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Mysteries of the mail anatomy

Nov 30, 2010, 03:37 AM
Authors : HMRC head office, to all offices
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Post date : Nov 30, 2010, 03:37 AM

Memo – priority post

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but news of our high-tech post priority system has been leaked to Taxation.

Post, for those of you who don’t deal with it nowadays – which as far as anyone can tell from the amount of time that it takes to get a reply from the department, is quite a high proportion of the work force – are those papery things that come in from our customers.

Lately, they ask things like why they have a £3,000 underpayment of tax when they thought their affairs were up to date.

But enough of that, the more important ‘pieces of post’ were prioritised by a system of sticking a little red dot in the top corner, thereby bringing it to the attention of the officer in Wick tax office (or wherever else it had been transported off to for attention) that it should be dealt with as a matter of priority.

Taxation suggested that with judicious use of its front (red) cover, a hole punch, and a glue-stick, its readers could usefully prioritise every letter they sent us. We have therefore had to change our system. From tomorrow, offices wishing to prioritise post will use blue sticky dots.

The brighter ones among you will already be saying, but what if Taxation changes to a blue cover next week? Well, we have thought of that. Invoking the ‘spirit of the blitz’ we are issuing each office with its own ‘enigma’ machine and code book.

Each day, a coded message will be sent to those tax offices dealing with post (yes, both of them) advising them of the ‘colour of the day’.

Offices will designate one person to operate the enigma machine, another to read the code book, another to look after the key to the cupboard where the code book is kept, and another to hold the key to the cupboard where the enigma machine is kept. Deputies will be appointed to each of those positions.

Once the ‘colour of the day’ has been determined, individual runners will carry that message to those ‘at the front line’ dealing with the post as it comes ‘over the top’ of the container holding it.

Someone did ask whether it would not be better if we had a ‘blitz on post’ instead of trying to second guess the front cover of a tax magazine.

Don’t they realise we’ve had staff cuts?

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