Monday, 2 July 2012

Lazy, Incompetent, Box-Ticking Public Sector, Part II

Dog owners have been sent warning letters telling them their pets should behave around posties. But the letters from Royal Mail to residents in Bradwell left springer spaniel owner Collin Rossini bemused, as he said his dog, Cello, was not aggressive.
A mix-up, then? The Royal Mail delivered the letter to the wrong address (perish the thought!)?

Well, not exactly:
The letter, from delivery manager Richard Burton, which is believed to have been sent to several homes, said: “While we’ve been delivering your post, we’ve become aware of an animal at your property and I wanted to take this opportunity to contact you about how we can work together to safeguard our employees from any potential threat posed by us entering your property whilst delivering the mail.”
It said animals roaming free, jumping up at people, snapping or behaving aggressively behind letterboxes and baring their teeth could raise concern. Mr Burton suggested dogs were restrained or mail delivered to an “alternative place” away from their usual surroundings.
The letter finished by saying most dogs did not cause a problem but, nationally, posties suffered about 4,000 dog-related injuries a year.
I’m guessing the get-out clause of ‘an animal’ is to cover cats too?

But it seems very general, not related to any incident. What gives?
Royal Mail was asked to comment if the letters had been sent anywhere else in the area, but did not respond.
Probably didn’t know whether they had or not!

But it seems that, once again, this was not targeted at areas with known issues, but a blanket ‘all known dog residences’ letter:
Mr Rossini, of Coggeshall Road, said: “It is so reflective of the times. Instead of dealing with the owner of the dangerous dog that is causing the problem, you get a blanket letter like a state dictat. Our rescue dog hasn’t been a moment’s trouble.”
Well, quite. And it’s not just Essex:
An animal lover has expressed outrage after receiving a letter from Royal Mail warning her about her dog’s behaviour – eight weeks after her pet died.
The letter, received by Denise Parkin, was one of 600 letters sent to homes across Darlington, following a spate of attacks on postmen and women in the town.
At least here, they managed to find someone who could string two sentences together, even if they were form-letter PR rubbish:
A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: “The safety of our employees is of paramount importance.
“Unfortunately, dog attacks are a hazard faced by our postmen and women every working day.
“In Darlington, there have been nine dog attacks in the past year and a further four attacks in the past three months.
“These attacks cause great distress and, in too many cases, serious injuries. “We are sorry to hear of Mrs Parkin’s recent bereavement and apologise for any distress caused by receiving this letter.
“The letter is simply to raise awareness about the issues our people experience with regard to dog attacks and to work with our customers on this matter.
“Unfortunately, we were unaware of the change in circumstances in this case.”
Because it’s just too hard to take this action in those cases where dogs are a nuisance and so Mrs Miggins’ arthritic Peke gets the same letter as Stabby McChav’s alligator-cross pitbull.

Why is this blanket, tickbox action tolerated with the public sector?


Anonymous said...

The place a dog lives is classed by that animal as its territory. When it sees a couple of fingers poking through a letter box, it asumes that it's property is being invaded, with a possible attack following. It is only natural for a dog to protect it's property and itself. Perhaps another way in which Posties can avoid injury is not to stick their fingers through the letter box or suggest that the home owner has a box outside the house. In the case of the dogs roaming loose in the garden, either throw the post over the gate or use a short barrelled Remington pump-action shotgun (I find that these tend to concentrate wonderfully what's left the of the dog's mind)! The second choice would also be beneficial to any Korean restaurants there maybe in the area.

Anonymous said...

Sorry about the grammatical errors - was typing it plus trying to remove the jaws of an errant dog from my left hand!

Furor Teutonicus said...

I guess the post office figures that a few complaint about blanket letters to dead dogs are easier to handel than Jimmy Mc Chavish running them through the media, and maybe even the courts for "diskriminayshun innit!"

Richard said...

"Why is this blanket, tickbox action tolerated with the public sector?"

Because to do otherwise would imply that we are individuals, and that would never do.

Anonymous said...

touchy , touchy!
Being bitten by dog , cat , parrot or child is not fun.
or - 'wanna make summit ov it?'

JuliaM said...

"Perhaps another way in which Posties can avoid injury is not to stick their fingers through the letter box ..."

Well, quite!

"Because to do otherwise would imply that we are individuals, and that would never do."

And because it's the path of least resistance.