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Blogity-blah-blah-blog: Story Time Tuesday ~ Work, Work, Work Edition: Ink, Paper, and Rubber Bands

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Story Time Tuesday ~ Work, Work, Work Edition: Ink, Paper, and Rubber Bands

I thought I would start a series here on Story Time Tuesdays. I'm calling it the Work, Work, Work Edition, but I'll probably shorten it to WWWE starting next week. That's one more "W" than WWE, so no lawsuits Vince McMahon. Yea, I'm sure he reads this blog. I've been working since I was 13 and I've had many jobs in the past 17 years. No, I never got fired, I just got bored. I was a paperboy for my first job and I've already shared the best story from that job in an older post. But there are some other stories and memories from that job that I will tell you about today.

My very first day it took me five minutes to deliver my first paper. It was the Sunday morning paper and I had trouble rolling it up and getting the rubber band around it. It didn't take long to figure out that I needed to put rubber bands on all the papers before I delivered them. I had 80 papers to deliver on my route, it was one of the largest routes the Williamsport Sun-Gazette had for the Jersey Shore area. I had to make a few trips back to my house to get more papers because those suckers weighed probably 2-3 pounds on Sundays. Fortunately after that Sunday, my parents and other family members agreed to help me on Sunday mornings by loading all the papers in their cars and helping me deliver them. I greatly appreciated that especially because we had to get up at 5am to get started.

After getting more attuned to my job I found that I didn't need to use rubber bands for the smaller papers during the week. We had to pay for our rubber bands. All I had to do was fold it so that one side tucked into the other and when I tossed it on someone's porch it would automatically unfold,
right there on the doormat.

There were three sections of my route. I had one section in town near my house, another down the road in a housing development where all the rich people lived who tipped well at Christmas time, and an apartment complex for the elderly. In each section of my paper route I knew at least one person who was kind enough to offer me a nice cold drink in the summer. One lady made the best iced tea ever! There were a few of my customers that I could sit with for a few minutes and chat when I needed a little rest.

During the winters of 1993 and 1994 our area had two of the biggest blizzards in over 100 years. Those just happened to be the two years that I had my paper route. I couldn't believe the delivery truck actually showed up to drop the bundles of papers off at my house. I was thinking, "It's the end of the world and you want me to deliver papers?!" I did it, and most people weren't expecting to get a paper that day. I got a little help from my family too which was nice.

I usually delivered to the rich housing development last because the neighborhood kids were usually doing something fun like playing baseball in the summer and having snowball fights in the winter. I finished there so I could join in the fun. I delivered to the apartment complex for the elderly first. One reason was because there was this one guy who got pretty upset if his paper wasn't there by 5pm. After 5 he stood outside, waiting for me. One time I was late and there he was. He had a few nasty words to say to me and lectured me about being late. I apologized and before I kept on going I told him "Merry Christmas". He just looked at me and said "Go to hell." That was harsh. Then one day he was outside, but I wasn't late. He was packing up a few things in his car. He told me he was moving. The song "Celebration" by Kool and the Gang started to play in my head. But then he did something I never expected. He apologized for giving me such a rough time and shook my hand. He said that I was probably glad he was leaving. I told him he wasn't such a bad guy after all.

Another time I was delivering to the apartment complex and I saw one of the elderly residents sitting in his car with his eyes closed and his head down. I thought he was dead. So I went to one of the apartments and knocked on the door so someone could come down and check on him. Somehow a large group of people came out and were all standing around the car. One of them knocked on the window of the car and the guy woke up kind of startled to see a bunch of people standing around his car. He said he was just napping. Strange place for a nap.

So that was my first job, I enjoyed it even though it was nothing like the arcade game.

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