Saturday, March 12, 2005

Don't throw away your junk mail!

That sounds strange to say, but I have discovered some little surprises in what I "thought" was junk mail (i.e. mail I have no idea from whom it is, a company I have never heard of, or from whom I haven't requested mail). I suppose it's been a year now since I resolved not to throw away any mail I deemed junk mail until I at least opened it, pulled out the contents, UNFOLDED the contents and at least glanced over the contents before tossing it. Why did I choose to handle my junk mail like this? Because in the past, I absent-mindedly have opened junk mail (when I'd normally throw junk mail away) and found neat little surprises. Ok, to some, maybe it's still trash, but I like finding a free bookmark, or notecard, or magnet or other miscellaneous things in the mail. And you'll never know if your junk mail contains a little surprise unless you open it! That doesn't obligate you to READ any of it. Just open it, unfold it, and see what's inside.

Having said this, imagine my utter delight (and my 3 year old daughter's!) when I opened a common, generic "junk-mail-appearanced" envelope today, unfolded the letter, and found a green $1 bill inside! Wow! Ok - so it's just $1. It's $1 more than I had before I opened the envelope! But then, I really can't even say I'm $1 richer anymore considering my little girl TOOK IT! So I guess I'm back to where I was before I opened the junk mail. Well, not really because I did receive a surprise and a smile for even a brief moment in my day by just seeing that monetary piece of paper and a smile put on your face for even a moment is worth much.

The mail was from a Marketing Research group who wanted me to fill out a survey about Colonial Candles. Now, as I think about it, and after reading the survey questions, I must've requested a catalog from Colonial Candles in the past, though I don't remember the catalog (and such an answer is provided on the survey).

Of course, I filled out the short survey and put it in the postage-paid envelope provided. It's the least I could do, considering they took the time to give me $1 for it! It was quick and painless, cost me nothing, and I was given an "incentive", even if that incentive is not mine anymore, but now is in the hands of my 3 year old.

I think they must've known that would happen as the end of the brief letter stated:

"P.S. The $1.00? Please use it to brighten the day of a child you know!"

How did they know that that's exactly what would happen to it the minute I unfolded the letter and revealed that coveted-by-little-children (and bigger children!) green piece of paper?


Mitzi said...

Awesome post, Karla! I won't be tossing my junk mail anymore!

noricum said...

I open my junk mail, but for a different reason. On all those annoying credit card offers and such, I send their form back to them, asking to be removed from their mailing list. I've cut down on my junk mail dramatically since I've started doing this. :) (They have to pay for every envelope we return.)