DailyDOOH’s (Late) Birthday Gifts

Gail Chiasson, North American Editor

Ah! The wonders of the postal system! You can send an e-mail across the world in micro-seconds, chat or text directly between North America and Europe, send a message by mobile phone to a digital screen with immediate results BUT try to send a parcel by regular post and – Oh! Oh!

This is the story of a little parcel sent 08/07/09 by Royal Mail via Air Mail from Adrian Cotterill, editor-in-chief, to me to celebrate DailyDOOH’s second birthday on July 26. Adrian expected it to arrive by mid-July. Included in it were my new business cards, along with a book on Blogging (Digital Media and Society Series) by Jill Walker Rettberg and published by Polity; a Photon Micro-light key chain (visible over a mile away so I won’t get lost, (thanks to Show&Tell Productions) and a wonderful little USB disk, courtesy of Scala I see.

Or maybe I should say, I ‘finally’ see. Because today, 04/08/09, almost one full month later, my little parcel arrived, shoved into my mailbox by the postman from Canada Post.

Where was it in the meantime, my little parcel? After it left the editor’s hands by Royal Mail (quick note to Adrian: in future, get a tracking number or use Fedex), did it visit Iceland or maybe Argentina? It was supposed to arrive a week or two after posting. Perhaps it was having an adventure in Thailand or Mexico?

“It might still arrive,” I was told at the local post office a week ago when I checked to see if it might have been left there without notice to me. “It might be held up in customs. But without a tracking number, we can’t trace it.”


Yesterday I visited the local Canada Post distribution office where another sympathetic clerk informed me that, ”Perhaps it was addressed incorrectly, in which case the sender will get it back – perhaps in another month.”

Oh my, my little parcel. Do you enjoy travelling so much? London and Montreal aren’t enough for you?

Well, the very next morning, guess what arrived in my mailbox? Coincidence? Hmm, maybe!

But one thing is certain: in this age of fast communication – and tracking number or not – a little parcel between England and Canada that should have taken a route from Royal Mail, an airline, perhaps customs and Canada Post to arrive in about a week took almost a month.

And, in an age of fast communication and instant gratification, we wonder why the postal systems are losing business!

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