Weekend b*tch and moan session...

Kate and I spent most of yesterday and a good portion of today going through all of the junk mail, catalogs and magazines that have piled up in the last several weeks. Since we pay all of our bills online, the only things we receive to pluck out the armful of mail that arrives each day, are either statements for those bills (some give you an opt-out for e-only, others still send a statement even if you pay online), or odd one-off fees like pet taxes, registration, etc.

Well I figured we'd be able to sit down in front of the TV and get through the sorting so we could strip off the labels and identifiable info to shred, then recycle the rest. Thankfully, our recycling program doesn't make you sort out the types of paper.

But dammit, it took two afternoons to go through all of it! The worst are :

* the items from telephone, cable and satellite companies asking you to switch to one service or another;

* catalogs you've never ordered from but ended up on their mailing list sold by some company you did business with;

* solicitations for donations from charitable organizations you've never donated to - one was for some religious organization that sent me a cheap crucifix asking to save something or another.

Why, oh why do these things keep coming even after you've asked them to stop? Kate called one place and had to listen to drivel about why it would be bad to cancel service X. She said "please just cancel these mailings and while you're at it, put me on your do not call list." The customer service rep then said it would take up to six weeks to process your request.

Now I know these customer dbs are huge and a few pieces may mail until the cancellation takes effect, but I'm sorry, don't tell me it will take six weeks to find a record and delete it. That's BS. If it takes six weeks, then clearly the opportunity for the request to be "lost" increases exponentially.

How do you handle the junk mail deluge?