Monday, 5 December 2011

But, You Signed for It...!

This poem is for Shan, who, it seems, has suffered the most shameful of Christmas greetings, courtesy the Royal Mail. She received a letter, by 'Recorded Signed For' delivery, which she did sign for, just as we all would. On opening the envelope, she read the letter enclosed and looked for the vouchers described in the message - £200 worth of them - but nothing was there. It has to be said that, apart from the fact these are for her two young children's Christmas presents, she is a single mum living on next to nothing. What is almost worse, she says, is the thought that someone - maybe a postman - is walking around with £200 worth of Park Vouchers in their pocket, and that they will undoubtedly be spent for the benefit of someone for whom they were not intended!

Spare a thought for petty thieves and stick some needles in their 'dolls'. They don't deserve anything for Christmas!


That’s what they said, in a round about way
Please call us with any concerns
We are here to help; you must have your say
(On that premium rate number!)
What! Two hundred pounds! Lost in the post?
Are you quite sure about that?
OK, it was posted, recorded, at cost
Yes, but, you signed for its receipt!
Ah, well, you see, what can we do?
Cos you signed for the letter, you see!
Enabling control by receipt, that’s you
ensuring you get what you should.
So why don’t we point out your need to make sure
what you’re signing for is actually there?
You say: they give you no time to ensure
you can open and check what’s inside.
So what would we think if the driver were asked
to wait for the opening to occur?
They work to a very tight schedule and tasked
to complete it all on one day.
Besides, it’s all in the conditions you saw;
you’ve to sign before you break seal
So we can’t do that or we’d have to charge more
And I’m sure that wouldn’t appeal.
It’s all in the terms and conditions, you know
whatever you say, we can’t help.
Excuse, if we seem somewhat keen to go
and answer the next concerned call.
But if you have any worries at all
We are here to help so please
don’t hesitate, pick up the phone and call.
Royal Mail, at your service, willing to please.

© 2011 John Anstie

If you feel like getting in touch, and able to offer advice or succour to Shan, you will find her on Twitter @awdures


  1. Hey John, thanks for this, I'm trying my best not to go down the route of "I'm a single mum who's saved this money out of her benefit etc etc route." But it's so difficult when big corporations like this don't even see why you're so emotional over as they said "just" £200. If it's that small an amount for them, wouldn't it be easy to pay the compensation? Anyway my grief is that someone is out there walking about with the £200 I scrimped together for Santa's visitings. Someone was that dishonest, and went through a letter addressed to me. It it happened to me it could happen to anyone x

  2. Yeah it's crappy poetry really, but some thoughts struck me whilst I wrote it: one is that we should all perhaps make a point of insisting we open anything before we sign for it (my guess is that they wouldn't allow this, hence my point in the poem - couldn't find their Ts & Cs). If they don't allow this, then they hoist themselves by their own petard; if they do allow it then we should all be insisting on opening every letter and parcel before we sign; THAT would cause them grief, because of the huge extra cumulative burden of time it would place on deliveries!

  3. I was going to say this was a thoughtless act, but the fact is the thief obviously did this with quite some thought — opening the envelope, removing the money, and then resealing it.

    It's a shameful act at any time, but especially at this time of year.

    And, John, your poem was right on the money.


  4. Thank you Eden. Once again, I find myself being complimented by you on something that didn't really aspire to be a poetic gem. Sometimes I just shoot from the hip, with little self-editing; and this is one of those, principally because all Shan' friends were so aggrieved for her.


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