I started working when I was about 10 years old. That was when I got my first paper route, yes; a 10 year old delivering newspapers. You see that’s the way it was back in “the day”. I still remember it clearly, I was walking home from Jenco’s Deli one afternoon, yep walking home from the deli alone at 10 years old, I probably went there for an RC Cola and Ring Dings (remember them), oh yeah and probably had to get my mother cigarettes too (remember when they sold those to 10 year olds). Anyway back to the story. So I’m walking home and I was on the corner of Passaic and Walnut (I lived on Walnut) when a car pulled up to me and the guy driving called me over (that’s a criminal offence now). I walked over to the car (kids today are taught to run) and the driver asked me if I was interested in delivering newspapers. That was the day I got my first paper route delivering the New York Daily News.
The Daily News was an early morning paper, so every day before school I would delivery my papers, then every Friday afternoon after school I would have to go to each customer to collect for the week’s papers.
Let me go back a little, when I delivered the papers there were specific instructions for most of my customers. Some wanted the papers in the mailbox (mailboxes used to have a little rack under the mail part for the papers), others wanted it at the back door, for some I would open the screen door and put it between the screen door and main door, you get the point, where ever the customer wanted the paper I had to make sure that’s where I put it. If I didn’t I heard it from my route manager (yep they called him and let him know).
Ok so Friday afternoon after school door to door to collect. Then on Saturday afternoon my manager would come to my house and I would pay him for the week. Between my cut and tips I would make about $35 a week, which was a lot for a route back then, and for a 10 year old; I was rich.
The other part of the job was getting new customers; yep that was on me too (no telemarketers back then). So periodically while delivering or collecting I would put fliers in mailboxes, or just go knock on doors to try and sell subscriptions (imagine that a 10 year old knocking on random doors; ALONE).
It’s been raining since late last night, I have to go outside and get my soaking wet newspaper, (that was delivered by my 50 something year old paper lady, who doesn’t have to get her own customers or collect or follow any set of rules as to how the paper should be delivered), from the middle of my front lawn. It should be dry enough to read by tomorrow so don’t tell me what the Knicks did last night.
P.S. I Love You……………..