Life and the afterlife.

I recently received a flyer in the mail from a well known funeral company peddling their arrangements. Immediately I took my pulse and started wondering whether they knew something about my health that I did not know. I assumed that they had connections with higher-ups but when I looked in the other mail boxes I realized that everyone in the building had received the same flyer. That eased my natural anxiety but only slightly.

I began looking over the flyer which was in fact a questionnaire consisting of 8 questions. They were the usual suspects; do you know where you will be buried? Have you ever made plans for others? Did you know that by buying a bundle of services you could save money? And so on. It sounded more like the pitch of a cable company than that of a funeral company. Except for the burying part, it really made me think that they had lifted the questions from them but of course, the cable company would bury you in unwanted channels that you must buy as part of their package.
What I did not understand was that at the top of the flyer it was marked in bold letters “confidential survey” and yet, one of the last questions asked me to identify myself in order to receive more information. That was silly of course. If it was confidential then no need to reveal yourself. If you do identify yourself, then of course confidentiality is breached. It is an either/or proposition.

The most nonsensical question was the last one which asked how I had learned of them. This did not make sense as they were the ones soliciting me through mass mailing and not I calling them up or emailing them for information. Which led me to think that whoever dreamt up that flyer should be fired at the very least; first, for disturbing my peace of mind and reminding me of my mortality and secondly, for wasting my time in analyzing this shoddy piece of marketing. Luckily, my pulse is still low and stable and my blood pressure has now returned to normal, no thanks to them.

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