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It’s hard to win at numbers game

Does anyone use the telephone directory anymore? I hope you have better luck than I do.
Maybe it has something to do with my age, but I think with each year it gets more difficult to discern. The more they try and simplify it, the more confusing it gets. It also seems that every year the designers try and make the font size a little smaller and the spacing between the names tighter. Obviously the printers are trying to cut back on paper needed and therefore cost.
When looking up a telephone number, I try to follow across the line from the name to the listing. Somewhere along the way I am bound to lose my direction. Usually I have to start over or trace across with my finger to hold the line of sight.
There is also no consistency. The company that prints the phone book has sold and resold every available option for making money. Just when you think you can scan over the page and find a business with the yellow tone, you find they didn’t purchase that option. Some don’t even go as far as to buy the bolder option. Therefore they get lost in the mass of general residence numbers.
Soon I start to imagine that I am on a scavenger hunt. For instance, by the time I find the section with public officials alphabetically, where it should be, I discover a notification that they have been put in a special section to save me time. Really? I have already looked where they should be. Now going somewhere else is going to make it easier and save time.
I try to find the special section of county office numbers. It turns out they are in the front of the listings and behind all of the pages of important information containing calling features and worthless facts.
If you recall, this is also the section with information on how to obtain help with telephone problems. Good luck in getting an answer there if someone answers.
It is even worse if you try and go to the yellow pages for a business number. At this point it becomes a game of trying to sort through a color code. Now businesses have the option to purchase bold type, larger type, blue, red, black, reversed and more to make their name jump off the page. Of course, each option adds an additional cost.
In our local version of the telephone book, you will also find numerous listings in the yellow pages that say to “See” this or that. Whatever you are looking up, chances are you will be referred to another title to find that service. It can be quite a chase.
I imagine the telephone services are seeing numerous changes in today’s society. Most people have smart phones and can search for numbers easier on it. In fact, many are doing away with their land line phones at home and just using cell service.
It is a far cry from when I was a child. My how we have advanced in so few years. I grew up with the actual rotary dial, placing your finger in the correct numbered hole and spinning the wheel around.
At that point we also had what was known as “party” lines. I don’t recall ever being invited to a party. The term actually referred to the fact that we were sharing a line with the neighbors.
We had to pick the receiver up carefully and listen to make sure it wasn’t being used by someone else. Sometimes this could take numerous attempts, depending on the time of day and if you had chatty neighbors.
Next came the push button version, which did save wear and tear on the fingers and saved some time as well. Fortunately by then they had upgraded the lines on the south end of the county and we had our own private line. I still never got invited to the “party.”
Cell phones have achieved as much advancement since their inception. The original big, clunky version had an attached cord connected in automobiles. As the process changed, customers still had to have an antenna mounted on their car to receive signal.
We’ve gone from flip phones to wide screen and from strictly calls to searching wide range technology. Speaking of searching, if I could just find that phone number I’m after.