ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Harried Life of Route Salesmen

Updated on August 11, 2015

What a Way to Make a Living

I spent about 6 years of my life delivering and selling products as a route salesman.  I sold bread, cakes, pastries and dairy products at one time or another.  They were jobs I hated with a passion.

A 12 hour day was a short day for me.  Normally I would put in about 16 hours.  My day would start around 3 AM and I would rarely return home before 7 in the evening.

I worked for 2 major bread companies.  At zero dark 30 I would start loading up the order I had made a week earlier.  After counting each item to make sure I had everything I had ordered, it would have to be loaded, last stop to first.

There was no time to waste.  The van would have to be ready to go in an hour.  First stops on the list would be those having to be delivered before business doors opened.  These were usually schools, daycare centers and nursing homes.  My route had 9 schools...which had to be serviced before 7:30 AM, daily. Not only did orders have to be delivered but orders for the next week taken.

Like a Cross Country Race

The route sales game can be compared to that of a cross country runner. The starting gun was fired and off I went as fast as my short legs would take me. I'm 5'4".

One customer told my supervisor I was doing a good job. "Yep" the proprietor quipped. "John comes in here with those short little legs going just as fast as they can...but he ain't getting nowheres fast!"

But I really did get around quickly. I had to if I was going to get the job done on time. Figure on a 12 hour day divided by 62 stops. That comes to about 15 minutes per store. Now, include driving time between those stops. Boggles the mind doesn't it?

And this doesn't include taking out older products and pricing the new. No, it can't be done prior. Each store charges different prices and those are constantly changing.

Forget such thing. Lunch was ordered while working a store and wolfed down while driving to the next. I became adept at holding a sausage dog, cup of coffee and a cigarette while steering with my feet.

During the summer a step van gets mighty hot inside. Sweat would roll off my brow and arms soaking all my paper work. Sure made it difficult to write tickets without tearing the paper. And don't mention fresh bread to me.

As hot as it was in those vans, I was delivering toast and hot pastries.

Working with dairy products was no easier. However, in the summer the cold refrigerator truck became a welcome cool haven.

But on the other hand, rainy, winter weather would find you with the front of your uniform frozen to your stomach if you happened to be working with ice cream.

The only real plus with milk and juice products was you didn't have to worry about dying of thirst.

To this day I still shudder at the sight of a bread or milk truck.  Route salesmen...ya gotta love 'em.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • freelancewriterva profile image


      8 years ago

      great hub page. keep it up


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)