Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Just in case you ever wondered...

(If the title has you expecting a book report on Max Lucado's book, keep surfing...that's not what's here!!!)

Most everyone who knows me knows I have a secret "middle-of-the-night life". As sneaky as this might sound, it's not so, um, glamorous. For the last 2 1/2 years I have been an independent contractor delivering newspapers daily for the Huntsville Times. Just as a rough estimate, without including special days like holidays or rare days I've had subs, I (and sometimes Jon-he did my route for 4 months after Jordan was born!!!) have delivered approximately... dum, dum de dum....

Just over 300,000 PAPERS!!!
Three Hundred Thousand! Whoa!

So....I the other morning I thought I would bring my camera to let you into the paper world and be able to see a little of what it's like. If you want to go on a 'virtual tour' of my night, proceed. Be forewarned...there are many pictures....It takes me two to two and a half hours from leaving my house to getting home. It may take you a minute or two to get through the post, but it shouldn't take you too long to muddle through!!!

The kitchen clock. After 30 minutes of snoozing. Groan! (Remember...this is in the A M!)

Filler up!!! A nice cold drink to get me going.'s been so cold lately I don't even take my cokes in the house. Leave 'em in the van and they are nice and COLD in the morning!

Oops...I'm not the only one who needs a fill-up! Forgot to stop last night!! My night is about 50 miles, and I have to fill up every third day!!! So...fill up on Tuesday morning then again on Friday!

Okay. Here we are at the storage place. Doesn't look very well-lit in the pics, but it's better in person and the lights are NOT really green!!!

There are 7 carriers who pick up their papers in the shed. In this picture 4 have already come.

Here are mine. I have two routes, remember. This is a Tuesday paper--TINY!!! Almost not even worth printing! The front set of stacks is the Tuesday paper, the back set is my lot of Madison Spirits--the ads that come to your house every Tuesday or Wednesday. I do about 4oo of those a week, I think.

I stack 'em up in my front seat and hang my bags from my sunglass holder in the ceiling. On a Wednesday or Friday, the stack is at least twice this big.

Next I update my route sheet. This tells the carrier which houses get papers which days. I update people on vacation, people who don't pay and new starts. I usually don't even have to look at the sheet unless I have a lot of customers on vacation. For my 2 routes, this document is 8 pages long.

I start wrapping and throwing them in my passenger floorboard. I try to alternate 'storing' one in the floorboard between throwing houses. By the time I'm done with my first route I am done wrapping and only have to throw houses on the second route.

Pioneer Woman, eat your heart out!!! Here's step by step!!! While driving, throwing, drinking, AND listening to talk radio, mind you!!! :)

Trivia time...Have you ever seen reflective dots on mailboxes in your neighborhood??? Chances are they are used by the local paper carrier to make throwing their route easier. Red is Sunday Only. Green in Saturday and Sunday. Yellow is Every Day...We call it Daily/Sunday. you know!

Now it's time to throw the papers. 100...102....104...Oh, wait...I guess you can imagine this part!!! Just imagine 397 more addresses!

I hope you can see this pic...The scariest mailbox ever!!! I think it secretly entered a "Swamp Thing" contest!! This bush thing is taller than my van! It's HUGE!!

Finally...I pull into my driveway...and it's time to thaw out, warm up and try to get a couple more hours sleep until the kids wake up!

ALL IN A DAY'S WORK!!! Thanks for coming along!


Jason said...

I just had flashbacks to the ONE time I subbed for you! Wow. I don't know how you do this every night. Thanks for the virtual tour!

Sunny said...

Thanks for taking me along for the ride! I get so spooked at night (and I'm not even out on the roads). The "swamp thing" is quite a sight! I also enjoyed my lesson on the colors of stickers. Now I've learned something new today!


I've always wanted to go on a trip with you to see what you did every night...or early morning, I guess. This was much easier than actually having to wake up early to go with you. I don't know how you do it all of the time. You're my hero, Stacy. Never knew they put little stickers on mailboxes. Good idea! I loved the line about Pioneer your heart out. If I hear Ben tell me one more time that I need to start cooking some of Pioneer Woman's food...I'm gonna punch him in the face. He won't quit talking about that Marlboro Man sandwich. Uuuuhhhh!!!!! I'm doing good to get some spaghetti or chicken nuggets cooked and on the table. Ha! :)

Jamey said...

And you can take pictures all at the same time!!! I'm glad you brought us along for the ride.

I'm going to start looking for stickers on mailboxes.

Lisa Rummell said...

Just had to brag on my fellow paper pal! Stacy can wrap papers soooooooooo fast! I ask her for demostrations (trying to teach an old dog new tricks- so I need lots of demos!) She once put together and bagged 200 Sunday papers in 30 minutes! WOW you go superwoman!