The Royal Mail is the arbiter of all addresses. If it’s not on their database, it doesn’t exist. Thankfully my studio is on the database. So are quite a few other businesses in the local area. However it doesn’t stop the Royal Mail’s employees from deciding that they’re all based here, despite a very clear notice on the door saying exactly which businesses are based here, and even despite other notices that have been posted up at various times explicitly refuting the existence of other business names at this address.

So there I am, regularly left with large piles of other company’s post.

Should I just bin it? I think there’s a law against that, and besides I’d hate to think that another company might be getting loads of my mail & treating it as trash.

Should I play postman? I did for a while, but the novelty of my new unpaid position soon wore thin.

Should I complain? Yes, I’ve done that too. It took weeks for someone to contact me, and then weeks more for someone from Royal Mail to finally come and pick up the pile of by now unforgiveably late mail. And worst of all, the very next day there was yet another piece of misdelivered post.

Now I even have a red “sorry you were out” card on which the postman has written the name of a company never before heard of at (nor depicted on the door of) these premises. I tried calling the 0845 number on the card but their automated telephone system not only failed to acknowledge that these circumstances could ever possibly exist, it also failed to connect me to another human being so that I might report the error. So now whatever it was will sit at the sorting office for a few weeks until it’s returned to sender. It’s such a waste of everyone’s time, energies and resources, and ultimately all down to one man’s utter inability to read and compare simple names and phrases.

Still, perhaps it’s partly the council’s fault. They name and sign everything so confusingly. I’ve had my studio premises for five years now. Almost every day, someone comes in asking “Is this the trading estate?”. “No”, I reply, “this is the business centre, the trading estate is on the next road up”. In fact it’s probably true to say that if I had a tenner for every time it had happened, I wouldn’t need to actually do much work at all; £100 a time and I’d be in clover.

Clover? Hell, I’d even turn vigilante privateer postman.