As you all know I’ve been on Postcrossing for about three months and, largely, it’s been a fun and rewarding experience but recently there have been a few little things that have really bugged me – some are specifically to do with the website and others are to do with the transport of postcards. I decided the best way to think these problems through and work out if I’m just being picky, or if other people have the same problems with Postcrossing as I do I would write a post about it. Rather than just moaning at you all I am going to try and be objective about these problems!
My first issue is elusive postcrossers. This is something I only stumbled upon recently but it really got to me. Usually I request a few addresses at a time, read each persons profile and then write a batch of postcards -tailoring each one to the specific person, ready to mail all at once. Now I did this process last week as my last batch of postcards had all reached their destinations (Yay!). The first five addresses I requested were all fine, each one had some specific requests about what they like so I did my best but the sixth address I requested was for somebody who had an empty profile. Now by empty I don’t mean they were vague – or sparse on the details, I mean they literally hadn’t written anything. At all. My first thought was – ‘Hey, maybe they’ve just joined and haven’t had time to complete their profile.’ I scanned my eyes over to see how many postcards they’d sent and it was a huge number yet they hadn’t even provided their first name!! How am I supposed to buy a postcard tailored to their interests, write something they’d be interested to read and decorate in a way that they’ll appreciate if they don’t provide a single piece of information for me to work from. It was so annoying, I just don’t understand why you’d bother to set up an account if you aren’t going to let other postcrossers know anything about you.
This next issue is less to do with the actual postcrossers themselves and more to do with the delivery. I guess this is a local issue but oh my goodness the amount of postcards I’ve received lately that have been bent or folded in half is unbelievable! I’m not sure where along the line they are being manhandled and bent, maybe it’s by a sorting machine or something but it’s really irritating. When someone takes the time to pick out a postcard for me, write something nice and then mail it the least I expect is the postal service to try their best to take care of it. I appreciate that once in a while a postcard may get damaged in transit – because they do travel a long way but this seems to be happening regularly now and I’m not happy. Looks like the first thing I can be adding to next weeks planner spread is ‘Speak to the Post Office.’ It might even be the postman doing a half arse job of shoving the post through the letterbox that’s the problem – I’m going to start making sure I’m the one collecting the post from now on to check that nothings getting caught in the letterbox flap.
Maybe I’m just one of those people who are always looking for things to complain about because earlier I mentioned that empty profiles are really getting on my nerves, but at the other end of that scale there’s another thing that gets on my nerves. It’s people who’s entire profile page is taken up by a list of postcards they don’t want. Now I can understand why there are certain types of postcards people would prefer not to receive, for example if you’ve been on Postcrossing a long time and have been sent hundreds of postcards of generic green hills you might be sick of them and prefer it if people sent something different every once in a while. That’s fine. I have no problem with people asking you not to send a certain type, it’s just when the list of don’t sends is as long as my arm that it annoys me. We’re all on Postcrossing because it’s fun, right? Well that’s why I do it anyway, and I have to say it really takes the fun out of it when I feel like there’s this huge pressure to make sure I don’t accidentally buy the recipient one from their don’t send list. I live in a city where there aren’t an abundance of shops that sell postcards so I try my best to accommodate peoples wishes but I can’t always guarantee to be able to get a specifically requested postcard and dodging generic British ones can be hard. So when someone’s dont send list looks something like this:
- No landscapes
- No ad cards
- No animals
- No plants
- No Christmas
- No cars
- No doodle cards
- No photos
It ends up being virtually impossible for me to find something to send and just ends up making the whole process extremely stressful. By the way this is half as long as some of the don’t send lists I’ve come across, and all of the examples above are one’s I have come across on the Postcrossing site when requesting addresses. Personally I express that I welcome any and all postcards on my profile as I believe if it means something to the sender, it should mean something to me.
My final Postcrossing peeve is people that can’t be bothered to send a note when they register your postcard. Often postcards are waiting for me when I get back from college, and I’m very busy trying to finish of the days work – but as soon as they arrive I make the time to register them and send a quick thank you note via the message box. I don’t know if sending thank you notes is a very British thing to do, but every time I receive anything in the mail from family or friends, I respond with a thank you note – just like I would after being given gifts on my Birthday or at Christmas. It lets the person know that you appreciate them taking the time to send you something, and that you liked it; when people don’t bother to write anything in the message box, once they’ve registered the postcard I sent, it makes me feel as though I did something wrong – or sent a postcard they didn’t like. Ninety-nine percent of the time I’m sure this isn’t the case but it’s really disheartening. I’m not expecting a paragraph, you don’t even have to tailor it to the card I sent if you’re really pushed for time, but just a simple ‘Thank You’ followed by your first name is enough to make me smile and feel like I’m helping to make someone else’s day better. I always send a message because you never know who needs cheering up, the simple format I use is ‘Thank You for the postcard, I really/especially liked (……). I hope you’re having a good day. Sophie x’ It’s simple and doesn’t take up too much time when I’ve got work to do but it feels like something people will appreciate so I send it.
I know this has been a rather long, moaning post but thanks for sticking around! Despite the way this post may paint it I do actually really enjoy Postcrossing and have had some wonderful things through my letterbox recently, as well as some wonderful profiles pop-up when I’ve requested addresses. It’s not all bad!
For a bit more of the fun side of Postcrossing see my: