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Wednesday, 2 May 2012

What is the difference between public “service” and private enterprise? With a gloriously funny letter.

Once upon a time people used to write letters to each other, and some of the finest writing I have ever read resulted.

The email has put a stop to a lot of that.

But to stamp out any lingering inclination to do so, the Royal Mail has put the price of a stamp up to a vertiginous 60p for first class (first class means it will probably get there the next day) and 50p for second, which means it certainly won't.

60p equals about 90 cents US and compares with 44 cents for first class in the U.S.

So, as is so often the case, while private enterprise seeks to do more and more for less and less, public service does the opposite.

To make the point, here is wonderful letter apparently sent to the U.K. passport office, whose "services" are - as you will see - not only useless but bloody expensive.

Dear Sirs,

I'm in the process of renewing my passport, and still cannot believe this.

How is it that Sky Television has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a bleeding satellite dish from them back in 1977, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was bloody born and on what date.

For Christ sakes, do you guys do this by hand? My birth date you have on my pension book, and it is on all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30 years. It is on my National Health card, my driving license, my car insurance, and on the last eight damn passports I've had and on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the plane over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, that my mother's name is Mary Anne, my father's name is Robert and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and when I die!!!!!!

I apologise, I'm really pissed off this morning. Between you an' me, I've had enough of this bullshit! You post the application to my house, THEN you ask me for my bloody address!!!!

What is going on?? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals workin' there?

Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to dig up Yasser Arafat, for Christ sakes.

I just want to go and park my arse on some sandy beach somewhere.

And would someone please tell me, why would you give a toss whether I plan on visiting a farm in the next 15 days? If I ever got the urge to do something weird to a chicken or a goat, believe you me, you'd be the last people I'd want to tell!

Well, I have to go now, 'cause I have to go to the other end of the poxy city to get another bloody copy of my birth certificate, to the tune of £30.

Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day??

Nooooooooooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the sodden place like chickens with our heads cut off.

Then I have to find some idiot to confirm that it's really me on the damn picture - you know, the one where we're not allowed to smile?! (bureaucratic morons).

Hey, do you know why we couldn't smile if we wanted to? Because we're totally pissed off!


An Irate Citizen.

P.S. Remember what I said above about the picture and getting someone to confirm that it's me? Well, my family has been in this country since 1776 ...... I have served in the military for over 30 years and have had full security clearances over 25 of those years enabling me to undertake highly secretive missions all over the world. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am - you know, someone like my doctor -


Thanks you David Looke for sending me that. Even if it is made up I can confirm its truth as I just renewed my passport.

In this country public servants get better pay on average than those of us who toil to pay their salaries.

On top of this, many are planning to strike this year because the government wants to bring their pensions (which are far greater than those in the private sector) down a little - but not as low as ours.

I wouldn't mind, but the buggers don't even put in the hours. Yesterday I had to go and pick up a package from the Royal Mail here in Bristol. They close at 12 noon - and that's it. Why?

While I'm on the subject, one of the chief reasons for the problems in Greece and Italy is their colossally bloated and dysfunctional public sectors. Though we mustn't forget that the Greeks are the fourth highest arms buyers in the world - most being sold by Germany and France.

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