Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The Paper Route

I had a paper route once, before I started seminary. Who wants to deliver an early morning paper before early morning seminary? Not me. When I started seminary I passed the route to my friend's younger siblings. Interestingly enough, I inherited the route from my friend, Lexa, when she started seminary who in turn got the route from my brother, David, when he started seminary. So, we all had the route for about a year.

Not that it isn't impossible to do a paper route before seminary: our seminary teacher and her children did a huge route every morning. My family substituted for them sometimes when they were out of town. It wasn't a lot of fun having to get up that early.

Especially in Canada in the winter when it's negative whatever and icy and dark.

Nope, no fun at all.

Rolling papers and getting your hands all black, and, if it was wet outside, bagging the papers. Ugh. Biking around the neighbourhood greeting all my paper route friends: Luke and the Rowbottom children.

Really, as far as jobs go, it simply isn't very glamorous. And although it pays, it doesn't pay well.

Today we had, for the second time, a kid come try to sell us papers. The deal is that we get it for "free" Monday through Thursday and then have to pay for the weekends. The kids aren't very clear on how the pricing works.

The kid today--who, thankfully, looked like a Jr. High student instead of a college-bound kid like last time--said this:

"It's only like a dollar and two cents or something, so it works out to be three dollars or something. And if you get the whole deal then I get twenty dollars a week or month or something to go to my education. If you get the half deal then I only get like ten dollars or something."

I was utterly confused. He used way too many numbers and not enough context for my poor little brain to grasp. Besides, we don't want the newspaper anyway because, let's face it, by the time you read it in the paper it's old news. We have this thing called the internet and the news is broadcast live time. They write articles as things happen and you can read it all. For free.

"That wastes your energy bill," The kid argued.

"Ahh," I said, "But your way wastes trees."

Oddly enough, I don't think anyone had used that line on him before. He kind of cocked his head to the side and, looking a little confused, said, "Oh...well...have a good day."

Poor kid. I hate selling things. I don't have the skills. The only reason I had a paper route is because I didn't have to establish it myself. Had I been required to go out and convince people to buy the paper, my route would have been very short. So short, in fact, that I probably wouldn't have had to get up at all.

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