Confessions of a Paper Boy

For the last few weeks and months, I have been doing a paper-round. Originally, it was Dominics, but he got hacked off with it, but I kept doing it anyway for the little (teeny tiny!) extra bit of money each week.

Over the weeks and months of doing it, I have been gritting my teeth, putting my head down and plugging away at it, but now, finally, something has snapped and I've told them enough is enough.  The reasoning?


First up, you need to keep in mind that this is a "kids" job. You also need to remember, this is the free papers, so people don't pay for them and every house gets one unless they specifically state "no free papers". Delivery is once a week, usually Thursday but I generally did it Friday morning.

Each week, 225 papers were delivered the front door, and usually multiple leaflets were added to the pile in multiples of 225 - two or three leaflets (450/675/etc) at a time. These leaflets had to be put together, and then added to the papers.

Time taken? Just putting leaflet in papers was about 60-90 minutes.

After that, the papers then had to be loaded into the trolley and then dragged around the streets. Generally, that many papers didn't fit in one load into the trolley, so 150 or so papers with 150/300/450 leaflets were then dragged around and delivered door to door to door. Once the trolley was empty, it was a case of walking all the way back home - remembering where you've gotten to - and then reloading the trolley and going BACK again, and finishing up.

This is generally a two hour job in itself, so between leaflet sorting, packing and delivering, I'd be looking at three and a half hours or so. 

The pay? VERY rarely more than £10. OK granted, this was "Kids Wage" but the reasoning behind the wage was that the job took an hour.

These time frames I've given are ME doing it, and I don't knob around or anything, I just get it done and dusted.

But you know what, it's not even the length of time versus the pay. I did it mainly for the exercise. But I draw the line at rude people.

And you know what, the world seems to be populated with people that moan and whine and bitch at someone for something either out of their control or something so minor, you would expect someone like that to have a coronary watching the news.

Cases in point...
My Paper Is Wet!
Yes, that's because rain or shine, I have to deliver a shit-ton of newspapers. So, when I take a paper off the top in the rain, it might be a little damp. By the time I've folded it and stuffed it through your letterbox, it will have gotten damper. Your paper, the paper before you, the paper after you - ALL damp. I've not done it intentionally, it's the RAIN. This also leads me on to;

My Paper Is Torn!
If your paper has gotten damp (see previous) then sliding through a metal or plastic letterbox is going to split some of the paper. Also, if your letterbox doesn't open properly, or if you are one of these bloody people that HAS to have a letterbox lined with stiff bristles, even DRY paper will get torn in that. The other cause of torn paper?

You Let My Dog Rip Up The Paper!
OK, I don't check each house or door for a mutt. If you DO have a dog that shreds things going into the house, put up a sodding sign. If you don't want your dog to shred it either A) Keep the dog away from the front door, or B) Put up a letterbox guard. I don't post the paper with the intention for your dog to shred it up. No sign, no notice, the paper goes in and Spot the Dog has a paper lunch

You Stepped On My Grass!
Yes, I did, and you know why? Because your letter box is so far off to the side it's either step on your grass or levitate above your lawn and deliver it.

You Looked In My Window!
Just because my head is facing your door - you know, where your letterbox is - it does not mean I am trying to peer in and see what is in your house. If I am peering in YOUR house, then the other 224 houses also need to be warned.

I Don't Want The Leaflets!
The leaflets are part of the paper. You want the paper, you have to have the leaflets. You're not obliged to receive the paper, just say "Please don't deliver it any more" and like magic, the paper and leaflets from the paper will stop.

I Don't Want The Paper!
Now, my previous point stated that if you don't want it, just say politely that you don't, in fact, want it any more. Leaving a shitty note? I'll carry on delivering it intentionally. Throw your paper outside your front door? Yep, still going to deliver it. I'm a spiteful shit. If you ask nicely that you would like me to stop delivering, then fair enough, I will make a note and stop.

In future, please consider your paper-person. He or She is delivering in sweltering heat, freezing cold, strong winds, ice, pissing rain... That trolley or that bag they are lugging is heavy and there's a good chance they have to make a second journey yet. Be nice, be polite, don't be rude. They get paid a pittance, and have to put up with a lot of rude, arrogant and generally grumpy people, just to deliver your free newspaper.

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One Response to “Confessions of a Paper Boy”

Posh Totty said...

Nothing changed, I remember doing a paper round as kid and I got all the same comments and complaints too and I think I probably got the same amount of money too which is quite shocking considering it was about 25 years ago.