Sunday, 10 June 2012

Postman Pat and his corporate image

Having spent over a quarter of a century watching Postman Pat, I was quite interested to retrospectively notice the Royal Mail notice of abandonment. Despite the show being a marketing vehicle for them, the link was dropped prior to one of the more recent series, with the Royal Mail spokesman saying the character no longer fitted in with the company's "corporate image." Since this time, Postman Pat became an employee of the fictional Special Delivery Service.

Having suffered at the hands of our local postmen over the past three years, I wonder what this Royal Mail “corporate image” represents? If it means no uniform lateness listening to music and infrequent delivery, then perhaps their decision is perfectly valid. After all, for over twenty years, Pat was smartly dressed punctual and diligent, whereas our usual postman is psychologically disturbed, climbs over walls, and often talks to himself whilst delivering often errantly speculating on the contents of the post. He was recently replaced by a younger guy, who was even more casually dressed, was listening to an iPod and hammered on the door, nearly smashing it down, when faced with the task of delivering a parcel. It is no wonder, in my eyes, that they are on the verge of going bust – Amazon are but one large company to have long since abandoned their “services”.

Having said all that, since his move into special delivery services, Pat's own standards have deteriorated spectacularly. He now sees it as his personal daily mission to do whatever it takes to deliver the latest item, but in doing so often compromises his professionalism by speculating as to the identity of the delivery, often taking it out of its packaging and sometimes even causing it damage due to his bumbling carelessness. In fact, in one particular episode from the 2008 series, he descended to new lows of incompetence. Tasked with delivering a toy rabbit to AJ's baby son (though he had no business in knowing what the package was in the first place) he somehow managed to allow it to be opened and then stolen by a pony, tossed into a bucket of strawberry ice cream and then dipped into a hanging basket. The lazy sod then had the cheek to announce that his "mission was complete"...frankly I would have had him sacked there and then.

In the age of the Internet, it was refreshing to be taken to Greendale of yesteryear...the new modern Pencaster is far too depressingly accurate. I might start to leave traps on my driveway…