Hissy Fit

Life's Lesson #411

I still like the telephone book, I don't care what anyone says. It's just the way I've always done it and I don't have a smart-phone yet. Besides, my name's in the phone book, which gives me a little piece of ownership. What I don't like, is having to ask someone to look something up in the phone book for me. It just never goes well. You have to listen to people as they think out loud: "Miner, Moffett, Moore, Morris, Mowery, Napolitano. ah, here it is - Palmetto Electric Company."

Is it just me, or have you noticed that when you ask someone to look up a number, the listing is usually not in the phone book? It can be an establishment that you know for a fact has been in business for 25 years, yet somehow, it is not in the phone book this year, when you happen to need their number. I get so frustrated because I know it's in the book, the problem lies with the person doing the looking up. And it doesn't matter whether I am asking my mother, my children, or someone I think is particularly smart, the listing is miraculously never there. It's not like I ride around conjuring up a place to call that I know will not be in the telephone book. I find this frustrating and it sends me into a hissy fit - thus, the name of the article.

It's actually my fault though, because usually I'm calling from my car, asking for the look-up, so I can avoid paying Information-411 a buck fifty. Yes, I have a phone book in the car, but it's usually in the backseat and that would require pulling over and all that drama. And yes, it would be much less stressful to call Information-411, but I'm just too cheap. The easiest thing to do is impose on a friend, family member or employee that may be near a phone book and let them look it up.

Well, actually it is not much easier, because like I said, every number I need is never in the phone book according to my "looker-upper".

Just the other day, on my way to Columbia (SC), I called and asked my mother to look up Petsmart in the Columbia telephone book. She put me on hold, came back and commenced the search. Talk about drama. Where is the next pull-over?

Mom: "Now, what are you looking for again?"
Me: "Petsmart on Harbison Boulevard."
Mom: "I don't see it."
Me: "It's Petsmart Mom. It has to be in there."
Mom: "I see Pet Friends."
Me: "No that's not it. I don't need Pet Friends. I need Petsmart."
Mom: "Here's Pet and Prim on St. Andrews Road." (followed by an awkward silence that pleaded for this number to work)
Me: "Mom, I don't need Pet and Prim on St. Andrews Road. I need Petsmart on Harbison."
Mom: "Well, it's not in here."
Me: "So the largest chain store for pets is not in there, but the Pet and Prim is in there?
Mom: "Yes, do you need their number?"
Me: "No, I don't need their number. I need Petsmart's number. Are you looking up one word or two?"
Mom: "One. Two. What? I'm going to have to call you back. I'll have Will look." (Will is my nephew)
(Ten minutes later) Ring. Ring. Ring. I answer.
Mom: "Here it is. Did you know it's listed as one word? Do you want the number?"

So here lies Life's Lesson #411:
Good information is hard to come by and
you usually get what you pay for.

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