Tuesday, September 08, 2009

I Don't UsenThem & I Don't Want Them!

I Don’t Use Them and I Don’t Want Them

I know I have written about this before but it happened again. Just like the swallows returning to San Juan Capistrano or the proverbial bad penny, it is back. It was delivered to my front door again this week. I didn’t order it. I won’t use it. I don’t want it. Nevertheless, wrapped in a bright yellow plastic bag was another phone book. This one, according to the cover was the “County Edition.”

If you are like me, you most likely get several iterations of these phone directories every year. There are the White Pages, The Yellow Pages, The Yellow Book, The Pink Pages, the SEI Regional Directory (white and yellow what a concept.) And let’s not forget the Harrison, West Harrison and Bright telephone book. I am sure I forgot several others.

How many trees do we need to cut down? It is my understanding that the FCC still requires phone companies to publish “a” directory. Note that “directory” is singular. . Also it is my understanding that the phone company needs to “offer” the directory and we as consumers can decline the offer. So why do we have all these others books?

Well, I have been on the other side of the telemarketing calls and have heard the sales pitches for inclusion in the directories. I really feel bad for local merchants and service providers who feel forced to spend money to place a listing and ad in many, if not all, of these directories for fear that their competitor will be “in” and they will be “out.” When there was one Yellow Pages Directory, it may have been a monopoly, but at least it was not bordering on extortion.

With so many of us using computers and Google to find everything from a good pizza to a good haircut, it seems to me that these books are at best redundant and at worst a waste. I can not remember the last time I used the Yellow Pages. OK, I lied, I used it to level a step ladder leg. I do remember that the last time I used the White Pages, the number I was looking for was not there. I was able to find the listing on Whitepages.com.

So the next time I see someone passing out another directory I plan to ask them to keep it. Talk about reducing our carbon foot print … cut down to one optional directory and there is no need for the paper, or ink, or energy for printing and binding and no gasoline burned delivering the book. Sure, I feel sorry for the people who get paid to deliver the books. Perhaps the phone company can hire them to pick up and recycle all the old books.

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