Observations after a few evenings of casual work at the sorting office.

Post, on mass, is grubby. You might not think it when you post a letter, or when one pops through your door, but try sorting through an evening’s worth of mailbox contents and see how clean your hands are.

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Some people send a lot of Christmas cards.

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If you’re posting Christmas cards at the beginning of December, why first class? Are you worried they won’t get there in time?

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Occasionally a whole pile of Christmas cards from one customer will arrive mostly with second class stamps on, but one or two with first class. I like to picture them evaluating their friends and deciding who deserves first class.

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If you don’t seal your Christmas cards, but just tuck the flap in, your envelopes have a pretty good chance of getting ripped.

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If you post a letter in Stevenage, to a Stevenage address, it goes on a little overnight trip to Hemel Hempstead.

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Simply writing “do not bend” on your envelope does not confer any sort of magical powers of protection. If you don’t want something bent, I’d suggest it’s up to you to protect it with a properly stiff envelope. (See also “fragile”.)

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Father Christmas has an official Royal Mail address! It’s Santa’s Grotto, Reindeerland, XM4 5HQ, and anything that gets there gets a reply. Even if you send something to Santa elsewhere (north pole etc) it ends up at XM4 5HQ, and is treated as first class – even if there’s no stamp on it.

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1p stamps still exist. Who knew, eh? Unfortunately for this customer, the “1p” looks just a little bit like “1st” if you don’t look properly.

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