A few weeks ago I wrote a review of Robert Ballagh’s new memoir for the Sunday Times. A few days ago I received a letter from the Dublin Mail Centre of An Post with a form inside telling me that the card enclosed “was found loose” in the sorting centre. The card had apparently fallen from its associated envelope. The card contained an image of a Ballagh painting on the front and inside was a kind message from the artist thanking me for my “positive review”. So how did they get my address?
A very neat hand-written message on the An Post form supplied the answer: “I got your address off the imprint on the back of the from.” The estimable Mr. Ballagh had leaned hard enough when addressing the lost envelope that he had left a faint indentation on the back of the card. The An Post employee had painstakingly traced it out to the extent that it yielded my complete address. Now that’s what I call customer service and professionalism. Give that man a promotion at once.
You could suggest that the card got special attention because someone in An Post recognized the name Ballagh as the creator of numerous Irish postage stamps - so he was in a sense one of their own. But I somehow doubt this hypothesis.