What They Did Was Not Right As Rain

, , , , , | Working | October 27, 2020

When I was fourteen, I took on a paper round every Sunday, which I did on my bike.

My route had around thirty deliveries which had to be split into three, because the bulky Sunday newspapers were too big to fit into my bag all at once.

Usually, by the time I got to the end of the first ten, the next lot would be waiting for me, wrapped in plastic and in a sheltered spot to keep the elements away.

Sometimes I’d be waiting a minute or two but never more than that… until one morning.

It was absolutely pouring rain, so I’d ridden slightly more cautiously than usual. This made me maybe three to five minutes late arriving, but nothing was said, so I assumed it wasn’t a problem.

I reached the end of the first ten, and the next batch was not there. After five minutes, there was no sign. Nor after ten. There was no shelter in the cul-de-sac in which I was waiting, which meant I spent fifteen minutes in the aforementioned torrential rain, getting soaked to the skin, before the newsagent eventually arrived.

Instead of the apology I was expecting for the lateness, I was given a curt, “Hurry up, you’re running very late,” before they zipped off to do the second drop-off. I finished the rest of the round in a thoroughly miserable frame of mind.

The next week, I was sternly told that customers had complained last week that their papers had arrived late, and that if there was another complaint, they’d reduce — not dock — my pay by £1. Since I was only paid £4 to begin with, this was a huge amount to lose!

Being a timid young teenager, I was not confident enough to fight my case and instead just nodded and did my round.

Happily, there were no further issues for the rest of my time there, which was until July. Due to the various things planned for that summer, I realised I’d be missing more Sundays than I’d be able to do, so I decided to just quit and look for something else when I was free to work. I called them up and gave them a few weeks notice, and it was all fine.

A few weeks later, my friends and I were out and about, and we went into the same shop to buy sweets and drinks. The newsagent, of course, recognised me, and made a snide comment along the lines of “I guess you were too lazy to get up early and do your paper round, huh?”

Perhaps emboldened by my friends’ presence, I found my voice and shot back, “No, I just got fed up with you leaving me in the rain and then blaming me when the papers were late.”

It might have been a bit rude, but it felt good to actually stand up for myself!

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This Just In: People Are Rude

, , , , , | Right | October 14, 2020

Unfortunately, I have been unemployed for a while. I decide to start to deliver a free Sunday newspaper to earn some extra money. Usually, the company demands that all papers be delivered by noon, but preferably ten am.

Many people, mostly elderly, wait impatiently for it.

One Sunday, the printing company has some issues and the paper is delivered late to me, so they give me three pm that day. Many people wonder why the paper wasn’t delivered on time but when I explain, most people understand.

Two weeks later, there is a heavy snowstorm and the paper is only brought to me at noon. Due to the weather, the company gives me until seven pm.

So, as I am rolling my newspaper trolley through the snow, one customer runs toward me and starts to complain.

Customer #1: “This is the second time that you have delivered the paper so late. I will miss all the advertisements for free stuff because of your lazy butt! No wonder you don’t have a real job!”

Sadly, similar encounters happen a few times that day.

Customer #2: “Are you even able to read the newspaper or are you too dumb for it?”

Then, some religious group stops me.

Customer #3: “If you have some time, we would like to pray for your poor soul, that you would find a better job.”

Me: “The papers don’t deliver themselves. But if you’d like, you could help me.”

They just looked at me with disgusted expressions and ran off.

Luckily, after two weeks, I found a new job.

I still can’t understand how people can act so rude over a free newspaper.

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The Abby-litionists Are Protesting

, , , , | Right | July 14, 2020

I am working as a reporter for a daily newspaper near a large military base. I am working the morning shift after a night of storms and I take a call from a reader.

Me: “Good morning, [Newspaper], this is [My Name].”

Caller: “Hi. I was looking through the paper and couldn’t find Dear Abby anywhere.”

Me: “Hmm, give me a moment.”

I grab a copy of the day’s paper and flip through it. Indeed, there is no “Dear Abby” this edition.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, it doesn’t look like we included it today. We had a lot of breaking news to include about the storms last night.”

Caller: “This is just ridiculous.”

The caller then launches into a rant about how she doesn’t understand how our paper was ranked as high as it was in a recent annual newspaper competition because we didn’t print “Dear Abby” to make room for breaking news.

Me: “I’m sorry, ma’am, but we had to make room for news following the storm.”

I am trying to emphasize “news” in my apology to the caller.

Caller: “I’ve lived in some big cities, and you don’t even have a science page. I want to cancel my subscription!”

There is no significant science news in our area, but we do post such news on national and international coverage pages.

Me: “Okay, let me transfer you to that office.”

Turns out, callers threatening to cancel their subscription because of “Dear Abby” being cut is rather common!

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Their Knowledge Is Week

, , , | Right | April 15, 2020

I’m working at a newspaper and I get a call from a customer.

Me: “[Newspaper]!”

Customer: “Yes, can you tell me how often your weekly paper comes out?”

Me: “Uh… I’m sorry can you repeat the question?”

Customer: “I said, can you tell me how often your weekly newspapers come out?”

Me: “Ma’am, our weekly papers come out every week.”

Customer: “Why was that so confusing? Thanks!” *Hangs up*

Coworker: “What was that?”

Me: “You don’t even want to know.”

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Rule One: Any Joke Ever Will Offend Someone

, , , , , , | Learning | January 29, 2020

In college, I was friends with someone who did articles for our campus newsletter, and at one point, they asked me if I wanted to try and do a piece. I made one entitled “The Gay Agenda,” which was basically listing of the different lists and “agendas” that I dealt with in my day-to-day life, from a shopping list, to a club meeting schedule, to my New Year’s resolutions. It was intended as a humorous piece to highlight the similarities between straight and gay students.

It was rather sad just how many people got completely furious over it; many of them obviously never read past the title. Some people accused me of trying to “trick” them into thinking they were gay, and others called me homophobic for daring to imply that homosexual people — such as myself — had an agenda. The backlash ended up getting the post removed from the newsletter’s website, but I’d still see people ranting about it or referencing it from time to time before I graduated.

So, it seems like it did unite people, just not the way I’d hoped.

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