Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Draft

First draft of an apology letter to newspaper customer at *** Oak Street.
Dear Mr. Grouchypants (I don't know? Is this too childish? What I really want to say might be too vulgar? Thoughts?),
I remember with fondness the first message I got from you. Being a new carrier, I didn't always think to put the paper, creased-side down in your box. Not having a paper box myself, I didn't realize that such misplacement could cause the paper to be slightly ruffled and probably unreadable. Thanks so much for calling to explain to my supervisor about what a rotten newspaper carrier I was. I have tried hard in the year and a half since to do all you asked. (I don't know, does this sound adequately unctuous? Or should I lay it on a little thicker?)
And you have been a taskmaster. 17 months of deliveries and not a single tip in all those months. Not even last December when I slogged through the snow up your slick driveway every morning for two weeks to make sure that your paper was snug in its box--crease side down--each morning by five o'clock. Thanks for showing me just how little I deserved your good will. (Is it in poor taste to bring up money? He does pay his bill on time, after all.)
Fast forward to mid-April. Your delivery was missed! Oh, the anger and frustration that such a slight must have caused! It is such a hassle to call the paper one single morning out of 400 to request one brought to your house. Of course, by seven or eight, the news that should have been delivered at six is nearly unreadable! I imagine this ruined your whole day. (Enough empathy? Too many exclamation points?) I must, however, point out, that at the time of this second offense I was actually out of town; the missed delivery was my sub's fault. Though, that is just making excuses. I should clearly have hired a better substitute and will not use that vermin again. (Although I have used him once since; is this little lie going too far?)
But May 14th. Oh the horror! Again, your box was skipped. No excuses this time--it was all my fault. Was it staying up to watch the LOST season finale the night before? Was it being all hopped up on birthday wishes from earlier in the week? There are no good answers or reasons for my grievous offense. (Too many excuses? Will he see through this as a flimsy attempt to finagle my way back into his good graces?)
But the final straw, and the one that caused you to call my supervisor, but not my current supervisor, my old supervisor who has been at the paper longer, the stinking witch who actually sunk so low as to hire me, was a missed paper again on Monday. You lit up the switchboard with your choice language and the message nearly burnt its way through the paper as it was left for my former supervisor. In the harshest reprimand possible, your rageful complaint was published on my bundle cap early this morning. The ultimate shame--you requested a credit for having to purchase a paper at the local DariMart. My heart aches for how low you had to sink to get your millimeters thick Monday paper, so chock full of news and advertising that it must have occupied nearly 20 minutes of your day yesterday. My only defense, weak though it may be, is that my regular route had a rather unsavory character walking along it yesterday and my selfish concern for my own safety caused me to change up my route. It is apparent that my distraction cost you a day's peace. Can you ever forgive me? (Too much bold? Does it get the point across or just seem a little bit melodramatic? I'm thinking that this guy really understands melodrama, however.)
Though the papers arrived an hour late today, I ran my tail off to make sure that yours, especially, was delivered in a timely manner. I apologize for not getting this apology note to you a day sooner. Here is a flower to show how genuinely sorry I feel for the burden I have placed upon you. (What kind of flower is best for apologies? Or what about a subtle attempt at humor, like forget-me-nots?) No doubt, you think that only an incompetent or vindictive person could do this twice in one month. I promise, sincerely, that I'm not out to get you. I suppose I can only be deemed incompetent. I can't tell you how many times in my life I've been told how stupid and irresponsible I am. You must be at least the second.
My supervisor and I discussed you at great length today; I promise, there was no laughter shared at your expense or at the demented quirks of old people in general. I told him that if you did actually call him back that he should tell you I was taken out to the back of the newspaper office and shot by a firing squad in the courtyard, while my young family looking on, sharing my ignominy for all time. After all, it is for them that I have taken this job that is so essential to the proper functioning of the (your?) universe.
Yours in sincerest apology, etc. etc. (With humility? Yours? Love?)
What do you think? Print it and attach it to his paper? Or do a little editing?

13 comments:

Brian and Courtni said...

print it as is! i don't have to deal with this charming fellow and my blood is boiling already. how many times would it take you missing his house for him to cancel his subscription? that may be what i would try next...

Jenny said...

Honesty is the best policy, I always say; that, and the golden rule of course. I think you should make him a nice cake (painful, but therapeutic--and you can spit in the batter if it makes you feel better)then deliver it personally. And see what happens.

Princess Consuela Bananahammock said...

A flower... you're such a flirt. ;) I think you should sign it, "with big, wet, sloppy kisses from your #1 fan!" That'll win the ol' coot over.

Christie said...

I'd simply enjoy the catharsis of writing the letter without sending it. This guy sounds like he has a mental illness, at the very least. If it bugs you enough, I'd talk to your supervisor about dropping him from your route and getting someone else to take his abuse for a while.

tamathy said...

You only have yourself to blame. You've been giving him what he wants for too long. You've got to teach him that he'll get his paper when you are darn good and ready to give it to him. That's what my kids have learned about breakfast.

Maybe you could start a special delivery service for the elderly designed to keep them physically active and mentally fit by hiding their papers in new and challenging places everyday. It would probably be more beneficial than working the crossword and have the added benefit of keeping them off the streets.

Desmama said...

I'm totally laughing at tamathy's second paragraph--hiding the paper idea sounds awesome. I can't believe he makes you put it crease-side down or whatever. That's lame. I'm sorry he's giving you a hard time. He needs a hobby. Like, as was suggested, finding papers or something.

chris w said...

LOL! Pretty soon they'll start using the term "going newspaper carrier" instead of "going postal". Nah... I guess not. It just doesn't flow off the tounge the same.

Kathleen said...

That must have felt good to get all that off your chest. Now let's hope he doesn't get a hold of your blog address. :)

Anonymous said...

If showing compassion for others automatically makes someone a liberal (Re: Tuesday, March 10, 2009
A Fellow Liberal Commie Pinko Who Is a Fellow ), what are we to infer from your new found rage for this poor old man? Are you becoming a conservative?

Science Teacher Mommy said...

Anon: Plantboy is a bit on the liberal side for a host of reasons that are motivated only partly by compassion. That is is fairly obscure post to ascribe an opinion to me that is not actually mine.

As for the other--Having been awake for 18 hours and making some attempt at humor so that I didn't go newspaper carrier on said gentleman?

Cathy said...

You know, being called stupid and irresponsible is loads better than feeling stupid and irresponsible any day.

I hope writing this helped you grin and go on because what you've written in the past suggests that's the only thing you'd accept from yourself, no matter how much fun it would be to hide his paper.

Slyck and Slim said...

Some people don't have enough to do. Good grief.

simple easy and quick said...

Wow a credit for his missed newspaper, are you kidding? How much do they cost now-a-days $.75? Nomad, you've got to get a better morning job. Other option would be to upset him to the point that he cancels his subscription. - Problme solved!