The London Free Press

My first job came about because my parents wanted to teach me a lesson about the value of hard work. I was eleven, although in reality I had the body of your typical six year old and thus the delivery of 30+ newspapers was indeed hard work. Now this could have been mitigated if I was set to deliver the thinner, lighter, local paper, however that was an afternoon paper and my father wanted his news first thing in the morning. I was too short to carry the newspaper delivery bag without having it drag along the ground so my parents affixed a giant steel basket fixed to the front of my bike. That worked for a while but then it started snowing and I had no choice but to slog from house to house dragging the bag behind me. Now 30+ papers doesn’t seem like much except that my route had a really low density. It was an out of town paper and many of my customers were wealthy elites living in vast estates along the water. There were no plowed sidewalks, just giant snow drifts where on one day, overheated from my suffocating full body snow suit, I passed out from exhaustion.

I was up every morning before dawn, seven days a week and always by myself. The one day my sister covered for me she was chauffeured by my mother in the car, a perk I was never afforded. I made little if any money. The wealthy it seems are also the most frugal, tips were non-existent. In fact many people were outright hostile trying to intimidate me and claiming they had already paid when they clearly had not. I barely made enough to cover the cost of the papers.

I don’t claim to have been a great paperboy. Despite my earnest attitude many of my efforts backfired, like the time I was short a paper and I decided to split the last one between my two remaining customers. Probably the most notorious of my misguided attempts at customer service was the time I imprisoned prominent citizen and future mayor of Sarnia Ron Gordon inside his own house. It was a particularly miserable winter day and the porch to Mr. Gordon’s house was covered in a wet slush. Not wanting to ruin his paper I got the idea to loop it through one of the handles of his french doors. As luck would have it the paper got wet anyway and subsequently froze and was only removed with some considerable effort after Mr. Gordon exited the back of his estate, fought his way through the soggy snow drifts to the front entrance of his home and hacked it away. After a year of this my parents I presume felt I had learned enough and I was allowed to retire.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: