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We must start by telling you how much we both enjoy your weekly commentary of the happenings in our Mad River Valley.
It is always one of the first items that we read each week. That being said we were a bit dismayed to see what we perceived as good-natured ribbing of our good neighbors at the Telecom. First off while the phone book may be a bit thinner this year, for whatever reason, it must be noted that we still have far and away the best local phone book anywhere. Sure it includes the phone listings like we expect from any old phone book, but name another telephone company publication anywhere that includes information about local hikes, walks and bike rides, a listing of Vermont's covered bridges and sugar houses, a compilation of community special events, or town information including maps and local officials. Not to mention 20-plus pages of really interesting history with a different subject each and every year. In all the places we have ever lived or visited we don't ever recall curling up with the local phone book for some great reading -- only in the Mad River Valley!
You also mentioned that you had some trouble contacting the folks at the Telecom to get some information. While we certainly wouldn't argue about your experience I must say that I have never found getting through to be a problem and don't ever recall getting placed on hold for any length of time at all. To be honest, what impresses us most is the fact that whenever we call we always get a real live, friendly human being, not a computerized system. This is quite a difference from what I recently experienced while trying to help a relative recently who was having computer connectivity problems with Verizon (or whatever they are called this month!). In contrast to waiting in a queue to speak to someone in Bangalore, whenever we have had any questions or problems with our phone or cable service we have always been greeted quickly and efficiently and have always had the issue resolved. Without exception we deal with a Telecom employee that has been around for many years, is a Valley neighbor and is an integral part of our local community. It is obvious that the owners and staff of the phone company understand the importance of this community and play a huge part in helping to make it the special place that it is. Hey, Valerie, let's try to look at the phone book glass as quite full, not half empty.
Eric and Lisa Friedman