Cute….or creepy?

Tequila Mockingbird 25 November 2010 18

A short while ago, I celebrated a significant birthday. Checking the mail that day, I anticipated maybe a few bills, a birthday card with some crisp $20 notes from Gran, and maybe even some menus I could add to the rather extensive collection currently plastered over my fridge door.

What I got was something … different.

There was a hand-written birthday card in the mail for me (cream, fairly non-descript aside from a logo on the front) from my local politician. It was innocent enough, just a “Congratulations on the occassion of your birthday. Wishing you all the best.” etc, etc. And I found it to be exceptionally creepy.

I’d like to avoid publicly branding this person as a lurker because, hey, they could just be a really nice person who doesn’t understand that sometimes birthday cards are better left to family and friends. But the idea that some random polly and his/her secretary is belting out birthday cards to unsuspecting citizens really makes things awkward. Do they have nothing better to do than write cards to strangers? Maybe they’re fishing for votes? Why is my date of birth/ address, etc of such importance to them that they felt the need to abuse their access to it?

Or maybe they’re just a birthday enthusiast?

What do you guys think? Have you ever recieved a handwritten card or something equally as personal from someone inappropriate? And is this just a polite politician trying to spread a little cheer, or is it just a little too kind coming from someone who wants my vote?

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18 Responses to Cute….or creepy?
Amethyst Amethyst 11:58 pm 28 Nov 10

ConanOfCooma said :

Time to send an offended reply, asking why they did not attend birthday celebrations, and that next time not to be such a cheap skate and actually send a present.

Or at least a picture of them celebrating! Glass of wine, party hat and such!

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 9:31 am 26 Nov 10

Or just a bit desperate? +1 on wasteful too.

ConanOfCooma ConanOfCooma 7:34 am 26 Nov 10

Time to send an offended reply, asking why they did not attend birthday celebrations, and that next time not to be such a cheap skate and actually send a present.

Amethyst Amethyst 4:56 am 26 Nov 10

cleo said :

I didn’t get one for my birthday 🙁

lol. Mine was for my 21st, so maybe they’re only for big birthdays?

cleo cleo 12:17 am 26 Nov 10

I didn’t get one for my birthday 🙁

Amethyst Amethyst 11:06 pm 25 Nov 10

Oh my God! I got the same thing! Creeped me out. Stupid waste of time and money when it’s a card I put straight in the bin anyway. Would anyone really display this card with the rest of their cards?

astrojax astrojax 3:26 pm 25 Nov 10

what did you spend the twenty bills from gran on?

at least they a) had it right, it was your birthday – and a significant one self-confessedly – and b) were being polite and, while fishing for your vote – like, of course! – they were treating you as a respected and honoured person. better than anything else.

or was it signed with a few ‘x’s??? euch…

as for waste of taxpayer’s funds, don’t all parliamentarians have an office allowance to spend as they see fit?

maybe you can write back and ask a few questions on their policies that most concern you and actually engage with this person. hey, it is a democracy after all.

s-s-a s-s-a 2:46 pm 25 Nov 10

Was it a significant enough birthday to warrant a newspaper announcement from your family? We received a “birth congratulations” unofficial certificate thingy from Gary Humphries office a week or two after our sproglet announcement was in the Canberra Times, which I thought was creepy.

Affirmative Action Man Affirmative Action Man 2:45 pm 25 Nov 10

Mark it RTS with a note to stick it up his clacker.

deezagood deezagood 2:39 pm 25 Nov 10

Creepy AND wasteful.

p1 p1 1:56 pm 25 Nov 10

I’d be happy if the card also had crisp $20 bills.

Skidbladnir Skidbladnir 1:48 pm 25 Nov 10

The unexpected mailouts are fairly normal for people with a ait of public clout.
I got a “Congratulations on being old enough to vote” card from the local incumbent when I turned 18, my grandparents got a “Congratulations on living in the electorate for fifty years”, and everyone in our local branch of the family gets an annual invite to the St Patrick’s Day dinner at the Irish Embassy due to granddad having a ‘colourful’ history back in the War of Independence.

So long as someone is recording these fairly useless bits of data, there’s always a chance that someone will find a way of using them.

banjo banjo 1:47 pm 25 Nov 10

I’d take a guess and say you have just come into a voting age and therefor it is a way of getting your attention, both to update your enrollment and to get your vote.

Of course if you just turned 30 then I would go with creepy…

liability liability 1:45 pm 25 Nov 10

Some time ago I worked briefly in a federal politicians office. They all had a cd [or might have been a dvd] with all Australian enrolled voters on it. I am fairly certain that it only had name, address, electorate and date first enrolled at that address. I didn’t think that it had the date of birth on it, but maybe it did and I have forgotten.

The disks were protected by a simple password, which was an Australian bird name that changed with every new issue of the disk [at least that was the case some time ago].

The disks were in great demand by debt collectors, private investigators and the like, as unlike the electoral roll that the public can examine in at the electoral office, you could search by address as well as by name.

The disk was meant to be used for electoral mailouts and the like.

Indi Indi 1:44 pm 25 Nov 10

doesn’t fly…too much spare time if they are pushing out birthday cards

Chaz Chaz 1:30 pm 25 Nov 10

a polly sending out b’day cards to randoms is a waste of tax payers money

GBT GBT 1:21 pm 25 Nov 10

I don’t think I would be too bothered by it. I mean, those details are available on the electoral roll etc.

My last job I worked for the British High Commission and we used to get birthday cards, hand signed and all, from the Commissioner, someone who many of us had never even met. Just felt like one of those automatic things and not something to something to worry about.

It may even work on some people who may not get other cards to brighten their day a little, so no harm.

fozzy fozzy 1:18 pm 25 Nov 10

See the post from earlier today:

And read the comments – both sides do it, it’s not solely the domain of the ALP as that piece (and the referenced Age) article would have you believe.

I do however, agree, that said polly should get a clue and realise most people would see this as a negative not a positive.

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