Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Heartbreak of the Buggy Whip Maker

Or, in this case, the heartbreak of the pay-phone owner/distributor.

ST. LOUIS -- At 62, Jim Nesselhauf is not sure which will come first, retirement or the demise of his business - pay phones.

Three years ago, Nesselhauf's company, Joltran Communications Inc., had 1,000 pay phones scattered around the St. Louis area.

Today, he's down to about 400. And he expects to soon lay off one of his four remaining employees.

Technologies come, and they also go. Do you remember the last cassette music tape you bought? Your last LP record? I purchased "the" Amazon Kindle last year, and now it's old technology already, somewhat derogatorily labeled "the Kindle Keyboard" so as to distinguish it from more advanced models.

1 comment:

ASM826 said...

It's a shame he's not a huge corporation. Then he would be too big to fail and the feds would bail him out to protect his union employees.

Then they could create zones where cell phones don't work so that the pay phones get used.

When they fail again, they could institute a new user tax on cell phones and use that to pay the union employees to maintain the booths.