Monday, January 26, 2009

Post Rally

I was presented with an amazing document this morning. One of those documents that makes your head actually hurt with amazement and gives rise to the possibility that sheer disbelief could actually be fatal.

I can’t say too much about this document as – now that my blog has been “outed” (without my permission) at my place of work – I find that I’m officially bound to so many draconian security policies and secrecy clauses that your average Spook would get a hard-on just feeding the relevant files into the paper shredder.

Suffice it to say this document was a full and unexpurgated description of how to address an envelope properly. To make it efficient and cost effective and to ensure that it is indeed essential to the running of the corporate business machine because if it is none of these things it should not be allowed to infect the pristine arteries of the UK postal system which, as we all know, is the lifeblood of all business...

And it had a diagram – a graphic of such austere and precise geometry that it resembled Hitler’s plans to invade Poland – which showed the reader (should he be in any doubt) of the exact right way to lay out an envelope. I wish I could show it to you but I dare not lest the long knives come for me by night and present me with a well cratered wall and a blindfold.

The place for the stamp was clearly marked (the Royal Mail indicia zone). The place for the address was similarly indicated. The place for the company logo or as it shall henceforth be known “the indicia zone” was also carefully demarked (in battleship grey).

But there was more. Each zone was officiously stamped with a blood red letter of the alphabet which rather ingeniously married up with the same in an information key below the diagram which further expounded on the machine-like genius that underpinned this whole postal blitzkrieg.

But best of all the bare and empty no-man’s zone between all these other zones was also clearly illuminated. Illuminated no less by vicious cross hatching that practically goose-stepped across the page and brooked no protest or defiance. Achtung! Zis ist ver you shall not go, Englisher pig-dog! Ve require your utter und total surrender!

Even now I am desperately trying to furnish myself with a ruler, a set-square, a protractor, an octant and a micrometer in order that I may, from this day forth, correctly align any future envelope furniture in a manner most befitting of this New World Order.

That noise, dear reader, is the sound of my highly polished jackboots snapping together.

Next week I look forward to a missive from my Kommandant that will clearly prescribe the correct procedure for applying paperclips to multi-page documents and which precise setting to use on the corporate A4 hole-punch. My desk shall be tidy und laid out according to laser plumb line. Und my post-it notes shall be applied with an attention to detail und accuracy heretofore only usually located in the heady discipline of precision engineering.

Guten tag meine freunde! Ze new Europe has arrived.

15 comments:

Lucy Fishwife said...

I'm sure somewhere there's a blog of examples of what my household calls "Safety Nazi-dom" (which encompasses also "Instructions for the hard of thinking"). Although my favourite freakishly bizarre instruction was on a bottle of handwash in the hospital I temped at years ago - "Avoid getting this handwash in eyes, mucous membranes or brain"...

Brother Tobias said...

Does the organisation which produced that need to make cuts? Has it got by until now without the address guidance? I sense a correlation here...

Steve said...

Lucy, I think I may have accidentally injected some of that mouth wash directly into my cerebral cortex during a bizarre trepanning accident when I was bored one afternoon at work... funny the things you can do with a electric pencil sharpener and a rolodex when you put your mind (literally) to it...

Brother T, I sense in you a wisdom and a canniness that would have had you labelled as a witch in days of yore... ;-)

Reluctant Blogger said...

When I left my old job my HofD asked me to write idiot proof instructions for various things so I did a few spoof things like that - "how to go for a wee" and that sort of thing. Probably completely useless actually as the new person was a man.

There is a video out there somewhere isn't there which tells you how to read a book - spoof of a computer manual or something. I thought it was very good but can't remember where I saw it.

I do get cross I must say at the Ski club when we do a mass mailing and someone sticks the address labels on upside down so all the envelope openings are on the wrong side - or worst still, some are and some aren't. Grrrhhh!

They sound like jolly silly people at your workplace. Ooops perhaps I oughtn't to say that given that you have been infiltrated.

Steve said...

Don't worry, Gina, they'll never trace your identity as I have encrypted all of our communiques via a homemade enigma machine that cannot be broken (except by a 7 year old Nintendo DS literate child). Please publish your "how to wee" instructions. Believe it or not I actually think that some people would benefit from the elucidation...

Sweet Cheeks said...

Did they also include instructions for the instructions?

Step 1)
Hold paper in hand.

It is attached to your arm you idiot.

Step 2)
With your eyes, start at the top left hand side of the paper and read in a rightward fashion.

If you cannot locate your eyes, poke yourself in the face until you can't see anymore...those are you eyes....

You get the idea....
:)

The Sagittarian said...

"ruler, a set-square, a protractor, an octant and a micrometer"...hm. methinks you could have finally located those weapons of maths instruction!!

Steve said...

Sweet Cheeks, the instructions for the instructions were a 97 page document that came in PDF and docx format and also various hardcopies in languages such as Punjabi, Greek, braille, semaphore, French, Russian, Martian but weirdly not English. I'm currently learning semaphore (by instuction book).

Amanda, I am launching a war on error!

Daisy said...

and i thought my work was bad about stuff like that...wait...they are! isn't it amazing being subjected to idiocy on a daily basis...and to know that someone has a job making more money than you and the sole purpose is this? mind blowing!!!

French Fancy said...

Do you think the powers that be sit and read all our comments as well? Should I be scared?

Steve said...

French Fancy, they are even now tracing your IP address and using GPS to pinpoint your exact geographical location... expect a perfectly addressed and stamped envelope to arrive on your doorstep very soon. Please use a H&S approved paper-knife to open it and open it left to right, blade angled to 60 degrees please.

Rol said...

"Say what you like about the Nazis, but their letters got delivered on time."

Steve said...

Rol, they buggered up the Royal Mail though.

Mama said...

They should have just called in Hyacinth Bucket, she knows how to address an envelope :)

Steve said...

Yes, but she'd only send it to someone of the "right" background and upbringing...