Thursday, May 31, 2007

Show Your Newspaper Carrier A Little R-E-S-P-E-C-T And In Turn We Won't Pee On Your Paper

I'll never win the coveted Newspaper Carrier Of The Year Award, but that's okay with me, because revenge is sweeter than some crappy little trophy with my name scrawled across it. The photographer obviously used newspaper carrier stunt doubles, because, believe me, I've never seen anyone smiling like that down at the warehouse.

Some Houston Chronicle subscribers feel the need to whine, cry, and moan incessantly about their newspaper. You would think that people had actual lives outside of complaining about a home delivery service that they get for mere pennies a day, but no. Every day customers in the district call in to the complaint hotline using their snottiest voice, "I want my paper tied to the front door handle because I'm a laaaawwwwyer." WTH? Who cares if you're a doctor or a lawyer? Why do you have such low self-esteem that you need to lord your title over a little peon newspaper carrier? During Hurricane Rita last year, I promise this is true, people called in hysterical that they didn't get a paper. Ummm, Houston received dire predictions and an evacuation order to clear the city. Just north of here, people died, and had all their worldly possessions ripped away from them, and you're worried about a frickin disposable newspaper? This district has a lot of economically privileged people living in it and the constant barrage of asinine requests tend to reflect that. I swear some of them won't feel the warm glow of customer satisfaction until I march their paper right into their over-priced, under-insulated, mini mansions, and plop down at the kitchen table to read it to them and show them all the pretty pictures.

One particular guy on my route wins the 'A-Hole Of The Year' Award. Of course, the most demanding subscribers also never give a word of praise or thanks. They never give a tip at Christmas, and they never smile or wave cheerfully at you when you pass by. I started this route to help out with the bills when Papi went back to school a few years ago, and this butthead sobbed his little eyes out at the time that he absolutely HAD to have his paper by 5:00 A.M. That's a full 30 minutes before the allotted weekday delivery deadline of 5:30. So really, I made him a favour out of the kindness of my heart. Last October, a tornado touched down a mile from my route while I was still out throwing. The wind and the torrential rains proved severe enough to flood out the streets of the neighborhood, thus stranding me for about 30 minutes. Mr. A-Hole called in 6 times to complain that he hadn't gotten his paper at 5:00. Seriously. Okay, impassable streets, whirling tornadic activity, one sad and pathetic, dripping wet newspaper lady stuck in the middle of it all, and he's only worried about HIS newspaper? Where do people find this misguided sense of entitlement that they should have everything they want, when they want it, and damn everybody else? I began throwing his paper whenever I felt like as a form of protest, but he took his endless complaining to the boss of my boss. In a perfect world, they would have told him to screw off because he signed a contract that promised him 5:30 delivery and nothing more. We don't live in a perfect world, and they acquiesced to his demands.

I suppose that poor unfortunate souls like me, stuck in crappy circumstances because we depend on the money that our menial labor provides, just sucks up the negative and learns to bear it. However, I've started extracting revenge in small doses that satisfies the primal urge in me that wants to go and toilet paper his house and spray paint salacious things on his truck. I'm greeted every day by him standing outside scowling at me with his arms crossed. If it's 5:01, he impatiently taps his watch and shakes a disapproving finger at me. He requested sidewalk delivery. I make sure to throw it as far as possible from wherever he's standing so he has to move his mean azz to go and pick it up and feel the sting of inconvenience. It shows him that he's not the boss of me, no! I'm a wild flower of the night that can't be controlled by his dictatorial ways. The top of each bundled section gets rumpled and ripped, so I usually discard them because it really isn't fit for delivery. Well, it's fit enough for his delivery. I save them all especially for him in a neat little stack on the dashboard. I guess he made such a fuss about what time I delivered the paper, he doesn't want to hassle looking even more petty by whining about the actual physical condition. It's readable, I suppose, if you smooth out the wrinkles, and you don't mind shredded paper hanging off the corners. I get a sick sense of pleasure knowing I'm giving him the worst of the worst, bright and early, every single day.

I told my mom about all this. Understand, she's more demented than I will ever be. It just so happened that she was driving through the main thoroughfare in the neighborhood and she asked which house Mr.A-Hole lived in. I told her, and she started laughing really hard. Apparently, at that very moment, she felt the burning desire to gift his front yard with her Chik-Fil-A trash. Oh, she's so very bad. She now makes it a tradition to pass by his house and throw something whenever she's in the area. I love my mom.

Take heed and treat your newspaper carriers right or suffer the consequences!


Tori :) said...

OMGosh Elastic. I can soooo understand your feelings. When I was big preggo with Izzy I delivered papers. People are retarded. That's all there is to it. People would complain that their paper got wet because hours after I had delivered it decided to rain and they hadn't got the paper out of their driveway yet. Or we delivered free papers to everyone on Wednesday because advertisers paid for it. We had old grumpy people call and complain that they did not want that paper. What's the big deal? Pick it up and throw it away. Or recycle it. Or wipe your butt with it. I DO NOT CARE. Ugh. This is drudging up old, pissed off feelings...
I understand Mighty EWBL. I understand. Gimme A-hole's address and I'll mail him my trash.

jams o donnell said...

Ach I just can;t get my head around that sort of behaviour at all. There's a hurricane, it kills people and there are some that worry about their damned newspaper???? Some people need to get a sense of perspective.

as for the jerk who demands his paper estra early, I'm glad he gets the crappy one. If only it could land where a dog has done its doings!

By the way what's chik-fil-a?

omar said...

Yeah, my brother delivers papers, and he tells me similar horror stories. Some people are just jerks.

I do computer support where I work (at a university). 8 out of 10 faculty members who call in for support will not even say their names, they'll just say, "hi, I'm faculty, and here's my problem..." And several will also play the "I'm faculty" card when they find out that they'll have to wait all the way until tomorrow morning to get someone to come to their office to help them. As though being faculty entitles them to better service? The day I win the lottery, when someone says "I'm faculty" to me, I'm going to respond, "well then I'll speak slower for you." Then I'll high five all my co-workers while I pack up my belongings and leave.

nikko said...

Ugh. I just don't understand the sense of entitlement, either. It bugs me to no end and DH and I complain about it all the time.

When I was in high school, my mom had a paper route for some extra $$ and we would take turns going on it with her. It's a thankless job. People are so inconsiderate!

Amanda said...

People can be so ignorant sometimes. They will find something to complain about no matter what! I think every person should have to work in a customer service oriented job during their life to get a little taste of what people can dish out. Maybe then they would be less likely to dish it out!

Annie said...

You are Houston's Best Kept Secret!
They (meaning Da Man and anyone else who'd keep you down, Sistah Friend) should have you writing for their paper, not delivering it!

Kimberly said...

I paraphrased that all for Neil just now, and he's having a good laugh over it.

And ditto to what Annie said.

And I love your Mom too. But in a supportive totally non-creepy sort of way.

Isaura said...

HELLO fellow GOOD MAILER and HOUSTONIAN! ! SO I'm curious to where this man lives..riv. oaker? memorialian? champ. forester? west Uer? I probably provide therapy services to his child and he's the guy who calls the state because we don't see the kid every day. . why do they feel so entitled?!? AND delivering papers during RITA c'mon now. The whole city left! did he miss that? And tell your mom not to waste a good serving of waffle fries at his house, throw them at mine :)

b. said...

I bow at your feet, and at the feet of your mama.
A-holes suck.

Rhonda said...

Ugh...I hate inconsiderate a-holes and people who feel like they are entitled for whatever reason.

Next time someone asks for the paper tied to a front door, pleasantly agree, and then use a little noose. :)

Elizabeth-W said...

Isaura, I can guarantee this guy wouldn't send HIS child to a State agency. :)
Omar, you and Shazzy should swap stories. He's the head of the Help Desk at our University. I'll tell him your comment.
I'm digging the idea of all of us sending him anonymous junk mail!! I'd do it--sort of like the Good Mail Girls gone Wild ;) Just the title appeals to you, I know it does....
Are you going to tell Jams about Chick? He might get jealous they don't have them over there. Heck, I'm jealous we don't have them up here!!! :) That and what's it called? La Madeliene?

Lei said...

Rofl! All of it!

And we really do need to tip our deliverer... thank you for the reminder!

No Cool Story said...

A-holes are just full of A-holery if you ask me. Since you did ask me I'll say heck with them, they really don't deserve you, never have, never will.
One of these days when you retire form newspapering we'll sit on the front porch and laugh at all this. We WILL laugh, oh yes we will.

PS: I love the video to Dashboard
Oh, the dashboard melted, but we still have the radio.
We still have the radio Elastic!

elasticwaistbandlady said...

tori- You and Elizabeth are cracking me up with the Good Mail Girls Gone Wild idea. Yeah, we throw bonus papers to weekend customers because the Chronicle was to scheister their advertisers with inflated numbers and then bolster the prices of the ads based on that. Sneaky. People fervently whine that they don't want it. They have bi-weekly recycling pickup, so what's the big frickin deal? And yeah, pregnant and doing manual labour? Been there, dona that, got to go back to work the day after giving birth.

jams- Here's some chicken sandwich porn for you to enjoy, jams! Chik-Fil-A is overpriced but they do serve up some good eats. They remain closed on Sundays too in observance of the Sabbath and they don't put crap toys in the Kid Meals. That elevates them to fast food gold status in my book.

omar- You know what the worst is? People that call in claiming to be handicapped so that I trot their stupid paper up to their door. I already told my boss that I don't get out of my truck in the middle of the night for nothing........well, unless it involves a midnight hamburger. Anything other than that, no. Anyway, all of the supposed 'handicapped' people have been spotted by me personally waddling out for their paper with no physical limitations. I guess they don't expect that their papergirl lives less than a mile away and can see them in the daylight hours. How lazy is that? One customer truly was crippled up in a wheelchair and NEVER demanded special service. I did put the paper in the mailbox for easy retrieval though, but they never asked me too. There's a lesson to be learned there.

Nikko- 70% of the warehouse employees at this very moment are either active or lapsed members of the church. Well, this job keeps my family in the luxurious lifestyle to which they've become accustomed to, like eating 3 meals a day. Did I see a little Infidel linkie love going on in your sidebar, Nikko? Ooooh, I'm going to reciprocate.

amanda- Yeah, this job has taught me humility. Humility boxed up in a super duper industrial sized package.

annie- I don't think they can handle it cuz I'm too bootylicious.

kimberly- Your man is a doctor. Carrot's man is a lawyer. Somehow, I doubt they would ever pull the "I'm a so and so" trick to get some special favour. It's irritating.

isaura- Wasting waffle fries on Mr. A-Hole? As if! No, he got her empty lemonade cup and the shiny sandwich wrapper which I presume she licked clean to scrape out all the yummy little crunchy chicken crumbs. That's what I do anyway. Oh, the locale is directly across the street from The Temple.

b.- I'm going to link something naughty my mom did a few years ago where she wrote horrible things all over a guys truck windows with shoe polish because she caught him stealing the paper.

Rhonda- If I have to go to someones door, it's going to be accompanied by a flaming sack of dog crap to leave on the front stoop.

elizabeth- Long have I wanted to blog about some of the ultra naughty things I do and have done regarding mean mail. A paper carrier never forgets indignities made against them. NEVER! I still remember things that happened when I had a route at 18 including names and addresses. Sadly, one of the bosses sons occasionally reads my blog because I brought it up once. He googled and found me. :( Otherwise, I'd include the pictures I took of my homemade postcards with my own catchy little sayings on it for these wretched people. I bet Creative Memories never thought that someone would use their sticker products for purposes of nasty mail revenge! Some of them were really funny, but caustic at the same time. At one point I even thought about making a business selling them. Maybe I overrate my cleverness, but man, I came up with some doozies.

lei- Tip your carrier. Tip your friendly Infidel blogger too. Maybe I should install a little tip jar thingie linkie in the sidebar. I ain't too proud, you know.

NCS- I'm not a huge fan of Modest Mouse, but I Luuurrrrvvveee this sea ditty too! You know how clever you are, NCS? You are so clever that you, the English as a second language chick, have just taught me a new phrase to use. A-Holery. Me likey.

Toni said...

Tell your momma that if she will be the driver, I will collect my dog poop in a bag, grab my little, and give A-hole a flammin' front door present!

Yeah- never going to grow up!

Toni said...

that should be lighter, not little!

BarnGoddess said...

woot! the 5am customer dude needs to chill, what an ass.

Our paper lady drives this little beater Dodge Omni from the 80's. We can hear miles away in her car in the predawn hours when he gases her car up the hill and it always backfires.

Shes a great paperlady and reliable, better than the USPS!

Lori's Light Extemporanea said...

Oh, I'm so there. Add another line to the phrase, "Don't tick off secretaries or people who handle your food."

mcewen said...

Very instructive for we foreigners. I think this is the first time I have ever properly understood 'WTH' due to the perfect juxtaposition.
Yours, the thick alien!

Suzanne said...

You go, you flower of the night! I really can't believe there are so many conceited demanding people in the world. LOL at your Mom! Did you get some of your Infidel spunk from her? :D

Deborah Gamble said...

I used to have a small paper route when I was young. Nothing like what you do, but my sisters and I delivered the free weekly paper. A free paper and people still wanted it tucked carefully inside the screen door.

And yes, many complaints. There'd be numerous barking snarling dogs on the front porch and that would be the house calling complaining about why they did not get a paper. Hmmm, now there is a real head scratcher!

Just loved the newspaper carrier stunt doubles line!

aubrey said...

holy moly, angry newspaper lady! that was quite the rant. very enjoyable to read.

so. to this day, i CANNOT stand the feel or smell of newspaper or rubberbands. or anything rubber. because when i was younger i helped with the family paper route. for about three or four years. ugh.

but to think of having a customer like that. an actual person who is that rude...that is HORRIBLE. what a jerk.

Anonymous said...

I work at a call centre that does customer service for newspaper subscribers and I must wholehearedly agree with you.

I had no idea that people could be so cruel when it comes to newspapers, but people will call in and berate me if there is something wrong with their service and demanding things that we just don't do. I've been called a loser, an asshole, a bitch, that I'm stupid or retarded, lazy, don't know how to do my job blah blah blah and then they want me to do all this crazy stuff for them? Like when I get off the phone I feel like just clearing my screen and forgetting about it. But I don't because - you don't want to get in trouble and then the next person who deals with that call has it worse.

People call in and demand constant promotional rates and become irate when you explain that sales aren't indefinite and they will have to pay regular rate. Primary excuses are "I'm a senior" (most all our subscribers are seniors, we'd never get a decent buck for our services if we had one). Alot of the most difficult customer are older and don't like talking on the phone with a callcentre and hate automated messages. They think we're discriminating because we have online exclusives! Everyone does. And they could always get a son or daughter to do it for them if they don't know how.

Now this has turned into a rant. But I feel better - how can you tell I had a bad day at work? Well I just wish I could say to all the customers who treat me like shit that they aren't accomplishing anything and you're making some innocent people's jobs very hard.


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