August 01, 2004

I am writing this to you in confidence

I (barely) make a living as a freelance writer, and generally my contracts arrive with cursory notes that say "please sign and return", if they arrive with notes at all, since it is pretty obvious what one is meant to do with a contract. Recently I received a contract that was accompanied by the most extensive note possible. It was almost like receiving a Nigerian scam e-mail. It went like this:

Dear Francis,

Here is a copy of your contract with Anonymous Publishing on behalf of Unnamed magazine. Please notify me when you receive your contract. If I don't hear from you I will assume that you haven't received it yet. Please sign and return to my attention. My contact information is as follows:

[contact information deleted]

Thank you for working on this project with us. We greatly appreciate all of your hard work. If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me.

And now you are thinking, well, perhaps that seems a bit florid, but what's the big deal? So they've got some new person working in accounts payable or wherever who wants their letters to sound more personal, and has typed up a new form letter to accompany their contracts. Aha. Well, you see, this letter was written by hand, in loopy cursive handwriting.


Are all their contributors getting handwritten notes? That seems a little labor-intensive for such a near-automatic transaction.

Posted by Francis at 03:35 PM