Monday, June 23, 2008


The other day I received the following letter in the mail from my credit card company (names have been changed to protect the idiots):

Your Sillybank statement is now available at This notification is part of the All-Electronic Program you enrolled in to receive your statements online only instead of in the mail.

I read it again. Something was wrong here and this time it wasn't my ex-husband. Once the dust in my cranium had settled, I realized what was twisting my linguistic knickers. They had capitalized the word Electronic in All-Electronic.

Ok, so it wasn’t just that. Or even the obscene awkwardness of the phrase only instead of in the mail, which I’m sure, asstute reader that you are, did not go unnoticed by you. Far, far worse, even more despicable- they mailed a letter, a paper letter via the United States Postal Service, to inform me that my online statement was now available. I.e. the online statement I had signed up for so I wouldn't get so much mail, so I could do my part in saving trees and keep the global-warming wonks from hunting me down and making mulch out of my hide. In other words, my darling credit card company had killed a tree in order to notify me that I was saving one. And somewhere deep in the bowels of my monthly fees you can be sure they had charged me for this lesson in irony.

How many people touch a decision like this? First of all, it takes a special someone to proclaim, “Hey, let’s mail a paper letter to people who opt for our All-Electronic Program.” It takes cojones. It takes chutzpah. Yes, it takes.... management.

Then you have the everyday cubicle-dwellers who see the decision and think, wow, that supreme pirouette of idiocy will surely irritate our customers. Do they then do anything about it? Of course not. It’s one thing to understand how stupid a ploy like this is. It’s quite another to explain it to management. Just like when a whale decides to swim away from the ocean and up a river. You can see how stupid that move is, but unfortunately you can’t explain it to the whale.

Obviously some marketing minions are involved, too. Probably the same ad jockeys who tout the ‘green-ness’ of their companies by placing ads in newspapers extolling how many trees they’ve saved. Pssst – don’t take up the ad space, and you can save quite a few more. So what’s the point here - to save trees or sell product? Aha!

We are onto you, you sneaky faux do-gooders. We know you could truly care less about the endangered perma-frost of the Sahara. We realize you’ve sold your botoxed souls to the devil’s cable channel. You want to separate us from our last shiny nickel, mortgage our left kidney to buy your product because it’s ‘bio-friendly.’ Just how stupid do you think we think we are?

Apparently some of us are quite stupid, because these marketeers continue to schlep their schlocky stuff ad infinitum. Somehow this stuff is marketably sound, a business term that means we are, indeed, idiots who don’t deserve to possess currency.

When I get a phone call from someone incredibly nice and chemically perky, that’s an immediate tip that they want to suck the life out of my wallet. Nobody I know would ever dare be friendly to the point of making me nauseous.

-ring, ring-

Me: Hello?

Caller: Hi, how are you today?

Me: Who wants to know?

Caller: Why, thanks for asking. I’m Mindy and I’m thrilled to be calling you today. I just wanted to let you know that you've been pre-approved for a low-interest lo-

Me: -do you know you're contributing to global warming?

Caller: Wh-what?

Me: By calling me and expending your breath, you're heating up the planet. For shame. I won't do any business with you until you replace the entire Brazilian rainforest and air freight 800 tons of ice to save the Saharan perma-frost.


Until we shut up the nicey-nice callers and smack down the sham green-grubbers, we will continue to be barraged with gooey gibberish threatening to recycle the last penny from our financial souls.

Or we can just ignore them. That works, too.

Maybe I'll frame the letter from my credit card company and put it up on my wall to show my tree-hugging buddies that I'm saving forests. What kind of frame would look better - walnut or pine?


Mr. Completely said...

Annie, the word is spelled "astute".

For shame.

But you're still brilliant and I love ya and stuff.

Annie said...

Don't blame me - blame the spellchecker in MS Vista. Really, though, that was intentional. I was tempted to spell it 'ass-toot' but figured that might be too far out in left field, even for the lovely people who read my blog.

Melody said...

Great post. I love "that supreme pirouette of idiocy".

Do you think you'll get a letter every month to tell you that your statement is online? You'll have to let us know.

Melody Platz
Melody’s Silly Humor Site

Jay P said...

Isn't That Supreme Pirouette of Idiocy the name of Spinal Tap's new album?

And did the "Thank you for going green" letter have one of those "This Page Left Intentionally Blank" gems?

insomniac said...

the government sent 2 letters saying 'your economic stimulus check isn't here, but it's on the way...' how much paper did that use?

PracticallyJoe said...

My telephone company once called me to ask if my phone was ringing okay. I answered the call saying I didn't know because nobody ever calls me.