New Jobs and Get Rich Quick Schemes
Times was hard as I was scrabbling about in my purse for the cash to buy a potato for my lunch. It seemed like fate when I caught sight of a notice asking for a Leaflet Deliverer. All I had to do was post a leaflet through every door in the village and I would earn myself enough money to buy as many potatoes as I wanted for my lunch for a whole week! I put my name down…
I made encouraging noises to the kids to get them and their boundless energy involved; it was all looking good.
But then I remembered the thing that I discovered when I had a stint as a paperboy (it was in the days before equality) – every house has a unique and complicated way of receiving their post / leaflets / newspapers.
There were the houses with rabid dogs, the houses with letter-boxes so highly insulated that it was like trying to push a sheet of paper through a carpet, and the houses with their gates zip-tied up when I know that people live there. There were also houses that didn’t seem to have a door and I had to run around and around them trying to find somewhere to wedge a leaflet, and that was after battling with the ones that had no gate.
The kids were worse than useless as they were unable to push things through carpets, had no ingenuity when it came to stuffing things in places and gave up pretty soon when they found that the only way into the house seemed to be via a tunnel from next door’s sitting room.
We walked for miles, trudging up and down paths, fighting with dogs and arguing about shares of the profits. I reckon we’ve done about half the village and have so far earned about 38p per hour, and worn out one pushchair and three pairs of shoes.
As I lay on the carpet that night, unable to reach the sofa, I felt bad about cursing the one postman on the round who hasn’t realised where our letters are supposed to go. I mumbled about loosening the spring on the letterbox that took a Conservative candidate’s finger-tip off, and forgave the Saturday paper boy who chucks the paper in a puddle next to the wellies. I also felt overwhelmed with smugness that we have obvious doors, no wild dog and plenty of places to stuff a leaflet…
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