So I’ve been a Los Angeles Times daily reader/newsstand purchaser/subscriber for 25+ years. The past few of those 365 day-ers, the reliability of their service had plummeted to periods of paucity I never thought possible. It got to the point where even a WEEK wouldn’t go by where I wasn’t sending them an angry e-mail with varying subject lines: NO PAPER. NO PAPER AGAIN. PAPER TOSSED IN A PUDDLE OF WATER. WHY DO YOU PEOPLE HATE ME SO MUCH???
Seriously! This is a typical e-mail I would send them:
Once again, my paper never came this morning. Also, my Sunday paper yesterday failed to contain a Calendar, a Travel, nor an Arts and Books section. I can’t do this anymore. I want out. My number is (blah-blah-blah) if you think you can fix this. But look at the vast history of emails and complaints here. You can’t fix it. You don’t WANT to fix it. You don’t care enough. It’s a joke. I want out. My ass is killing me. And you LIKE that it is.
Finally, a “specialist” called me yesterday. She had a very soothing way and somehow managed to coerce me into a new delivery arrangement that would start this morning.
And then? This morning? NO paper arrived. I literally bowed my big head in disappointment after yet ANOTHER hike down four flights of stairs to retrieve it. A ritual I had grown accustomed to, even if for naught.
I felt bad for poor Ruby, the customer service rep who had to take my call this morning. I REALLY let her have it. Not her personally, of course. Oh, she worked hard to dissipate my defiance. But you could tell even SHE agreed I was just in my cancellation!
Reading the morning paper with my coffee is over. It’s just as well. The frequent e-mail sending and demand for quality service was prematurely aging me like an old guy who still reads the newspaper. Yeah, yeah, “just read it on your iPad.” It ain’t the same.
I just wanted my paper to arrive everyday.
I’ll miss you, Ralph Drabble.
WINE PAIRING: Hey! Look what I found! Our Daily Red! How apropos! AND it’s “organic”! PERFECT for Los Angeles! (Okay, I’m kinda taking the piss there, but I’m SO stepping out today to grab a bottle…)