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For Appropriate Handling October 25, 2007

Posted by KG in FS Life.
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The office here deals with a fair amount of correspondence.  Most of the time, it’s passed to us from the legislative branch (in our parlance, a “yellow border”) or the executive branch (“red border”).  We’re required to respond to these letters (more vocab: all are a subset of the category “taskers”) on a strict deadline, regardless of the nature of the query.  The issues in the letters range from the significant to the banal, but the weight of the curve clearly falls on the banal side.  So as the writer (“drafter”) you start trying to come up with creative ways to phrase less than pleasant things.  It’s really quite fun, once you get over any residual dislike you have for dissembling, dodging, and sugarcoating.   

In contrast are letters that I receive directly, a smaller group.  There are rare occasions when the issues in these letters are substantial, but the vast majority are past the “ridiculous” threshhold and firmly in “Huh?” territory: scrawled ramblings of various eccentrics unaware of their own concern, who they are writing to, and how the first page of their letter connects to the last.   If I could in good conscience scan/copy these missives and collect them, I’d have ample material to research the lexicon of the crazy class.  

Yesterday, while plowing through a number of response letters, I came across one that is easily in my personal top ten, 15 pages of cacophonous poetry, strange spellings, and haphazardly placed bolds.   At one point, I wondered if I was the one who had forgotten basic English — crazy though the letter was, there was consistency there somewhere.  Just as I was mentally composing an equally unintelligible response, I read the coup de grace.  To wit: “If you have the NERVE and your answer is anything but ‘Yes we agree, you get what you want’ then Don’t bother writing back I don’t want that anyway it’s clogging my mailbox the lies the bugs the bugs.”

My answer was not yes, so I walked the letter back to the shredder.  I was a little sad to see it go, honestly.  Another piece of great found art, lost.

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Comments»

1. Matt F - October 25, 2007

The bugs! Get them off me! Ahhh!

That’s fantastic.


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