A Fable: The Snail and the Computer

I still get my utility bills sent to me by snail mail. I would change my ways and have them sent to me by email if it wasn’t too much work.

Each month I get one piece of mail that holds a bill for each utility; very straightforward, no extra frills except for one or two inserts that are easily recognizable as newsletters or product advertisements. You can’t stuff those envelopes with too much information since postage gets too expensive.

Just to contradict my first sentence, I did sign up for electronic delivery of my house and car insurance bills because the insurance company promised a discount. Now I’m not so sure that the discount is worth it.

Three or four times a month I get emails from this company. Some may hold some useful information such as keeping your home safe from burglars. Some encourage me to contact my agent to chat about adding more coverage.

But the only piece of information I really want is the yearly breakdown of my monthly rates. To get to this bill I need to remember my password which I last used twelve months ago. After some digging through papers I either find it or get a new one. Once logged in, I must click on various links that sound hopeful enough to uncover my bill but are dead ends. A half hour later I may find what I’m looking for.

As I see it email is not always a time-saving process. More unsolicited information comes across email than the mailbox in front of my house. I’m afraid I will simply delete some email because I assume it is trying to market a product but ends up holding a piece of information I actually need. Email holds the power to disseminate volumes of information that I don’t want to invade my computer screen.

So to get me to become paperless, email must contain less clutter. I want just the facts and not too many links taking me places I don’t want to go.

Another message brought to you by the grouch living in the past. (I can’t help it, the chaos keeps increasing!)


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