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Friday, January 26, 2007

A New Record

A new record in newspaper delivery distance achieved this week.

The Ottawa Citizen newspaper is barely visible (see inside red circle), and sits street-side rather than near my door. The paper used to end up on my front stoop when I first became a subscriber - infrequently at that - but lately I have had to go on a chilly 220 foot round-trip hike for my morning read. I finally called subscriber services today to put in a polite request to have it delivered on my balcony once again. We'll see how it works out.
UPDATE: 30 January 2007

Well, the next day the paper got a little closer to the balcony. About 20 feet away. It's not like it's hard to miss the baclony. There's 168 square feet of it. It's a pretty large target in my opintion. I waited four days to see if the paper would land in the general vicinity but it has not. Today, I called again to request the paper be delivered on the requested mark. Again, I will wait to see what happens tomorrow.

I hate to play the role of a curmudgeon but why do they ask where you want the paper be delivered and then not do it? Take the case of the 11 year old boy who delivers the (free) local paper; he even puts his paper in the front door's handle without any trouble. Long, long gone are the days of young newspaper delivery boys and girls... today they are grown-ups with cars and vans, and they certainly get paid a lot more than an 11 year old.

The irony of it all - and there is some irony in this - is that the regular newspaper carrier was away for three weeks. During those three weeks my paper was delivered on the balcony near the door and on time, every day. I was so happy I woke up at 6am one day to thank her for the great service...only to find out it wasn't the regular person. As he rolled down the window to hear my praises he then informed me that it was his last day and the the regular person would be back the next day. Oh yeah, the irony part: This past Sunday she inserted a letter in the paper apologizing for the "disrupted service" during her absence the last three weeks and concludes her letter, "Thank you for your understanding during these past few weeks and I'm happy to tell you that I am back now."


UPDATE: 1 February 2007
After 7 days after my initial call to request the paper (again) to be delivered on my balcony - the paper made it to its destination. Yay!

UPDATE: 5 February 2007
I don't know why I am still updating this post. I guess perhaps that you're still reading it. I am sad to announce that the four day long streak has come to an end. The paper missed the balcony again this morning. Just thought you might be interested. Old habits are hard to break I guess.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

SUGGESTION: Tell her to put newspaper in plastic bag (or just bind it with an elastic on dry days) and drop it at the head of your driveway. OK you'll have to walk the 20+ feet to get your newspaper everyday but that's the indirect spin-off world of 'offshore outsourcing' for ya'. She probably used to be an I.T. computer programmer but has been reduced to a paper girl. Allow her her 21st century socioeconomic angst...

Also she obviously has a bad throwing arm. 10~12 feet is optimal maximum distance for any paper boy/girl. Try putting a big picture of a bulls-eye on your balcony (i.e., a bit arrogant but probably helpful). Also if she tri-folded and elastic banded the newspaper into a tight flat configuration and threw it like a Frisbee at your balcony it would hit it like a laser beam.

With the plastic bag technique have her twirl the bag in a circle to make it have a tight pig-tail end. Then throw it like a Frisbee too. The aerodynamics of a kite-like tail increases throwing accuracy and distance on an order of magnitude!

In the final analysis you'll have to wait up for her from 3~7AM some day to explain all this to her face-to-face. Please don't call her dispatcher or she'll get yet another COMPLAINT and it may cost her points or her less than minimum wage job. They always write it up wrong or truncate long comments anyway. They also offshore outsource newspaper dispatchers to Manila Philippines!!!

Or just leave her this posting in printout with a little cash tip (staple in paper currency no coins or checks - leave it on a pike/stick with a note saying FOR NEWSPAPER PERSON - never say paper-girl or boy - duh!). $5.00 USD is appropriate.

Just remember for her to make ends meet in this new selfish, greedy world of globalism she probably has 200~300 homes each morning to reach in just under 2-3 hours or suffer eventual job termination! They make you sign a binding multi-page contract to that effect. She also has to pre-stuff the multiple inserts and advertising into her 200~300 papers at the depot or her car (i.e., mind numbing factory-esque work?).

Do the math. Does she have time to futz around your house trying to throw a plausibly capitalist 'tool' of her economic demise on your balcony? Either make her life easier by having the dispatcher put a newspaper tube/box at the end of your driveway, or help her increase her aim, or just live with it. I'm sure her her arguably worthless boyfriend/husband, 2.5 kids, 2-3 cats, her greedy landlord, and her over-priced grocer will appreciate your upper middle-class egalitarian-esque charity!

Sorry for the preachiness but had to be done! {smile} :-)


Monday, November 05, 2007 2:08:00 PM  
Blogger John MacDonald said...

thanks for the advice. it was good. paper is delivered on balcony, on target, about twice every 7 days on average. it's something that I live with. i have moved on in this respect.

Monday, November 05, 2007 2:32:00 PM  
Blogger John MacDonald said...

I cancelled the delivery service in April 2008. Wasn't worth it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008 9:27:00 AM  

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