Monday, March 12, 2012

Missed connections & email.

Having received Sophie Blackall's book, Missed Connections, I have been introduced to the whole concept of 'Missed connections'. This occurs when people see a stranger and realise that this could be The One. Unfortunately, as testified to by Sophie's book, a good number of folk don't take the opportunity to introduce themselves and later come to regret it. And so, not knowing the object of their affection's name, they resort to writing a missed connection advert, with the hope that their potential loved one will come across it. Confused? Just think, 'message in a bottle'.

But it's not only connections that get missed. It's no secret that physical mail gets lost, and ends up at the 'Dead Letter Office' or as Royal Mail now call it, the 'National Returns Centre'. According to an article by the Daily Mail on March 2011, Royal Mail send about 25 million letters annually 'to the shredder'. How many people have been waiting to hear about job interviews, but have never heard? How many people have been expecting a birthday card from someone important, but due to the mysteries of missed mail, took offence at not having received one? And how many romances have failed to blossom through lost love letters? The directions that lives take, the decisions people make, the assumptions, the anger, the hurt and all that, just from missed mail.

But who writes letters these days anyway? It's all about email, well, it is for those of us who don't use Facebook anyway! And this is my reason for writing. You see, I was waiting for an email and it didn't arrive. Well, actually it, did, but not until seven hours after it had been sent. And what do you do? Do you email again, saying, 'Did you get my email?' Tricky, because you don't want to appear rude or impatient etc. But if they didn't receive your email and you don't chase it up, then someone's going to lose out on something! How many opportunities have people missed out on because the sender thought the person they'd emailed wasn't interested in coming for an interview etc, when in fact the person never received the email? You can see, the scope for problems.

And as for where missing emails (assuming they're not just in your junk or spam folder), then where do they end up? Is there some crafty email thieves randomly stealing the occasional passing packet of data? Or is there a Dead Email Office somewhere, with huge servers dedicated to storing all our lost email? And they'd be some old Emailarian who could take you round and tell you how "This is one of our oldest ones – it's a real gem, it's been here since the dawn of email in the early 1970's..."

Anyway, back to my email problems, if you have emailed me and I haven't responded, then perhaps I've just been too busy (sorry), or perhaps I've just forgotten (sorry again), or perhaps it sitting in the Dead Email Office? Whatever the reason, here's my Missed Email advert to the world: 'Sorry I missed you, I didn't get your message. Won't you try again?'

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