Newspapers may seem obsolete in this day in age, but for decades, that is how people started their day. They got the paper and headed to work. In the movies, you see men dressed in business suits buying the paper on the street and walking to work. In suburbia and rural towns, it is often found on your porch step. How do they get on your porch? Paper boys and girls ride on their bike through the neighborhoods and throw them to their customers. To those lucky few who spent their afternoons after school delivering papers, you know these things to be true.
1. After rolling the papers, your hands always ended up blackGiphy
You get into a groove of rolling the papers and by the time that you are done rolling 30-50 papers, your hands are black from the ink. When you wash your hands, the black is gone from the hands.
2. Delivering in the winter is the worstGiphy
I was a paper girl in the Midwest. So in the dead of winter, it got really cold. So cold, my mom got me a ski mask for Christmas to wear so that my face would not freeze from the sub-zero wind. When it snowed, I would have to walk in my snow suit, boots and bundle up so I could survive the 30 minute walk.
3. It's a blessing when your mom says she will drive your routeGiphy
When it is snowing or raining or you're running late to delivering, you know your mom loves you when she says she will drive you around the neighborhood instead of you walking or biking. It always goes quicker and you stay dry/warm.
4. Waking up early to deliver the papers on Saturday morningsGiphy
Now whether you are a morning person or not, it's always a struggle to find yourself getting up early on a Saturday morning to do your job. I had to deliver my papers by 8 a.m. on Saturdays. So it would take me 10 minutes to roll the papers and 30 to deliver them so I had to get up at least an hour early to deliver on time.
5. Christmas time is the bestGiphy
Occasionally throughout the year, I would get tips. Christmas time (or just holiday time in general) is always the best because I would get the most tips then! Your customers will take the time to give you tips that show their appreciation for you. When you are a 12-year-old, getting 150 dollars during the month of December is the best gift you can ask for.
6. Black Friday Ads make the papers 10 times heavierGiphy
Before the Christmastime tips, you have to deal with Black Friday. I always got holidays off, but the day after Thanksgiving was the worst because of the all the adds. The papers were so hard to roll because the papers were so thick. Not to mention carrying your bag made a small little girls shoulder hurt and make it really hard for her to ride her bike with it.
7. The paper route was probably your very first jobGiphy
In my 6th-grade language arts class, I talked to my teacher about how I get a paycheck every week for delivering papers in my neighborhood. She was so impressed and thought it taught me lots of responsibility. And she was right. I learned how to manage my time and talk to adults. I found myself stopping to talk to my customers about the weather or our own lives or just about the neighborhood. I learned great customer service skills and they still remember me because of it.
8. When trying to get another job, many people don't consider a paper route a "real job"Giphy
I applied to 20 different jobs after I quit my paper route. When asked if I had a job before, I said I was a paper girl. Many managers believed that it wasn't a "real" job. I made a wage, I worked 6 days a week, and I had a supervisor. It was the closest thing to a real job for a middle schooler.
9. You had to patch your paper bag at least two timesGiphy
Maybe not every paper girl or boy had to deal with their paper bags, but my bag was cloth and ripped twice. I had to patch it just so it could break again. My bag would rub up against my bike tire making it wear and rip more.
Whether you dealt with some of these problems or dealt with more problems than what is on this list, being a paper carrier was a lot of work, but it's something we can look back and say we were the unique individuals that could. My dad was a paperboy and I was a paper girl. I have that bond with my father because of it. So to those former and present paper carriers, be proud of your title and have fun while doing it.