I am a good reader. I have always been a good reader. I remember in grade school we would take reading comprehension tests and I'd blow through them quickly and sit there bored. I read constantly. I read for work. I read for fun. I read, read, read.
Today, I received one of those incomprehensible business letters. This one is from the management company for the building, and it reads:
We have recently been informed by NYC Department of Finance that the state changed how the STAR abatement is applied.
So far, I get it. The STAR abatement is some sort of tax abatement this building gets for having an energy efficient furnace and new windows. (I think.) What it really means that every February, I get a huge discount on my maintenance (condo fees for a co-op). And I did receive this discount this past February.
Uh-oh, I think... is the STAR abatement going away? I think "nice while it lasted."
It cannot increase by more than 2% yearly.
Ok, sounds simple, but you're beginning to lose me here with this detail.
Therefore the STAR abatement for 2011/12 which you received this past February has been reduced...
So I owe them money?
but it then entitled you...
Oh, "entitlted" -- I like that word -- is the rest of the sentence going to be "to an even bigger discount??"
to a small increase in your co-op abatement.
I interpret that to mean... a "small increase" in my "co-op abatement" is that I'll get a further discount of approximately $4.13. Just making up that figure. OK, I'll take $4.13 -- better than a kick in the head. But the letter continues...
The small additional money due
DUE?? I thought there was an increase in my abatement.
will appear as an additional charge on your July maintenance bill.
AN ADDITIONAL CHARGE? In other words, I'm "entitled" to pay more??
And of course, the ending all these idiot writers love to use:
Feel free to contact our office if you have any questions on this matter.
And we will not know what you're calling about, put you on hold, cut you off, have you leave a voice mail and you'll never hear from anyone about "this matter." When you call for the third time, you'll be told the person is really very busy, unlike you who wiles away her time getting mani/pedis and writing haiku.
Seriously, I was thinking if you set out to write a letter that was vague and misleading, this would be it.