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» Complaining

Angry Public
As part of my chequered career in public service, I worked for a time in the correspondence unit on Whitehall. Just off Whitehall, actually. First on the left after the FCO if you're coming from the southern end.

Anyway, as these things go, people generally only wrote when they were at the end of their tether. Car clampers, debt collectors, police, drugs, neighbours from hell, illness, europe, war, justice. Some real, heart-rending stuff, and no mistake.

Of course we had the inevitable 'persons with a slightly different world view'. There was the lass who sent us 3 letters a day telling us how she was getting on, her trials and tribulations with a train driver called 'Dave', the woman who wrote to tell us all about the evil machinations of 'Natural England', plus the usual smattering of freemason lizards in high places.

'3 letters a day woman' was the best, though. I was starting to look forward to seeing how she got on, but apparently some uniformed gentlemen were asked to give some gentle advice on how it might be best if she addressed her concerns and thoughts to her mental health practitioner instead.

Thing is, there is very little that can be done from that office. The majority of work was acknowledged and transferred out to departments. But there was some humanity there- when we got letters from the elderly or those clearly unwell, the boss'd ask the local nick to go around and check on them. Kid's letters, as well, got special attention. We had a dedicated officer dealing with them and a whole box of colouring in sheets and other branded doo-dads to send back.

Now my correspondence role is a bit more tangential, but I still deal with that and other public comment. It may surprise you to know that if you send stuff to government (and I include the fail that is 'your freedom'!), it is read. Given the reams of correspondence that comes in, it's unlikely that you'll get an especially substantive reply, but we do try and it is taken on board, and does shape some policy.

Just don't write in green ink. I've yet to see a letter written in green ink that isn't, at the very least, barely skimming the bounds of reality.
(Fri 3rd Sep 2010, 13:50, More)

» Meeting people from the internet

Reader,
I married her.
(Fri 21st Oct 2011, 12:09, More)

» Crappy relationships

you know its over when
The armed police are coming up the stairs
(Sun 24th Oct 2010, 9:46, More)

» Addicted

20 a day
Now 3 months clean!

Now I'm spending all my money on two wheeled stuff wot goes vroom instead...
(Fri 19th Dec 2008, 14:55, More)

» Oblique Strategies for Work

Put a cordon on and let someone else make the decision

(Wed 16th May 2018, 23:03, More)
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