I’ve just been reading about the latest outrage at the BBC, and I’ve often wondered how I’d run a complaints department. For example, it’d be much easier to set up an autoresponder on the BBC complaints email address to soothe the complainant that somebody will be dealing with the complaint while you send their incoming emails to /dev/null (a popular sysadmin trick when you really don’t want to be bothered – it’s effectively auto-deleting whatever gets sent there).

But what about actually writing a proper letter, with an envelope, stamp, and everything? Well, larger companies probably use machines to sort and open incoming letters. All you’d need to do is identify all mail coming into the complaints department, chuck it straight into recycling where it’ll be pulped and turned into toilet paper. If you’re REALLY lucky, the complainant will probably be wiping their own arse on the same paper they’ve used to write their complaint on in the first place.