Great News!

“I`m so excited, And I just can`t hide it, I`m about to lose control………..” The Pointer Sisters

My new, updated phone books have arrived. I can barely contain myself.

A couple of weeks ago, I arrived home from work to find the white plastic bag suspended from my street-front mailbox. Inside, 2 brand spanking new, albeit a bit waterlogged from that day’s rain, telephone directories. Courtesy of HTC. (It should be noted that I have zero telephone services through the Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC)). It really wasn’t a surprise though. On the drive into my development, I saw numerous similarly adorned mailboxes and several bags of books on the ground near mailboxes. (Many of which are still there even though I’ve seen those homeowners at their mailboxes since the phone book delivery ninjas arrived.)

Nevertheless, upon arrival home on that most exciting of days, I did the right thing. I carried the bag-o-books inside and placed them in their rightful location: a pile of things waiting to go to the recycle center.

Who still uses these things? Aside from the 2 million people AOL claims to still have as dial-up customers, I can’t think of anyone.

The first telephone directory consisted of a single piece of cardboard and was issued in 1878 in New Haven, Connecticut. It listed 50 businesses that had telephones. 170px-New_haven_directory_1878

Over the years, it served a purpose. But now? With the advent of computers, the internet,and smartphones? Even dumb phones have “411” capabilities. Initially, as with all things tech, you’d assume that elderly people, not so up on the internet-of-things, would be the recipients most likely to utilize. Maybe. If they have access to a Hubble Telescope. Have you ever bothered to look inside one of those modern marvel books? Good luck trying to read anything.

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The next day, upon arrival at my place of business, I found 4 HTC books dropped on my front doorstep. (Nope, no HTC service there either.)  All 4 were promptly placed on a pile similar to the one at home.

Later that weekend, I made my weekly trip to our recycle center. I dutifully placed my normal trash in the “normal trash” bin, my cardboard into the “cardboard (NO PAPER, PLASTIC OR STYROFOAM!) bin”, and then stood looking about with all 6 HTC directories in my arms. A sympathetic worker then pointed to the “newspapers” bin, as he apparently had been doing most of the week. Seems the newspaper bin was chock full of shiny new HTC directories.

Telephone companies producing these things advertise regularly for part time/short time help for their delivery. Has anyone actually witnessed the delivery of phone directories? No. These are jobs taken by the ninjas when they aren’t busy doing other ninja stuff. Aside from them, I would imagine jobs are also created for the data needed and publication of the books, and in this day and age, it’s difficult to rage against anything that puts people to work. So here’s my suggestion:

Rehire those stealthy people to clean up all the bags of books left at mailboxes and on doorsteps. (Start in my development please). Then, have them transported to recycle centers, thus creating the need for more help/jobs there. Lastly, we can hire some of the best minds in the world who, hopefully, can come up with a way to turn all those crappy books back into trees.

In the meantime, I’ll be anxiously awaiting my deliveries from Verizon and Yellow Pages. (Neither of whom I do business with.)

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