Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The letter I would love to leave...

Dear Customer,

Please let me begin by thanking you for your loyal patronage. It is truly my pleasure to bring your paper to you each day. The purpose of my letter is to confirm that my service is all that you expect and to open the lines of communication should there be any problems.

To begin our dialogue, I’d like to take this opportunity to ask a few questions:

Is your paper there when you wake up? Have you ever seen me delivering to your house? If answers to both questions are no, then I can only assume that you are aware that I deliver your paper in the dark. As that is the case, I would like to remind you that when you snake your garden hose across the walkway which is normally unobstructed, when you forget and leave a stool under the porch light you replaced, and when you have mulch delivered to the center of your driveway and then fail to leave a light on for me to see it, I trip and fall and get hurt. If your paper has ever been received covered with blood, you now know why. Two words: motion light.

Do you know how many homes I deliver to? Are you aware that I have to keep track of 5 separate delivery schedules? Sometimes I forget that you, one customer out of 220, prefer that your paper be bagged each day. Sometimes I accidentally deliver to you on a Saturday when you are a Sunday only customer. Sometimes there are several advertisements in your paper and sometimes there are none. Often I forget that you want your paper in the cute little box hiding in the dark corner of your porch. You are one of 220 customers… please stop calling the press with these complaints. They are petty and just make me want to step in dog shit then wipe it on your welcome mat.

Do you tip your hairdresser? How about waitresses? Do you leave a few bucks for the maid when you travel? I provide a service of convenience similar to the aforementioned. It’s not just OK to tip me, the press pays me very little with the assumption that you will tip me. When I don’t get tips, I make about $5.00 a day (that’s 2.50/hr) after expenses. Yes, expenses. I have to buy the rubber bands that keep your paper from blowing away & the bags that keep your paper dry. I have to put gas in my car, batteries in my flashlight and replace my reflective vest every so often so your third shift neighbor doesn’t run over me. With 220 customers I don’t need a lot from everyone. Just a few bucks will do.

Once again, thanks for being a loyal customer. I hope this letter finds you healthy!

Yours truly,

PS: I’ve attached a box of Breathright strips for the snorer at 42 Elm St. Your spouse can thank me at Christmas time. I accept cash, checks and Starbucks gift cards.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

One paper at a time.

I used to wake up at 2:20am and immediately start calculating what time I would get done delivering. On the days I would arrive at my pick up location to find the papers aren't there, I would get really irritated that my schedule was disrupted. Years ago, after totaling my car because I was running late for work and driving too fast, I changed the way I thought about time. Haste makes waste. It's better to arrive late than dead. I reminded myself of that pearl of wisdom and have stopped thinking about the end and started living in the moment.

No matter how quickly I want to finish delivering my route I can only deliver one paper at a time. Each house, each customer deserves my undivided attention so that their paper gets delivered timely and to the right location. Thinking about the end instead of focusing on the process has always been my problem, creatively and in my day to day existance. It's what keeps me from cleaning my closets and writing my blog posts. It's what holds me prisoner in a job I hate.

Now each time I find that I'm focusing on the future instead of living in the moment I remember that car crash. Slow down and enjoy the ride. Disruption is what happens when life gets in the way. Arrive late and enjoy the sunshine rather than hurry and miss tomorrow.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't Give up on Me!

My sincere apologies to anyone whom may be peeking in from time to time. I am experiencing a severe case of too-much-to-do-and-not-enough-time combined with a speck of creative constipation. I will be busily brainstorming and making time management adjustments over the next several days. Will be back to posting soon. Thanks for your patience, DON'T GIVE UP ON ME!
<3 HH