Photo: Jon S. on Flickr
A friend and former co-worker of mine that I keep in touch with through Facebook but hadn’t seen in a long time in a nearby city posted about her truck breaking down on one of her runs on Saturday morning. She is a single Mom with a daughter in college and is working two jobs to make ends meet, one being a paper route.
Others had offered to help, but I was off on Monday and I had a nagging in my brain that I am sure was the Holy Spirit, encourage me to check with her to see what the situation was on Sunday afternoon and when I checked with her she didn’t have anyone to assist with her route that night and I know from prior discussions is that if she misses a day, she not only does not get paid for it, but she is fined so it is a double whammy.
I emailed her when Marv was here and discussed about her truck and the situation and the Holy Spirit must have hit him too because he was quick to say he would help.
It was interesting adventure, peek into a different job and a new found higher respect for anyone who does deliver the paper on a regular basis.
I got up at 1:00am and drove to Marv to meet up with him then drive south to pick her up at 2:00AM. She brought out her kit, a tray filled with a set of plastic bags and rubber bands. We went to what looked like storage facility to pick up the papers and other were doing so as well. She said normally she stays in the storage facility (which in not heated) and inserts all of the papers in the plastic bags with rubber bands around the ends. The rubber bands she pays for herself and she said it is well worth the investment rather than tying off the ends which take more time. Tonight she hung the plastic bags on the rear view mirror and rolled them up, put them in the bags and passed them to me to put the rubber bands around to save time.
We headed off to a nearby small town. She said this was her short run, which was only 50 papers in a small town near her and it took about an hour and a half. Her big runs are on the weekends and says it takes a few hours. I said I was surprised so many people in a small town still got the daily paper with the advent of the internet but she advised most of her readers are retired. I can understand that though, especially if you grow up reading a paper newspaper is easier to read than reading online and there are lots of things you can do with it after reading. It has been Marv’s gift wrapping staple for years. Will never forget him wrapping Kyle’s bike in it for his birthday party at Lazer X and the audible groan from Grandma Sprowl when seeing it. Not like Kyle cared, he got a bike! This year he purchased some strange 60’s looking circles paper that was orange and white for Christmas. Guess he is still missing working at Home Depot.
Ok, got a little off track there. Back to the subject at hand.
She knew each stop by heart and the specifics of each stop and the specifc instructions for each; a few had holder below their mailbox to put them in, some could be thrown in the driveway, others had to be set a specific place and if not, she would be fined the same amount as if the paper was not delivered at all.
It took a little over and hour and a half to deliver the papers. She was thankful, but I felt enlightened to what a challenge it could be.