A Job Is What You Make It
The first alarm goes off a little after 1 a.m. I smack the snooze button and roll over to my right side. Six minutes later that annoying BRRAP-BRRRAP-BRRAP screams out again. *Smack* and now I roll over on to my left side. This goes on for about 20 more minutes until I decide I have to get out of bed. It’s so hard to do during the winter months. That bed is so warm and I’m in such a comfortable spot. I scream in my head “let ‘em get their own papers!”. I get up, put on a face so that I don’t scare the scarecrows, and head out. This is the start of my day. Hello my name is Lisa and I deliver newspapers.
It’s not a glamorous job. It’s not prestigious. It’s not envious. Okay, so those are some things it’s not, but here are some things this job is...it’s easy, it’s rewarding, it’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s freedom. Oh, and it pays the bills. In this economy, that last one is very important.
I’ve had quite a few people look down their nose at this job and at me for doing it. Needless to say, I don’t associate with these people. I don’t do or say things that make me seem more important than I really am. I don’t need to have more money than you. My car doesn’t need to be fancy and expensive and I really don’t desire to live in a house I really can’t afford. I deliver newspapers for a living and I’m perfectly happy about that.
I travel around 75 miles each night Monday through Saturday, and on Sunday I travel 100 miles. This is a rural county so everybody is kind of spread out in all sorts of nooks and crannies. I have delivery instructions such as “throw between the two big oak trees” and “put in dogs mouth and he’ll bring it to me”. That’s one smart dog and I often wonder what kind of treat he gets for such an awesome trick. I hope it’s at least a kiss, a pat on the head, and a “job well done”.
You really don’t have to have any special skills in order to do this job. You have to be able to read, drive, and provide friendly customer service. Most people are asleep during my delivery time, but there are a few that get up before the rooster and wait. I often joke that they can’t have their morning constitution until they get their paper and I feel bad when I’m a little late. I sure don’t want to be the cause of their constipation. Some people REALLY enjoy their newspaper.
Over the years, I’ve experienced a few things at night I really don’t want to again. I was the first on the scene of an accident early one Christmas morning. The guy was drunk and rolled his truck many times. He was all bloody and screaming for help. I felt helpless because I didn’t have any medical training. All I could do was call for help. I still don’t know if he survived, but if he did, I hope they threw the book at him because if I had been just minutes earlier, we might have met during one of his rollovers. That thought kept me awake a couple of nights after that.
Another time, the streets were very icy and I was trying to deliver as many of my papers as possible. The hill didn’t look that bad. It was clear at the top, but about half-way down, it turned into a solid sheet of ice and there was no going back. I started to slide and was heading straight towards the side with a steep drop-off. I saw my life flash before my eyes and I started praying. I stopped at the edge and I couldn’t get out of that car fast enough. This also kept me from sleeping at night, but not just for a few nights, it was more like a few months. I was traumatized.
The best time to be a newspaper delivery person is during Christmas. My customers are so friendly and just in a giving mood. I make enough in tips to buy new tires all around and get gifts for myself and the family. I also continue to pay-it-forward by giving some to charities and the mail carrier.
Any job is really what you make it. If you want it to be fun, it will be. If you want it to be a monkey on your back or the bane of your existence, it will be. I love the freedom of delivering newspapers. I can wear what I want. Listen to music or audiobooks. Have doughnuts and chocolate milk at 3 a.m. and I get to see the sun rise in the morning. I’ve always been a night person, so the sunrise tells me that it’s almost time for bed.
We all have jobs to do. Some are what I consider very important like heart surgeons or firefighters. Some provide a service that make our lives easier every day like what I do and the guy that makes the awesome pizza I like. We work together. We work apart. We do what we do so that life goes on. We are all important and our jobs are just stuff that we do to pass the time. Have fun!