I was out delivering newsletters today, on a long walk around the West side of Southgate. A few things made me thing as I was plodding about...
- Number 13. Some places have them, others don't. I know some people fear the number, but the practice is inconsistent. For example, the new houses behind Newlands Road and around West Street were all built at the same time. They have themed names (Winter Gardens, Autumn Close, Summer House, Spring Close), and yet while Winter Gardens hasn't got a 13, Autumn Close has. However, in a stroke of genius, it's in the wrong place. The numbers run in sequence, but 13 is after 8 and before 9. So it took a while to find it.
- Flats. Getting into them. This is pretty much a universal problem for deliverers of leaflets, flyers etc. Some places have a 'Tradesman' button which works between certain hours (usually early morning). Others have post boxes outside. Otherwise you have to hope someone left the door ajar, or try pressing buttons and hope that they let you in, or give up.
Now that Royal Mail doesn't always deliver in the mornings, how do they ensure that they get letters into these places?
- Odd people. Well, only one today. She watched me walk up the drive and, unusually, opened the door. So instead of letting me post the thing, she initiated contact:
"It's a newsletter, from the local Labour Party", I said.
"Oh. We don't usually...." she said, pointing to the police sign saying that 'we don't answer the door to traders etc'
(Clearly that's a lie, I thought) "Well, I was only intending to deliver it. Is that all right?"
"Umm, well, no actually, you can have it back," she said handing it back.
"Don't you want to know what is going on in the area?"
"Not if it's from the Labour Party," she said, closing the door.
Now later I had a moment of esprit d'escalier when thought that I could have come back with "So, if you don't read it, how will you know what to oppose?".
Ho hum. As sometimes we end up short, it can sometimes be a good thing when they hand you back your leaflet - they weren't going to read it anyway (so clearly aren't actually interested in what we say, only what other people say we say).
- Mormons. Clearly the knocking on doors thing isn't working. I spotted a couple of young guys (clearly under 25) with badges saying 'Elder', approaching people on the street. Must be hard times for the evangelism industry.