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24 phone books = lots of dead trees.
24 phone books = lots of dead trees.

Anyone need 24 phone books?

Yesterday, some poor guy schlepped 24 phone books to our office. I'm not kidding. He delivered 24 AT&T white, yellow and business-to-business pages to OnMilwaukee.com. I have to laugh, because I can't imagine why we would need all those dead trees in a company that does almost all of its business electronically.

I'm trying to figure this one out. Maybe it's because we have 15 employees, and someone thought that we needed a few copies for each and every one of us. But there's no way that AT&T would know how many people work here, right?

More realistically, they brought six phone books for every phone line (four). Which is even more ridiculous, because our phone system shares those lines across every extension in the office, making six a most arbitrary number.

But the bigger question is, who really uses phone books anymore? I, like most everyone who works in an office, has a computer in front of me all day, with high-speed Internet access. When I need to look up a phone number or an address, I hope online to Google or Yahoo and find it in seconds. If I'm not in front of a computer, that means I'm probably in the car, and I use my Blackberry to call up a number. I don't think I've cracked open the yellow pages or called 411 in a few years. Maybe I'm not the typical case, though? When was the last time you used a phone book at work?

I guess we'll hold on to one set of these old-timey books, just in case, but the rest will go directly into the recycling bin. It's a huge waste for everyone involved, from the phone company, to the poor advertisers who spend their money in these dinosaurs, to the consumers like us who now must schlep these 24 books into the dumpster.

I would've never expected to see 24 phone books piled in my office in 2007. Maybe in 2008, they'll deliver a few less.

In 2009, maybe we'll see none at all.

Talkbacks

jeremyh | Jan. 14, 2008 at 10:31 a.m. (report)

I hate receiving phone books. So now that I bought a house this Spring and received a phone book in like October, I wanted to remove myself from their distribution list. So on AT&T's side I found a number for their Phone Book Distribution Center at 1-800-346-4377 and called to remove myself. Save some trees with a simple call!!

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72 | Sept. 18, 2007 at 3:43 p.m. (report)

I tear phone books apart as a work out ..

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phoner | Sept. 18, 2007 at 2:30 p.m. (report)

I think you'd be quite surprised how many people still use them. Most poeple love them and feel they must have one around. I get pallets of them every year.

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Local | Sept. 18, 2007 at 2:15 p.m. (report)

You should be taxed additionally if you still use a phone book. Think about it. All the Yellow Pages do is suck money from the local economy (advertising in them is like throwing money away), kills trees, harms the ozone, pollutes and harms children (too many restaurant still use as replacement high chairs). Phone books are evil and we need to do away with them.

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OlderWiser | Sept. 18, 2007 at 12:52 p.m. (report)

There really are people who still use the books, but I agree that too many are distributed. Not everyone has a computer at home....and there are some...not ALWAYS old folks who don't know how to use a computer. My single family residence received two books but despite the sign requesting that all deliveries be made to the door/entrance that we use 99.9% of the time, the books were left on some concrete steps only to be destroyed by the monsoon rains that occurred a couple weeks ago. So sad....but at least someone is earning a living by delivering the books.

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