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A Job Is What You Make It

Updated on January 18, 2012

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’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!


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    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      emilybee, I always stay safe! I know where the trouble spots are during bad weather and if I don't feel safe, I just won't go! Thanks for much for the comment and vote! I appreciate you sharing this!

    • emilybee profile image

      emilybee 5 years ago

      I like how you pointed out the cool things about your job, such as doughnuts at 3 am and listening to music. Not a bad gig, as long as you are safe during icy weather. :) Voted up and sharing.

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Mark Pitts: That's funny! I guess you showed them!

    • Mark Pitts profile image

      Mark Pitts 5 years ago from United States

      When I was 10 years old I worked a paper route for another kid,trying to get one of my own. That didn't work, so I would use a dime on the paper machine and get all the papers out and hawk them on the corner in competition with the real paperboys. That was an education, too. You do learn a lot delivering papers. Brought back memories for me. Great Hub!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      DougBerry: Keeping your head down and staying out of the way seems like a very good plan! Thanks for the vote and stopping by!

    • DougBerry profile image

      DougBerry 5 years ago from Abilene, TX

      My job is 99% cleaning stuff and 1% electronic repairs. The 99% keeps the 1% that low generally. Luckily it's one of those things that, while I have a schedule, I do pretty much what I want to do when I want to do it. I just have to remind myself to keep divorced from the actual operations side of my store and stick to the technical side.

      It's when I pay attention to the operations managers that I hold my head in pain. So, it's keep my head down, listen to my iPod, and stay out of the way!

      Voted up and interesting.

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 5 years ago from Tennessee

      Brett.Tesol: Thanks for the awesome saying and the vote up!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Great Hub, very well written too. I did the same while I was studying and enjoyed it. Thais have a saying 'Sanook', which means you should make every part of your life fun (even work).

      Voted up and awesome, thanks for SHARING!

    • EclecticFusion profile image

      Lisa 6 years ago from Tennessee

      truthfornow: Thank you so much for the comment and vote!

    • truthfornow profile image

      truthfornow 6 years ago from New Orleans, LA

      You are so correct that a job is what you make it. I am glad you like your job and can make it fun. Amazing the things you have seen and experienced so early in the morning. I think this hub is very inspiring. Voted up!