I recently moved to a very small town from the bustling and overpriced city of Vancouver, BC (which is beautiful but I cannot imagine owning a home there ever). I am completing a heavy course load of distance education courses so I left my job at the end of September. When we moved, I was perusing the local paper in new small town and spotted an add that said “News carriers wanted! Adults welcome!”. Well doesn’t that sound fun, I thought.
So I called in and took up a paper route. This is not the only way I make a living, I am about to start training this week at the “real job.” I go out twice a week and deliver papers – complete with nifty canvass paper bag. I’m thinking about pimping my paper bag, perhaps some added flair with concert patches or crocheted bling or something. I wear a neat hat too – but this is my own decision. Depending on weather I have an old man taxi driver style hat, or on the colder days, one of my stylish winter hats.
My paper route takes a little over one hour to do and each time I am getting ready to do it, I feel giddy and ridiculous all at once.
Things I like about my paper route:
1) For the 1+ of fast walking (with resistance – recall nifty paper bag) 2x a week
2) The quiet/alone time where I contemplate my life/day/empty bank account/next roller derby practice
3) Singing. I love to sing, I suck at it. Nobody seems to mind my singing while I wander up their driveways
4) Cookies. There are many old people in my small town, and they make cookies and give them to me.
5) Small talk with random people. This is kind of part of one of my goals – meeting new people in the new community – well apparently people like to talk to me (and call my paper boss to say they “like my paper delivering style”)
Things I do not like about my paper route:
1) I hate touching newspapers. Ironic right? I hate the feel of inky newsprint on my bare hands. I wear gloves when I “roll my papers”
2) The pay is shit. It’s almost funny. It pays my truck insurance each month and that’s it.
3) Creepy old men hitting on the paper girl. The line I got today: “I must need to get my eyes checked, because I don’t remember the paper guy being this good looking!” (I did not accept cookies from him). No, you need to get your eyes checked because it may be a safety violation while you get behind the wheel of your ginourmous boat of a vehicle.
4) Scary dogs. I love dogs. I have two dogs. Why do three houses on my route allow their menacing and scary dogs roam free in the front yard/road with no supervision? I toss their papers and run (when usually I hand deliver to the front door) and don’t look back.
5) Unfriendly paper recipients. I guess before I came along to the route, the other carrier would do drive-bys: stay in their car and whip the paper from the car window. I park and load my bag and walk it baby and I’ve gotten two evil glares from windows. Why? I have no idea! Bastards.
I don’t know how much longer I’ll get to keep my paper route though…..as I said, training is starting next week and then I’ll be on call for the job so it may not be feasible to keep it. But until then I’ll keep on walking.