A letter to the wrong person

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was produced by the Winton programme for the public understanding of risk based in the Statistical Laboratory in the University of Cambridge. The aim was to help improve the way that uncertainty and risk are discussed in society, and show how probability and statistics can be both useful and entertaining.

Many of the animations were produced using Flash and will no longer work.

Background information:When I moved to Atlanta at age 19, my first job was working in the mailroom of Gulf Oil credit card center. The mailroom was huge and the address actually had it’s own USPS ANNEX. Credit card payments were received in envelopes that were inserted in with the billing. So 95% of the envelopes returned with payment were the same and could be opened on an automated machine a where the payment was processed. However, there were people who didn’t use the enclosed envelopes and chose instead to use their own which varied in size and couldn’t be opened by the machine. For these envelopes there was a group of older ladies that worked in a back room opening them by hand. One day as I was carrying on with my job, one of the ladies from the back approached me with an open envelope. (No one paid attention to who they were addressed to and they were opened without checking so that the money could be processed quickly). She handed me the envelope and said…isn’t this your father? Yes, it was addressed to my dad who had NOTHING to do with Gulf Oil Credit and had an address in a different part of town. They had already pulled the letter out and read it when they handed it to me. I opened the letter addressed to my dad and it was a thank you note from a woman I’d never heard of. Her name was Judy. Judy was writing my dad to thank he and his girlfriend Brenda(whom I’d also never heard of) for dinner and drinks at a French restaurant. At the time I was living at home with my married parents. They’d been married for 25 years and the letter that came to me at work was the first I knew of my dad’s extramarital affair. He left my mother and married Brenda.
Total votes: 86
Date submitted:Wed, 27 Apr 2022 19:50:50 +0000Coincidence ID:12823