Saturday, December 17, 2016

Bad News on the Doorstep

This is the time of the year when you notice or are reminded of, people who provide the goods and services that (for the most part) appear without your ever thinking about them during the course of the year. It's nice to be remembered, especially for the right reasons.

Everyone says happy holidays to the mail carrier even though, in an irony I'm sure Mr. Zip would enjoy, we are over burdening out mail carriers this time of year with, among other items, the card or small parcel of appreciation we send to them. In my house, my wife makes sure to give the carrier a present when the mail is delivered because we have no idea of a good mailing address (and I, for one, suspect the item would 'get lost.').

When I came home Thursday I had a card on my home desk from the motor carrier (as they are called) of one of the two newspapers to which we subscribe (note to Rick "Oops" Perry: I use my eyeglasses to improve my vision so I can read; you should try it sometime).  We get both daily newspapers, one 'real newspaper' on Thursday through Sunday plus 24/7 online and the other year-round as an actual newspaper. In light of my manifest unhappiness with the home delivery service, I admired the cheek it took to send me a thinly-disguised solicitation for a gift.

I mentioned in the paragraph previously 'motor carrier' because when he was still in grade school Patrick, our son, was a newspaper delivery person. The delivery people whatever their age get a raw deal from the newspapers because they regarded as 'independent contractors' (= no benefits of any kind; pretty clever, eh?). Newspaper people are pretty stupid in that regard as it's the carrier most of us associate with the paper, not the reporting staff or editorial board.

Anyway, in the case, the newspaper subscription is really only because of habit. It's a lousy paper and I get most of my news about where I live from the other one, and most of that on-line. I'd have long since canceled home delivery but I do enough stuff in the course of our lives together to anger Sigrid already without adding to the list over a local newspaper.

Anyway. The thing with motor carriers and newspapers is they drive down the street and throw the paper out their car/truck window and count on momentum or luck to get it to the address. Heave and hope seem to be their watchwords. I'm paying for home delivery, emphasis on the home and as I made clear seventy-one times this calendar year, so far, when I ask for the newspaper to be delivered on the porch, that's where I want it. Forgive and forget are NOT my watchwords, in case you had wondered where this was going.

We had a week in early November where I had to call for a 'replacement' newspaper every morning for the entire work week and then on that Sunday there was NO paper at all. Before and since then there have been days where the newspaper was delivered to the sidewalk in front of my house or to the lawn abutting my porch, to the walkway from the sidewalk to the steps leading to the porch and to those steps. Every once in a while, it was even on the porch. I guess I appear to some folks as a guy who just doesn't keep track; some make that mistake a lot. I can think of one less, now.

I should tell you I'm a guy who buys coal at this time of year even though we have an oil furnace and I was VERY tempted but ultimately tempered in my response in the holiday card I sent in reply to our paper carrier. I gave extended and careful thought to using a mailing address close to but not quite theirs, with a note on the envelope explaining to their mail carrier that even though the house number/street name was inaccurate I figured I was close enough.

But that isn't what happened. I guess the spirit of the season just got to me. Hold on to your warm and fuzzy feelings as you will not be needing them here. No, I didn't put a little something in the envelope after all and just decide to let bygones be bygones (my mother raised crazy children, not stupid ones; at least all those born AFTER me).

Actually I'm feeling pretty good at how I handled it, though I'm also hoping for a really slow news year in 2017 especially since I have a hunch it might be one around my house.
-bill kenny    

No comments: