have looked them up so many times. I can always tell when residents like Jane Doe have been away for a long weekend, because their mailboxes become so packed that they cannot hold even one additional piece of mail. Of course, 80% of the mail in her mailbox consists of catalogs and other junk mail.

The companies themselves contribute greatly to the number of catalogs these residents receive. Jane Doe probably purchased one item from J. Crew through mail order or at a J. Crew store, and as a result, she will always receive catalogs from J. Crew at this address, even after she has moved away from this dorm. Furthermore, the fact that she receives other clothing catalogs may also be attributed to this one purchase. Since it's already almost two months into the semester, I do not mind this never-ending stream of catalogs as much because I can generally identify the residents who do not reside in my dorm building anymore and can quickly sort through their mail.

Their "flood technique," however, still makes me want to tear my hair out of my head. Today, Pottery Barn customers received both a general catalog and the seasonal...

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Uploaded by:   CollegeKid2002

Date:   10/22/2001

Category:   Social Issues

Length:   7 pages (1,469 words)

Views:   1699

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