Last year, I happened to be home when the Dex people came by to dump dozens of unwanted phone books in my building lobby. I told them to take my building off their list in the future. What happened this year? This:
I let the phone books hang around for a while, just in case anyone actually wanted one, and then today I loaded them all into the trunk of a car, parked it (illegally) in front of city hall, carried the books into the city hall lobby, sweet-talked the security guard into letting me leave them there while I went and re-parked my car (legally this time), came back, hauled the phone books into an elevator, arrived at the floor housing the city council offices, borrowed a cart...
...wheeled this unwanted stack of phone books past our civic leaders of old, and, finally, added them to the growing pile around O'Brien staffer Sahar Fathi.
She told me that O'Brien was, at that very moment, in a meeting with officials representing Dex and other phone companies, telling them to fix their opt-out policies so that people like me can actually, successfully opt-out of receiving phone books.
Fathi also told me that the Dex people had been by today to look at the pile of unwanted books in O'Brien's office, but hadn't agreed to remove them. That was at around 12:30 p.m. However, by late afternoon the phone books were gone—or, at least, all but a few stragglers.
Sierra Hansen, another legislative aide to O'Brien, told me there was no word on what, exactly, O'Brien's discussions with Dex had produced in terms of the opt-out issue. But the discussion clearly produced some action on the pile of unwanted books in O'Brien's office.
Hansen said that at first, "just one dude with an older model Acura" showed up, at Dex's behest, to take them away. Realizing that wasn't going to work, he left and came back with two more guys and, presumably, two more cars. Hansen said they told her Dex was going to "repurpose" the phone books—which, she said, probably means they'll deliver them to other Seattle residents.
Does O'Brien still want people to bring him their unwanted deliveries from Dex?
"We've said our piece," Hansen told me.