Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Querulent tendencies

I know I have querulent tendencies, but it's getting worse. If I didn't put the brakes on it I'd probably be a full time letter writer. It's disturbing. I guess it's a way to direct my frustration and to express my thoughts on things (and yes, maybe to procrastinate, a bit). Sometimes my letters are attempts to feel a little less powerless in the face of seemingly impenetrable bureaucratic structures and policies. Sometimes I genuinely aim for change. Over the years I have learnt that writing a positive and polite letter instead of the one you'd really like to write (the one full of expletives) is actually a lot more effective. I know this is rather obvious but to a Querulent it is very challenging to write a nice letter. Yesterday I wrote two letters. One to try and get a speeding fine waived. The other one was to try to get a denial of a request to waiver a late fee reviewed. Both are probably futile. In the case of the second letter, apparently I have now exhausted my last "appeal". What does this mean? That all future letters I write in response to their "form" letter replies are put in the trash? Maybe I am banned from writing letters or will receive a penalty notice for letter writing. Sometimes I wonder, when I write, if my letter is read by anybody. Some replies I've received to my carefully crafted letters are so irrelevant and obscure that I'm pretty sure they are computer generated. Maybe they were opened by a person. I can only hope.

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