Trib Posts Record Profits

What a headline! The Chicago Tribune posts RECORD profits!!

Didn't see it, neither did I. And now I know, you never will.

All I tried to do was put the hard copy subscription of my Chicago Tribune on hold, for about 40 days. Hadn't let me put my New York Times hard copy subscription on hold? Took 45 seconds.  Go to the web site, to vacation hold, and enter a stop date and start date. Done.

The web site of the Chicago Tribune says it doesn't allow holds of over 30 days, saying to call. So I call. After "press this" and "enter that" I ended up with an automated message saying that for holds over 30 days--talk to a representative. So I enter "ZERO" as it says and I get a feckless female voice. After asking various secret info like my name, phone and address, she says my phone number is not what I said.

"No it's not," says this vacuous voice.

"Yes it is," I respond. What is she bringing me down to, Mrs. Hearn's third grade class?

"No it's not. It ends with a ONE."

"No it does not." You can always tell when I get edgy, I stop speaking in contractions.

Click click click go her keys.

"You can't put a subscription on hold longer than 30 days," she says without losing a beat.

Did I leave shampoo hardening in my ears this morning? "WHY?"

She just repeats, I cannot put my subscription on hold for longer than 30 days. I explain, but I can do this with my New York Times newspaper, the one that is delivered by the same delivery person who brings the Trib. I cannot put my subscription on hold for longer than 30 days.


"You can't," is her only response. How do you debate with one who only speaks in dogma--Thou shalt not put your subscription on hold for longer than 30 days.

"Then cancel," I say--thinking this is getting way too Edward Albee-esque for me.  "The whole subscription. Forever."

"Okay," responds the robot.

No discussion, no I'll ask my manager and then hand the phone over to another faceless voice--no we appreciate your being one of the last Chicagoans who wants a HARD COPY of a newspaper and thus, I keep my job. Nada. Zilch.

She kept blathering from scripts before her about nonsense I knew was I said, Good Bye and hung up.

Now, any questions of why the newspaper business is a dying business model?

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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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