You will be as astonished as me that I’ve had a letter of complaint. In the interest of transparency it seemed like a good idea to deal with the issues it raises publicly so that my readers can see how seriously I take such things. After all you may well share his perfectly justified, if wrong thoughts. So, let’s take a look at the letter and see what can be done, if anything to make the trouble maker, I mean reader feel better:
I do like it when people start letters with such a mark of respect. I’m not actually a knight yet although I am hoping the Queen might read my blogs and feel an increasing desire to swing a sword in my direction. But I do feel it shows a right attitude towards writers, one that I have to say has been largely lost in this day and age. An age when we tend to think we all know best. Obviously, that can’t be true, only I know best. Let’s hope that the writer of this letter continues in a suitably humble fashion after this great beginning:
‘I want to complain about the way you always jump around in your blogs.’
That’s good, straight to the point. Isn’t it awful when people waffle around and don’t get to the point, I don’t agree with the content of this letter, but at least it’s direct and to the point; straight in there. My school teachers never used to get to the point you know; especially when teaching history. Us innocent students would be hanging on their words, waiting to find out about the middle ages and the teacher would spend ages looking at what they wore and ate or where they lived. We were all waiting for details of the weapons and armour. Our teacher never learnt; he did that for every period we looked at, always wasted time on unnecessary background. As for French lessons, the teacher kept looking at grammar! I wanted to learn how to speak it, not how they constructed it. My mother didn’t teach me grammar as a baby, she just said da, da, da and ma, ma, ma, I turned out alright. I thought you went camping in tents, the French teacher kept telling me there was such a thing as the past and present tent; honestly, teachers. I suppose we’d better look at the rest of the letter:
‘Knowing you, I bet you are not even concentrating on my letter. In fact you are probably rattling on about something inane.’
Well that’s a cheek, what an assumption. I really dislike people making assumptions like that. Assumptions make an ass of you and me. Hang on, not me surely. I was thinking when I got this letter that perhaps I should have a complaints department to send such letters to. I don’t have any staff, but it would sound good, ‘I have referred your letter to our complaints department.’ Always a good way to fob people off. One company tried that one on me when they refused to deal with a problem. So, I contacted their CEO and by the time I got a reply from their complaints dept. saying they had reviewed the case and decided to do nothing, I also had a reply from the CEO and got the issue sorted. But that’s an aside and I know my complainant doesn’t like those. Back to his letter:
‘I really believe we would all be much better served if you focussed your mind on the issue at hand. I read your blogs for information, not diversion.’
I think there we have the nub of his problem. Sounds like I need to tell him my blogs are informative and diverting. Or is it diverting from information, or divisive? Or are they divesting? No, can’t be that. Anyway, it sounds like he lacks a sense of humour and you do need that to read my blogs. In fact, I wrote one the other day that was absolutely silly, I hear you, very unusual for me. Well the responses I had to that blog suggested that some folk thought I was serious. It’s why I tend to put warnings on my blogs now. Well we do live in a day and age when knives have to display: ‘danger sharp’ warnings on them. When I grew up most people knew that. I guess I had better finish reading the complaint letter, get it over with. I tend to like to get unpleasant things out of the way quickly. For instance I eat the things I don’t like first, that way I get the bad things out of the way. Best get this letter out of the way.
‘In conclusion I hope you will try much harder in future to stay on topic. I want to continue to follow your blogs, but will only do so if they contain less waffle.
Mr M Adeup
I will off course be filing this letter in the appropriate place and following its advice carefully. When I was working in my first office as a young man in the early 1980’s, a salesman there used to say that all memos from the bosses were LATU (laugh and tear up), then got filed in the round filing cabinet (bin). I think this letter deserves equal care. Meanwhile I was thinking, where has the sunshine gone? I hope the serious attention I give to my correspondence will encourage you to contact me.
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