Do Not Ignore Snail Mail?Or the Telephone
E-mail is handy, but it cuts both ways
April 13, 2006: Vol. 2, Issue No. 29
IN THE NEWS
E-mail to Denny Hatch
Your membership dues in the [City] Direct Marketing Club for 2006 remain unpaid. The bylaws of the organization clearly state that unpaid accounts are to be canceled. I'd hate to see that happen if you don't want it to. We have made several attempts to move you to action over the past 5 months. Now the 2006 Membership Directory is entering production and your name and company will not appear in it unless I receive your $125 membership dues by 5:00 pm tomorrow night (Tuesday, April 11th).
—[Club Secretary], [CITY] Direct Marketing Club, April 10, 2006
I was astonished to receive this unpleasant, cookie-cutter renewal effort that treated me like a deadbeat. This was from a guy I have been on friendly terms with for 25 years or more.
My response to this e-mail was equally frosty. I said that this was the first I had heard that my membership was up for renewal and that I did not take kindly to his tone or his threat. I told him to consider me no longer a member and not to contact me again.
Too bad. My wife, Peggy, and I moved to Philly 14 years ago. This club is in another city. I kept up my membership as a courtesy to a club of which I had been a member for decades.
To correspond with me, the club had relied totally on e-mail.
In many ways e-mail is wonderful.
In many ways it stinks.
Walk the Line
James Mangold's Oscar-winning film about Johnny Cash starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon was a stunner.
Etched in my memory is a scene in which huge handfuls of letters were brought to Johnny Cash. The envelopes were in all sizes, handwritten, filled with heartfelt emotion. Seeing all that mail—touched by human hands and spittle that licked the envelope flaps and stamps—gave me goosebumps.