Migration — Where Did All the Papers Go?

Monday, September 15, 2008

I spent a good chunk of yesterday morning trying to find a New York Times. I stopped walking to Stop & Shop to buy it a couple of months ago. One week they had no papers; the following week they were sold out by 8 a.m. Totally ridiculous since my sister-in-law and about two other people are the only ones who get up that early on Sunday.

For a while I went to a local convenience store, but they ran out early, too. When I pre-paid, the owner hassled me because his son? nephew? would forget to leave a note – or would leave a note but not say that I’d paid. So last week I called S&S, and they had papers. This week, I called – no Times – in fact the woman said they hadn’t received any papers. Tried the local newsstand – no papers there, either. Tried S&S in another town – nothing there.

Finally tried an indy grocer a couple of miles away in a third town. Oh joy! Oh rapture! They had the paper, and they were willing to hold it for me. When I said I’d be there in about 15 minutes, the kid said, “No rush.” Maybe not for him, but I can’t survive Sunday morning without the paper and my weekly fix of French Market Coffee. They mean it when they say to use a third to a half as much as regular coffee.

It was about 75 degrees and 90 percent humidity and raining on and off as I jumped in the car. Realized I could get cheaper gas on the way, or so I thought. As I drove up the street, I noticed that all my neighbors had copies of the Hartford Courant lying on their walks or in their driveways. I told the kid at the store that they were the only ones in the area with the Times. He said they got everything except the Courant, which for all its troubles is still the biggest seller in Connecticut.

I stopped at a gas station on the way back that normally sells its gas cheaper than its neighbors, only to discover that it was 10 cents a gallon cheaper right up the street from my house. Sigh…

That afternoon, following my coffee fix and a couple of sections of the paper, I went to visit relatives. Another sister-in-law said she drove to a bunch of convenience stores in town, and no one had the Courant. Wonder how much money the company lost yesterday? There’s no one to ask because they abolished the position of reader representative.

Glad I don’t work there any more. There is nothing more demoralizing to the news staff than listening to complaints from people who wanted the paper and didn’t get it.


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