Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Saddest Industry

Is there a sadder industry today than phone book publishing? Here in Chicago we have competing publishers offering more citywide phone books than ever, plus neighborhood books, but does anybody use them anymore?

I can tell you the last time I used the phone book, and this is quite illustrative. The last time I used the phone book was when my Internet connection was down and I needed someone to check my phone wiring!*

I understand that not everyone has Internet access, but I think it's safe to assume that most of the consumers that businesses are trying to reach by advertising in the yellow pages do. So here they are publishing more and more books, trying to draw interest from an ever-shrinking market. Meanwhile, piles of unwanted phone books linger on porches and in apartment lobbies all over the city.

* The company was Pacey Electrical and Technologies. The technician did a great job resolving an ongoing issue, and it didn't cost nearly as much as I feared. Also, thank goodness, my concerns about hiring a contractor sharing a name with a Dawson's Creek character were unfounded.

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