Odds are, when you think about stuffing, you think about this:
Or perhaps to cruder forms of stuffing whose pictures we'd better not share.
Today, though, my thoughts turned to what may seem to be the dullest of stuffings on earth:
Let's begin with a couple of questions:
1) How many envelopes have you stuffed in your life?
2) How often have you considered the quality of the envelope?
As for me, I've stuffed tens of thousands, the great bulk related to writing but scores of personal and professional letters, as well as the paying of bills, etc. I'd give myself a passing grade on most of the paper I've used. But envelopes? Ummmm, not really.Got to cut corners somewhere, I thought.
But yesterday I needed envelopes for a 4x6 postcard photo to be send to a select group of 50. I'd spent months getting into shape, hired a terrific photographer and been through an exhausting photo shoot. We'd ordered double-sided cards from VistaPrint. And now at last. we were ready to go. Except for the envelopes. And I knew where to get them cheap.
Sure enough, Office Depot was running a sale on 6x9 tan envelopes. 50 marked down to only $4.99! But my eye kept turning to the white photo envelopes designed for 4x6 photos. I liked the color...the size made sense to me--in a larger envelope, my card would be jostled about, maybe bent...But $15.99 plus tax? About $.35 an envelope?
Luckily, the inner voice I sometimes call The Voice went off: Are your friends and are your card not worth a mere $.35? Do you want to show up in their mailboxes in a beautiful shirt beneath a threadbare coat?'
I understand, I told The Voice. The impression that we make is made up of so many things. And our attitude toward ourselves, our work and others is expressed in the choices we make. Consistency is the great master key: I don't think I'd want to do business with someone who sent me a letter on gorgeous stationery, but filled with typos and food stains...and sent in a cheap envelope. Be one thing or the other: a class act or a schlub.
The Voice answered, 'You go, babe.'