I Guess Newspapers Can Be Used For Crafts...

I walked into Joanne's craft store in Colonie earlier this summer and was met by a Times Union sales rep. He was very warm and friendly when he asked me if I wanted to enter a contest for a free shopping spree at Joanne's.

Shopping spree? My ears perked up. I was in a rush, but who can pass up the chance to win a free shopping spree? I can't. So I filled out the form as he continued to chat with me. I'll admit, it was a little hard to write and listen and answer all at the same time. It probably took me twice as long to fill out the form as it should have.

So what did he want to know? He asked if I ever read the Times Union newspaper. Silly question, I thought. Of course I read the Times Union! Who doesn't?

Then he wanted to know if I would be interested in home delivery. Noticing my slight delay in response, he added that I could take an inquiry form for consideration. He searched around for another form I could fill out, nearly panicking when he realized he might be all out. He fervently searched through his stack twice, trying to find a form that hadn't been filled out - all the while carrying on calm, polite but nervous small talk.

Meanwhile, I was trying not to be rude, but I didn't want to be late for a graduation party I was headed to. I told the guy not to worry about it and that I usually read the Times Union online anyway. I also added how much I like reading the TU blogs I'm subscribed to and that I probably wouldn't be interested in home delivery anyway. The look on his face told of relief, but it was obvious his heart sank a little at the same time. He just smiled politely and said, "All right, well, I'll let you get shopping."

I assume my preference of reading news headlines and feature stories online must be the growing general consensus of the Capital Region. That's probably the reality that the Times Union has run into in realizing that print newspaper operations just aren't paying off like they used to. I guess that's why the Times Union is moving increasingly toward a new-media, online focus, which is smart.

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