Monday, August 18, 2008

Can't they at least TRY??

At the end of last week I had to send a payment off to the IRS, in the IRS' own envelope. I dutifully put the payment voucher and the payment into the envelope, wrote my return address in the upper left hand corner on the 3 little lines the IRS' envelope provided for that purpose, put some Danish stamps on it and sent it off.

Saturday we opened our mailbox only to find that same envelope had arrived here. How nice of the Danish postal service!

Many complain about the US postal service but honestly, I believe, the USPS does it's job. The mail gets where it's supposed to go - they figure it out. The same cannot be said for the danish equivalent. The envelope was, or course, a little window envelope. If you've ever used them, and I'm sure you have, the little papers inside the envelope can tend to shift around and maybe the address isn't fully readable instantly. You do the shake down to the inside pieces of paper and the address magically reveals itself, etc. Apparently this is too difficult for the danish postal service.

Postal employee A.. "I cannot see the address"
Postal employee B.. "There's an address, there, in the upper left hand corner - send it there"
Postal employee A.. "Ahh yes, perfect!"

Morons - the upper left hand corner is called a "return address" - you don't just send the mail there thinking that's where it's supposed to go! Had they done that with something written on the original such as "Unable to deliver, return to sender" then I would have been slightly less annoyed. At least then I would KNOW why it showed up in my mailbox. But there was nothing - they sent it to the return address apparently because it's an address they found, and that somehow equaled where it was supposed to go.

I was going to take a picture of the envelope for this post, but Ole has now taken the envelope off with him this morning to resend the whole thing in a proper Danish envelope, or something.

p.s. It can't be easy to be married to me. I, of course, in my ranting, took out my frustration for the Danish postal service on my dear hubby - as a Dane, he inevitably gets the blame for any frustration I feel at anything that goes wrong in HIS country. Ooops.


  1. I can just see your face :) But at least you have a translator on hand. We have stuff arrive - all in Danish and have a standard saying: "No idea what that is." and chuck it on the bench.. :)

  2. I know that feeling and yes, I am incredibly lucky that I have someone to translate things.

    Here is the part I don't understand - before I had learned a word of Danish, the Sprogskole sent out a mail telling me where and when to show up for my first Danish class. And yep, the entire letter was in Danish. I'm thinking, had I been able to read the mail, perhaps class wouldn't have been necessary??

  3. LOL, the part where you blamed your husband for atrocities committed to you by virtue of his own Danish background is definitely something I identify with. The poor sods.

  4. Paula: I'm glad I'm not the only one that does it. Poor guy, he gets yelled at for all kinds of things that I find strange about Denmark. My reasoning is simple - I have to bitch at someone! Perhaps I should rant more here and less at him.

  5. I can't count how many times Benjamin has taken a verbal lashing for the stupidity of the Danish system. But thank God he is a kind loving man and doesn't take my momentary flip out too seriously.
    On the topic of mail in Danish to a non-Dane. I got the Aarhus Uni newsletter last year with a whole welcome paragraph from the Dean in ENGLISH that mentioned how many thousands of wonderful new foreign students the Uni had this year...the rest of the newsletter was in DANISH! I had to laugh.

  6. Hehe, just follow the Danish standards and I'm sure it will not happen again:

    Put your own address on the back of the envelope. If you absolutely must write it on the front for some reason, put it in the top left corner on only one line.


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