Saturday, October 30, 2010

Out With the Old

When my daughter's friends find out that I deliver papers in the neighborhood where they know people they always ask "Do you deliver to so-and-so?" My answer is always that I'll have to check my list. I only know my customers by their address, not by name, and 16 year old girls never know their friends' addresses. I have no relationship with any of my customers. I've only ever spoken a word or two in passing to a handful of them.

Why on earth did I give a sad sigh when I saw a realtor's for sale sign in one of their yards this morning? I don't even know their name. Weird that I would be sad to see the family at 26 Maplewood moving when I've never even said hello to them.

Perhaps its an automatic response to change. Maybe subconsciously I assume the worst scenarios. You know: foreclosure, death, unpaid taxes. Quite possibly I'm just hoping they'll remember to tip me before they go.

I think the "Awww" response is based upon my nature. Even though I don't know them, delivering their paper EVERY SINGLE MORNING gives me the right to mourn the change. I'm more than just their paper girl. I'm a writer who absorbs the details and creates imaginary worlds around anything I see.

I know them in a creepy stalker kind of way that non-paper-delivering/non-writing folks can't appreciate. I know that they have an exercycle in the basement that they use as a clothes hanger. I know that 3 weeks ago somebody left the sliding door to their minivan opened all night. I know that somebody often sleeps on the couch and that they never turn their television off. And now the repairs they made to the front entry (I tripped over the baracade) make sense.

Good luck dear home owner. May the selling process be kind to you. Where ever you end up may you find quality home delivery for your daily news. For me, please sell to someone with interesting quirks so I may weave a tale around the life of the new family living at 26 Maplewood.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Notice Me

We recieved a deluge of rain recently in the northeast. Cold, heavy rain. The kind of rain that soaks you in a minute. Delivering papers in that crap is miserable. I can't wear a raincoat. The water drips from the coat drenching the papers and my car seats. An umbrella is unrealistic because my routes are spread out enough that I really need to use my car. It takes considerably longer to deliver in the rain because I have to put every paper in a bag. It's a pain in the butt.

Sure I'm wet and cold, but it could be a lot worse. My car is heated. I have a nice shower with hot water back home to help chase the chill away. My warm puppy waits in my bed for me to curl around. My car dries out before I have to leave for my other job. The extra 30 minutes it takes to bag the papers will not kill me.

What bothers me is the customers. I'm certain that the majority go out to get their paper in the rain and say a silent "oh, that poor carrier" but the customers I actually hear from are the complainers. I had one customer complain so fervently that it prompted a phone call from my manager. She was ticked that I didn't get the paper closer to the front door. She got damp retrieving her paper from 2 steps away. Boo hoo, asshole.

Another customer saw me deliver the paper, rain streaming off the bill of my cap, then sent their dog to get it never saying a word to me. Just an "aw, you poor thing!" would have made my week. Nope, just sent Sparky to grab the paper then slammed the door tightly shut behind her.

Take a minute out of your life to appreciate the things you don't normally notice. Thank your husband for setting the coffee pot even though he's been doing it every night for a hundred years. Notice the brightly lit entrance to your driveway the next time you are coming home in the dark, those street lamps don't change their own light bulbs. Smile at the cleaning lady taking out the trash in the doctor's office, she's the reason you don't catch cooties from the person who used the exam room before you. And for the love of Pete, if you see me delivering your paper in the pouring rain, thank me.