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Cartésien15/01/2009 - par Mark Tungate
As you may be aware, the English send a lot of cards. In fact, we send cards for almost everything: Christmas, birthdays, Valentine's Day, engagements, weddings, anniversaries, getting a job ("Congratulations on Your New Job"), leaving a job ("Sorry You're Leaving"), illnesses ("Get Well Soon") and even death ("Sorry For Your Loss").
The one time we don't send cards, for some reason, is at the beginning of the year. But the French do, which is why I always find it slightly strange to receive cards wishing me a bonne année right up until February. These days, of course, many of them are sent by email. I used to find e-cards rather cold and mean, but environmental issues and the economic crisis have made them acceptable, if still lacking in elegance.
Corporate cards can be annoying, however. It's all right if they're from people I actually know. Clients, contacts and work colleagues are fine. But many companies send me cards just because I'm on their database. Not content with bombarding me with irrelevant press releases all year, they now want to clutter my post with cards, calendars, posters or even t-shirts. They're often cheerily signed by a whole bunch of people I've never heard of. Frankly, folks, this is a complete waste of money, because I just toss them in the bin with a grunt of irritation. If you've never shaken my hand or sat across a table from me, you can keep your thinly disguised promotional material to yourself. Let's save the planet together.