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Deliver De Letter

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What’s the best way to communicate with your fellow tribesmen? Say there’s a hotly contested election on the horizon, or a debate over grandfathering dogs or amending the building’s constitution, or something else that’s on your mind. How do you get your message out without turning tribesmen against you?

In High Rise Society, it’s against the rules to just ring someone’s doorbell unless it’s to rescue your neighbor from a blazing inferno, or trick or treat on Halloween (but then only if the person’s name is on the list) You can catch your neighbors on the fly as they’re running in or out, but they won’t hear a word you have to say. You can try posting a message on the bulletin board, but if you’ve been following what I’ve been saying, you’ll know that avenue is perilous.

So you figure in the best tradition of American democracy you’ll write a flyer like a modern-day Tom Paine, and slip it under your neighbors’ doors.  DON’T DO IT!  People don’t want stuff shoved under their doors unless it comes with a coupon for free dumplings. Believe me, I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, having made many midnight runs, only to find out that I was regarded as a traitor, not truth teller.

sk-c-251Fellow tribesmen don’t want to know the truth, at least not if it intrudes upon their private space.  They don’t want to know what’s going on.  They don’t want to deal with confrontation.  They want peace at any price – even if may lead down the road to ruin.  Maybe it’s for the same reason they don’t want to know how many calories those postings tell them are in their favorite fat laden dishes at fast food joints – Ignorance is bliss.  I don’t know.

Some psychologist should do a study and write a dissertation – one that people might actually read — explaining this phenomenon. Maybe it’s a new urban phobia – confrontitis – fear of confrontation, which is odd because every place else — in the subway, the grocery store or on the street — all you have to do is look at someone funny and they’re ready to rumble.

But not in High Rise Society. If you want people there to focus on what you’re saying, send them a letter. You heard right. That outdated form of communication on paper and ink which is all but extinct thanks to email and gmail and twitter and text. Yes, I know it’s a lot of work – getting a list of owners, printing labels, stuffing envelopes, licking them till your tongue is as dry as the Sahara. But that’s what you have to do.

And above all else, do not let your emotions show.  That’s why before you write a single word, put yourself in a trance or pretend you’re lying on a beach in the Riviera.  Whatever it takes to rid yourself of bad karma.

Don’t ask me why they’ll read something stuffed in the mailbox but not under their door. I’m not a mind reader. Maybe it’s because they just figure that’s where messages belong. Or that in comparison with all the other crap they pull out of the box it seems like something of substance. Or they don’t want to have to bend down to pick up your memo off the floor. It doesn’t matter.  Take my word, that’s the way it is.

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