A few days ago at work a colleague told the story of a friend of hers who was preparing to go to court to defend a case of driving an unlicensed vehicle without a driver’s licence.
Although I might be short on the exact detail of why she needed to go to court, the story was something like this: the friend had a number of unpaid speeding fines (through speed cameras), which computer records had linked to her car’s registration. Thus, when she scored another speeding fine (this time she was pulled over by the police), she scored the double-whammy of unlicensed driving in an unregistered vehicle.
The story of how she ended up with in this position was simple, my colleague explained, “she never checks her mail”. Her letter-box was, apparently, stuffed with correspondence about speeding fines, late speeding fines, warnings about late speeding fines and the like.
As my colleague told the story two thoughts when through my mind about what her friend should do. First, she needs to slow down (that many speeding fines can’t be a good sign of a safe driver) and second, she needs to check her mail box more regularly.
It was then I thought about my own behaviour in relation to my physical mailbox. As most of my correspondence is now dealt with online (including bill notifications which I mostly have direct debit to cover), I hardly ever check my mailbox. I check my mailbox maybe once a week. Even then, there’s hardly anything in there. There’s the occasional bank statement, the occasional bit of junk mail and there’s a lot of correspondence from City of Sydney (oh my Lord, yes). Occasionally there’s something personal. The only reason I checked tonight was because I was expecting a wedding invitation.
But mostly, there are few reasons for me to check the mailbox. In fact, when I went away for a few months earlier in the year, and came back expecting an over-flowing letterbox there was very little of concern.
In stark contrast, an older friend told me over dinner the other week he checks his letterbox daily, and his email only once a week. “Don’t send me an email”, he said, adding “you’re better off phoning or writing me a letter. Or send a fax.” It’s all different strokes for different folks, I guess, as I check my email constantly at work, and regularly when I’m at home. A little pop up notification on my phone alerts me to email as it comes in, and so I’m usually able to respond quickly.
The story of my colleague’s friend reminded me, though, I still need to check my physical mail box from time to time. The reason why I checked the mail tonight – the wedding invitation – wasn’t there, to my disappointment. Indeed, when my friend told me today the wedding invitation was “in the mail” part of me wanted to say “just email me the pdf”. Still, I guess there are some things it’s nice to receive in the physical-form, not always as digital.