Author Topic: Weird Mail  (Read 5333 times)

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Ponytail_Palm

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Weird Mail
« on: February 02, 2011, 01:45:25 AM »
Kinda like the "weird phone calls" thread. :)

The one that's become infamous in my family is the "Clean Your Carpets Inc." newsletter. When my parents bought their house they got all the carpets professionally cleaned. The owner of the company then signed them up for his newsletter: a bizarre self-published page of the most random, quasi-religious information and who knows what else you can imagine. I'm not sure we still get it but it was a regular feature for a while!

My BF and I started a business a couple years ago. When you register a DBA, the information - including the home addresses of all the participants - is published in the local paper. A few weeks later I got a long, handwritten (in pencil) letter from a young man who thought I sounded like a successful woman and a lovely lady of the type he'd like to get to know. Utterly confused, I looked up the address from which he had written...it was the local prison. ::)

MizB

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2011, 02:04:24 AM »
When I was working for the newspaper we used to get regular faxes from this one interesting gentleman. Everything was a sign of the apocalypse. We used to look forward to reading them just for a laugh.
‘All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing’  attributed to Edmund Burke 1729-1797

RebeccainGA

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2011, 11:26:45 AM »
I work in the headquarters of a company that is federally licensed. Our company sells retail to customers, and has extensive customer service available. However, since we are federally licensed, our company has a headquarters contact number available through that licensing bureau, which rings here in my office, and also a fax number, which comes to a fax machine also here in my office.

We had a gentleman that started faxing us complaints about a feature of his service with us. Think something like his e-mail wouldn't load pictures, but otherwise worked - that sort of thing, easily diagnosed by customer service, but not at all something falls under a federal jurisdiction. He would send us pages and pages of complaints - always overnight, as I assume his fax machine was set to the 'toll saver' overnight fax option. Since I work in HEADQUARTERS - I can't see his account. I don't have clue 1 as to how to fix his problem. And he refused to call customer service! It got to the point we were sure he was either delusional or playing an elaborate practical joke - it didn't help that his company name, while also appropriate for his industry, sounded like a sexual innuendo or the name of a bad adult movie (a la 'Shaving Ryan's Privates' instead of Saving Private Ryan).

We sent him pages, and pages, and PAGES of suggestions from our company's FAQ online, with links to the FAQ, to the customer service pages, sent him phone numbers and e-mail addresses . It took nearly two months to get him to stop.

Out of curiosity, one of my coworkers called the customer service supervisor in the next building and asked what the fix was for the problem. Turns out he needed to enable a setting on his device - would have taken 30 seconds.

LadyClaire

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2011, 08:25:53 AM »
I work for a University. One day, when I was sorting the mail, I came across one of those response cards for people interested in attending classes at our university. Some community colleges in the area offer programs where prisoners can earn their degrees through correspondence classes, but we offer no such program. The response card was sent from a prison, and the contents were..interesting. Every inch of the card was covered with miniscule handwriting and not one bit of it made sense. I don't even remember what it said (this was when I first started, about 6 years ago), but it was so disturbing that we passed it along to our campus police.

As far as weird mass mailings..a new funeral home opened in our city about 13 years ago. To let everyone know they were open, they sent out calendars that had pictures of the funeral home and cemetery, had information about their various offered services printed at the bottom of the pages (like "we offer cremation as an alternative to those who do not wish to be buried" and "our peaceful cemetery has family plots available, for when you want to be next to your loved ones forever"), and all of the dates they were closed were printed in bold red ink. I was a teenager at the time, and highly into the goth scene, so I absolutely loved that thing and looked forward to the new one every year. My Mom thought it was the most morbid thing ever. Eventually they stopped sending them, but apparently it was a success..their business did so well that they were able to buy the lot next door and add another wing to the funeral home.

ETA: I forgot this one. At the University, when we get mail that's not addressed to a specific person or department, we open it to figure out where it needs to go. One day while sorting mail, I opened a thick envelope and found a five page front-and-back letter, written entirely in pencil, that was a long rant about the end of the world and how George W. Bush was planning on gassing the homeless and selling their dead bodies to the starving people in Africa for food.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2011, 08:29:48 AM by LadyClaire »

Bexx27

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2011, 09:24:31 AM »
Several years ago my mom joined a small women's gym and signed up for their e-mail newsletter. These newsletters were both hilarious and sad; in addition to health and diet tips, they included long, detailed explanations of the owner's divorce proceedings, child custody battle, and STBX's health problems.
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DangerMouth

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2011, 09:52:50 AM »
Several years ago my mom joined a small women's gym and signed up for their e-mail newsletter. These newsletters were both hilarious and sad; in addition to health and diet tips, they included long, detailed explanations of the owner's divorce proceedings, child custody battle, and STBX's health problems.

Not a mailing, but also in the TMI catagory: When the owners of a bead business got a divorce, they announced a huge "Thank God it's OVER' sale in national publications. ::)

whiterose

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2011, 02:27:24 PM »
This is pretty tame in comparison- more akin to a wrong number story by mail.

My parents bought their first house from some gentleman back in the mid 70s. Let's call him George Wilcox. This happened before I was born in 1977.

Well, when I was in high school , sometime between 1991 and 1995, we receive a piece of mail addressed to George Wilcox. It would have been bad enough had it been some random individual or private company- but it was an official government mail piece. I think it had to do with property taxes or the sort.

In our second house in northern FL, we would get things for the previous owners- but it was from private companies (like magazine subscriptions) or creditors (sending mail to the father for the daughter's school loans). Nothing from the official government- everything is much more efficient and effective here.
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jmarvellous

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2011, 02:47:47 PM »
I moved into an apartment and kept getting mail for the previous tenant. I dug his name, which was absurdly close to the phrase "Almost Forgot," though not quite. It was all junk mail and so nothing that required forwarding, but the bulk was notable, and the name always made me smile.

About 2 months into my lease, I started having issues that I attributed to rodents. My landlords would not come to check it out or fix it, even after it caused problems with my a/c (I believe a rodent chewed through the wiring). They insisted if there were pests, it was my fault, 'cause their apartments would neeeever have rodents!

So I googled and did a myspace search (this was in around 2006), and I found the real Almost Forgot! I sent him a myspace message, apologized for the weirdness of it all, and asked if he'd had a rodent problem in the apartment. He had! We started corresponding regularly and eventually met (I brought him a pile of his junk mail) and became friends. The landlords finally backed down when I said I'd contacted the previous tenant and installed some traps.

We never caught anything but bugs, and thinking of that apartment still makes me squirmy!

2littlemonkeys

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2011, 04:27:21 PM »
I don't know if this qualifies but the whole time I was growing up, we got junk mail for an Anson [lastname].  The mailings seemed to match the age I was, so there must have been some mailing list involved.  We never did figure out who Anson was.

We own and live in a building with 3 apartments. We used to rent out the 1st and 2nd floor.  One day, we started getting mail that didn't belong to anyone in our building. We figured it was an error and sent it back to the post office as No Such Person.

A few weeks later, one of our tenants on the 2nd floor came down and asked us if we'd received any "random" mail.

It turned out they moved in  5 of their friends without telling us (this was a lease violation) and then got mad at us because we were sending their mail back.  What did they think we would do with it?  Oh, and good luck finding a new place because we're not renewing your lease.  (They did so many other ridiculous things we actually wound up offering them $500 to just leave before the lease was up.  Thankfully, they took us up on the offer and we didn't have to go to court to evict them.)

JoanOfArc

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2011, 04:41:49 PM »
We used to get some hilarious catalog with the weirdest stuff in it.  My favorite was a Christmas ornament that read "Don't be sad, Don't shed a Tear, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus this year."   I mean, it is not an awful sentiment, but I wouldn't want that on my tree. And do you buy it before you die and give it to your family?  Or does someone else buy it to honor the dead person?
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jmarvellous

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2011, 04:49:09 PM »
We used to get some hilarious catalog with the weirdest stuff in it.  My favorite was a Christmas ornament that read "Don't be sad, Don't shed a Tear, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus this year."   I mean, it is not an awful sentiment, but I wouldn't want that on my tree. And do you buy it before you die and give it to your family?  Or does someone else buy it to honor the dead person?

Sounds like something you might find from Lillian Vernon. If the website is any indication, they've toned it down quite a bit since my childhood, but it was a weird mix of things like decent home decor, things you'd never want personalized (and some you might) and oddddd stuff that they presented as totally practical.

DangerMouth

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2011, 04:52:02 PM »
We used to get some hilarious catalog with the weirdest stuff in it.  My favorite was a Christmas ornament that read "Don't be sad, Don't shed a Tear, I'm spending Christmas with Jesus this year."   I mean, it is not an awful sentiment, but I wouldn't want that on my tree. And do you buy it before you die and give it to your family?  Or does someone else buy it to honor the dead person?

Sounds like something you might find from Lillian Vernon. If the website is any indication, they've toned it down quite a bit since my childhood, but it was a weird mix of things like decent home decor, things you'd never want personalized (and some you might) and oddddd stuff that they presented as totally practical.

Oh Lillian Vernon. I think that was my first glimpse of ladies with no shirt on, just standing around in their longline bras. Kids today have it so easy, they get VS catalogs :D

Martienne

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2011, 05:07:56 PM »
At our old house we used to get junk mail addressed to my in-laws and to my maiden name. We always figured it had something to do with the way companies sell each other names and addresses and shrugged our shoulders. That set of in-laws has never mailed anything to our house (although my husband's mother has, but we've never gotten any mail addressed to her) and I never lived anywhere but my parents' house under my maiden name.

When we moved we figured that would be the end of those mailings. Within one week of moving, we started getting things addressed to our new address under my husband's in-laws, which, okay, the house we moved to is my FIL's mother's house, so that could explain that. It may have been happening for years. But within a month we received a letter addressed to my maiden name. We have no clue how or why that is happening.

The single weirdest piece of mail we've ever gotten is one of those paper 'prayer rugs' that is sent out by St. Matthew's church in Tulsa, OK (which is actually a well-known scam). At the time I used to give the contents of junk mail envelopes to my kids for them to play with. They would color on the paper and use the fake credit cards to play store. My daughter read the letter that came with the 'prayer rug' and took it to heart.

So I had to explain to my six-year-old daughter the difference between a sincere church and a prayers-for-money ring like theirs. I don't let my kids play with junk mail anymore; it's more because they would make a mess leaving the papers lying around than this incident, but this didn't help.

gramma dishes

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2011, 05:21:36 PM »
I opened a thick envelope and found a five page front-and-back letter, written entirely in pencil, that was a long rant about the end of the world and how George W. Bush was planning on gassing the homeless and selling their dead bodies to the starving people in Africa for food.

So you're saying this isn't true?    :o ??? ;D ::)

whiterose

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Re: Weird Mail
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2011, 07:59:41 PM »
Remembered another one. More funny than threatening.

Sometime into my living in my previous apartment before my current condo, I began receiving mail for a man- let's name him "Raoul Nail". OK, so I received mail for previous tenants (I am guessing) at the apartment- address was right, but there were various names, and it would be random things like catalogs or direct mail. But what was amusing is that ALL the mail I received for this Raoul Nail fellow was about football. Which I absolutely despise. Often about betting in football. And about fantasy fooball. Not so much legitimate football stuff, such as a Sports Illustrated magazine. It eventually stopped some time before I moved to my condo. And I have not gotten any mail for him at my condo- just for the previous owner and previous tenant.
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