Columns

2010.06.03 Doris times two gets confusing

on . Posted in By The Way

By DAVID GREEN

The saga of Doris Snow—a conundrum in our subscription department—has come to a satisfying end, at least I hope it has.

Let’s blame it on Doris from Bryan. We have to place blame somewhere other than on ourselves, right? It couldn’t have been our fault.

Doris from Bryan stopped her paper for a few months while she went south in search of warmer weather. When she returned in April, she called to get her paper going again.

So here’s what I think happened: Rather than add her to the list, we (also known as me) found Doris Snow on the subscription list and treated it as a change of address. Doris’ paper was back where it should be now in Bryan.

After a couple of weeks, Doris called to report that she hadn’t received a paper for a while. We checked the address in Bryan and she said that was wrong, she has a Wauseon address.

We made the change, but it wasn’t too long before Doris called to say that she got a couple issues of the paper and then it stopped.

I was actually rude enough to ask a couple people in Fayette if they knew Doris Snow and if she was still in a good mental state. One week she calls to tell us she lives in Bryan; a couple of weeks later she calls to say she lives in rural Wauseon. Then she calls again to say she’s in Bryan.

Part of the problem here is that Doris kept getting different people on the phone when she called. We have a pretty small staff, but most all of us talked to Doris at one time or another. She might have even had a conversation with a substitute who was sitting in the office for an hour one day while I had to go off for something.

Doris called recently to tell us she hadn’t been getting her paper. Big surprise. I made four mailing labels and sent this week’s paper plus the last three that she missed. Off they went to Bryan in Wednesday’s mail.

But Doris called Friday and said she hadn’t received her paper for the past two weeks. This was getting ridiculous. I told her that I just mailed the last four issues out Wednesday.

She said she didn’t care about the old ones; she wanted the current paper. Somewhere in the conversation I mentioned sending them all to Bryan and that’s where everything changed. She quickly pointed out that she doesn’t live in Bryan, but she knew something that I didn’t know: There is a Doris Snow who lives in Bryan, but that isn’t her. She’s the Doris Snow with a rural Wauseon address.

Problem solved. There are two Doris Snows subscribing to this paper, both of them a little annoyed.

I have to point out that both of the Dorises were pretty nice about this mess. Frustrated, of course, as was I, but I had a friendly conversation with each.

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As you undoubtedly know if you’ve been following local news, changes are underfoot in the Observer part of town. The building to my south will be coming down later this year. Yoder Motor Sales will no longer exist.

That’s what it was when I was growing up. I don’t know what preceded that, but there have been a few businesses in the location since then.

When my close, close neighbor disappears, and if the Observer doesn’t fall with it, I’ll have an enormous wall suitable for a mural. My wife wants a mural at the library, but maybe I’ll beat her to it, and my wall is so much larger.

Think about a gigantic “Chew Mail Pouch” sign on the side or maybe the number of miles to Rock City in Tennessee (about 598 miles).

Better inspiration came from a very impressive collection of contemporary murals. (The link is listed on the Observer website: statelineobserver.com).

I want to see someone leaning over the edge of the roof and looking down below, looking at the people tumbling to the ground. Maybe tumbling isn’t the right word. It’s almost like they’re floating downward. They’re in various states of the journey downward, but they’re all smiling. It’s a good fall.

I wonder how soon city council will amend the code to include a chapter on murals.

And somewhere on that big wall I think there will be space for a couple of portraits: two women named Doris whom I will never again mix up.

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