You Can’t Opt Out

By MamaLiberty

Ten years ago I moved to rural Wyoming. So many things were different, of course, but there were some strange things that still defy understanding.

One of those was the delivery of six different telephone books. Some were sent to me in the mail, and some were dropped in my driveway. I have a very large circular driveway around the house, so I usually got two of them. Since the population of the entire county doesn’t go above 5,000 people, that didn’t make any sense at all. We even got a telephone book for a large area in the next state!

Since most entries in the various “yellow pages” require the business to pay for the “ad,” it was even more puzzling, but the bottom line was that most of the small “mom and pop” businesses I would use were not even listed. Put that together with the fact that more and more people use cell phones, not included in the white pages, and even one telephone book was pretty much useless. We won’t even consider that I’m mostly deaf, don’t have a cell phone, and don’t use a telephone much at all.

So, I wrote to the various entities sending phone books to opt out. They offer this right in the book, so I made the effort to save them a little money and effort. The phone books are not left in my driveway(s) much any more, but there seems to be no remedy for those that are mailed.

Each year I get a letter from each of them acknowledging the fact that I have opted out…. but they regret to say that postal regulations make it impossible to actually stop the delivery. They remind me that the book is 100% recyclable, but don’t touch on the fact that I could have gotten rid of the books and never needed to opt out if there had been such an option here in my town. I’ve asked… there isn’t.

So, I expect to have several large phone books clogging my small mailbox soon. They’d be glad to let me opt out, but as long as they send the things by mail it isn’t possible.

It would be nice if this silly catch 22 was limited to telephone books in the mail.

On a more serious note, I need a simple blood test. I’ve had one about every 10 years for much of my life, and it’s time…but I’ll probably pass.

In order to get the blood test, I’d have to see a doctor. He or she would not be willing to simply order that test on my say-so and, since it’s been ten years since I saw a doctor, I’m sure they would want to do all sorts of other things to me as well. I’m nearly 70, and I’m sure they’d find all sorts of little things they’d want to “treat.” I have no intention of allowing that, or the accumulation of “medical records” in their computers. I won’t, under any circumstances, take their pills or much of their “advice” either, so all that would be a massive waste of time, money and effort for all of us.

So I guess it is pointless for me to even worry about that blood test. It isn’t happening, though it could save me a lot of pain and misery. I know how to deal with the problem all by myself… if I know there is a problem.

But that’s not one of the options.

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12 Responses to You Can’t Opt Out

  1. We get a lot of phone books here, too. For 2 states. One nice thing (?) is that we don’t have home delivery of the mail (which is otherwise inconvenient), so a lot of phone books just get pulled out of the PO boxes and left on the “sorting counter” for the PO to deal with however they so choose. I do usually keep one or two, but it’s mostly just a habit, since I don’t use them.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Ha Ha!! Just the opposite for me. I won’t enter the “post office” at all if I can avoid it – any more than I’ll go into other “gun free zones.”

      We have the locked “community” boxes on the road where I live, and it is far more convenient to get my mail there. It’s right on my way to work or to town.


      • I have lived places that had those boxes. I wish we had them here. We have one option: go to the post office, or do without mail.


      • MamaLiberty says:

        Lived in remote locations and on bad roads most of my life, so I know what you mean. I’m really glad to have the little box on the street, and to be able to lock it. The mail delivery person is a neighbor, and she completely understands why I don’t want to go into the P.O. LOL


  2. JdL says:

    but they regret to say that postal regulations make it impossible to actually stop the delivery.

    This seems bizarre, even for the government. Can you clarify what this means? Is it really true, or just an excuse from someone who does not want to bother to pull your name off a mailing list?


    • MamaLiberty says:

      I have not looked at one in many years now, but I suspect that the phone books are mailed to “occupant,” not an individual. That would make it difficult to not deliver it to any specific person. Same as all the other junk mail. I don’t understand why the phone book people send it that way myself, since those books can’t be cheap to produce. And any time I do want to look something up, the computer is faster and far more complete. I’m sure the same is true of the cell phones most folks have now.

      The phone book people probably get government subsidies to produce the books, which is probably why they have not already joined buggy whips and whale oil lamps on the list of historical curiosities.


  3. Jacques says:

    Do you a “Any Lab Test Now” outlet somewhere in your vicinity?

    You pay the fee, get the tests, receive the results, and that is that. No snooping MD’s involved.


    • MamaLiberty says:

      Unfortunately, there is nothing like that here. I live in rural NE Wyoming, with the nearest town being very fortunate to have a doctor at all. I will look for that in the nearest city, a mere 80 miles away. Maybe I’ll get lucky. Thanks for the tip.


      • MamaLiberty says:

        Looked it up. The closest location is 321 miles away in Colorado. But I will look to see if there is something else like that closer. A great idea, and a real wonder that it is “legal.”


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  5. Darkwing says:

    I wish I could opt out of a lot of things, the list is to long.


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