Trusting the system

Posted by  Mark Schenk —January 4, 2010
Filed in Anecdotes

Registered Post is reliable system for getting important items from one place to another, right? Well read on – you might re-think your answer.

Last night Con and Faye, old friends from Queensland, came over for dinner. As is usual in these circumstances, the beer and wine flowed and the conversation was non-stop as we tried to fill in the details of the year or so since we last got together. At one stage, Faye asked if I had received to letter she had sent by registered post. My answer was no.

Faye has been guiding Anecdote’s new trademark ‘Putting Stories to Work’ through the approval and registration process. The letter she had sent (on 6 November) contained the certificate of registration for this trademark – an important and valuable document. Naturally, Faye was very concerned that the letter hadn’t shown up. This morning, she knocked on my door and voila, she handed over the letter. Faye is very organised and had all the necessary paperwork to collect the letter from the Post Office.

Twice in the past six months I have opened the PO Box and found two registered mail collection notes – you know, the little slips that advise there is something for you to collect. On both occasions, I was advised that there was only one item for collection and they had written out two slips for it. Obviously, on at least one of those occasions that was incorrect. The letter had been there, uncollected and with no subsequent collection notes, since November 6. I recall feeling quite uncomfortable with their explanations at the time, with good cause obviously.

So this should serve as a word of warning if you place a lot of faith in the registered mail system. It has changed my view. As soon as I finish this I am off to the post office to have a word with the postmaster.

Mark Schenk About  Mark Schenk

Mark works globally with senior leadership teams to improve their ability to communicate clearly and memorably. He has been a Director of Anecdote since 2004 and helped the company grow into one of the world’s leading business storytelling consultancies. Connect with Mark on:

2 Responses to “Trusting the system”

  1. Mark Says:

    Methinks it’s also perhaps a lesson in listening to those intuitive senses that “something’s not right” (hmmm… reminds me of a certain beer commercial).
    A number of times, following those – what can you call them? impressions? – has helped me avoid some minor disasters. And vice-versa.
    A toast… to the right side of the brain!

  2. virginia Yonkers Says:

    It is interesting that the same problems occur throughout the World. However, your friend WAS able to retrieve the letter, presumably by using a tracking number (which is what we use in the US) or some other mechanism.
    I guess the lesson here is that consumers still need to be a part of the process (and are expected to be) and need to be persistent. Just because an employee says something is some way does not necessarily mean it is so. Most consumers walk away shaking their head, knowing that the explanation makes no sense. However, consumers need to pursue the matter and employees need to learn to listen.

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