by Ross Sharp

“Can I see the manager, please?”

“What is it regarding, sir?”

“The mail I am getting. And the mail I am not getting.”

“And your name?”

“Sharp. Ross Sharp.”

“Just a moment.”

“Mr. Sharp, how can I help?”

“Here are two letters that were in my mailbox yesterday. They appear to be bank statements or something of that nature. They are addressed to No.24. I live in a block of flats that is clearly identified on the outside as No.20.”


“Yes. Ah. No.20. A 2 followed by a zero. Which is a circle. Or an oval. A 4 is three straight lines. One is a vertical, one is a horizontal, and one is on a slant.”

“I’m very sorry, I’ll take …”

Wait. I have been getting mail addressed to No.24 about a dozen times over the past twelve months. I came home once to find a bloody great parcel, a parcel wrapped in brown paper leaning against the security door of the block, the block marked No.20, and the parcel had been very clearly addressed to No.24. And there was another parcel, a smaller one, about a month after that. And then there’s the mail I have not been getting. Two credit card bills. An electricity bill. A letter from my parents. God only knows what else. Why? I do not know. This concerns me.”


“Yes. It concerns me. Because I need to receive mail that is addressed to me. A lease. A bill. A drivers licence renewal. Things that pertain to me, my life, my identity. You are aware of identity theft, yes? Of  fraud?”


“Yes. And I suspect Australia Post, if this is anything to go by, is responsible for about 80% of it.”

“Well …”

“No. Wait. I am not a complainant. By nature. I do not like fuss. I understand the potential for human error in any job, in any situation. I can understand that. But this is becoming a habit. This is becoming a regular thing. And I do not understand how someone can confuse a zero, which is a circle, or an oval, with a 4, which is three straight lines. There are no straight lines in a zero. How can that happen? How can that happen on a regular basis?”

“Ah …”

“Is the person responsible for delivering the mail in this area, is this person a moron? Is this person numerically illiterate? Blind? Or in desperate need of an optometrist and a new prescription?”

“Well, I wouldn’t say, I don’t …”

“It is not my intention to make of your day a misery. I do not wish you ill. I simply desire to receive mail that has been addressed to me, and to not receive mail that is not. This is a simple request. This is the primary business that you are engaged in, that you should be engaged in. This and this alone, not selling fluffy bloody toys and “Made in China” Macguffins designed to occupy the desk space of dickheads for whom “Made in China” Macguffins have some significance, whatever that may be. This should not be a difficult ask. So. The thing. The thing here is this. Whoever it is who is responsible for delivering the mail in this area appears to be a flaming halfwit. And perhaps it might be a good idea to reassign this flaming halfwit to organise the fluffy toy and “Made in China” Macguffin displays that do so clutter up the floorspace here, and have someone who is in possession of a full set of functioning brain cells to deliver the mail instead. Yes? This is a good idea, yes?”

“I’m very sorry, Mr. Sharp.”

“Yes. Yes. I can see that you are. I see that. Perhaps you may need to have a drink at lunchtime as balm for your woes, the woes that I have caused you, I would understand that, because if I were you, I certainly would because I would have the complete and utter shits by now.”

“I don’t have … um.”

“I need to leave now. I need to go to work. It is just that, on this occasion, after so many previous occasions, I felt compelled to bring this matter to your attention, as it is giving me the complete and utter shits, and I would very much rather it didn’t.”

“Thanks very much, Mr. Sharp.”

“Thank you. Have a nice day.”


(Cross-posted from Groupthink)