Phone book leaves no way to reach out, touch schools

July 22, 1993|By Staff Report

The phone company lists more than 3 million phone numbers in its 27 Maryland directories.

But that's small consolation to Carroll County school officials, whose more than 100 listings were unceremoniously dropped from this year's Westminster directory published by the Chesapeake & Potomac Telephone Co.

"I couldn't believe it when I saw it," said James Gillespie, the school system's supervisor of plant operations and the person responsible for overseeing the system's $281,000 annual phone bill budget. "It's all screwed up."

C&P readily acknowledged the mistake -- listings for the county's TTC 32 schools and dozens of school board officials are usually found in the blue pages section of the directory -- but said such omissions almost never occur.

"This kind of error is extremely rare, extremely rare," said David Pacholczyk, a company spokesman. He said C&P averages fewer than two mistakes for every 100,000 listings.

The error occurred when an entry clerk -- making corrections to last year's school listings -- obliterated all of the listings that didn't change from the July 1992 through June 1993 directory, Mr. Pacholczyk said.

In the next several months, a complete -- and presumably accurate -- listing of school numbers will be included in customers' phone bills, he said.

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