Sunday, April 24, 2011

Observations From a Rural Route Delivery Person

I may have mentioned previously on this blog that I work part-time as a rural route delivery person.  I work one night a week delivering newspapers on a driving route.   After my daughter was born, I quit my full time job to stay home with her.  I was used to working and I wanted to have spending money of my own.  A rural route delivery position was perfect for my schedule. Many rural newspaper carriers are mothers or retired people.  I returned to full-time employment when my daughter entered first grade.  I kept my part-time position.

Newspaper carriers usually deliver between 3:00 A.M. and 5:00 A.M.  Here are some of my observations and experiences:

1.  There are a lot of police officers patrolling at night.  I know exactly where they set up to monitor speeding motorists.  The police officers know my car and the reason I am in the neighborhood.  One police officer stopped me to inform me of a crime spree in the neighborhood.  He asked me to keep my eye out and report any suspicious activity.

2.  Homeowners should check their garage door before they go to bed.  I see at least one open garage door with the lights on each shift. 

3.  Parents...Do you know where your kids are?  During the summer months, I am surprised by the number of young teens walking around at 3:00 A.M.

4.  A note to the guys standing in their open garage "smoking" can smell the smoke two blocks away.  If your neighbors are awake, they will know you are not smoking cigarettes.

5.  People like to sit on their porch in the middle of the night. 

6.  A teenage boy (16-18) sat alone on his porch in the dark.  He was always there...sitting...waiting.  I knew the address of the house because they were one of my customers.  One day, I heard on the news that a boy from the same address committed suicide by walking in front of a tractor trailer.

7.  Sometimes the neighborhood watch thinks I am the suspicious character.  I was followed by a red truck until the person realized I was delivering the paper.

8.  Motion lights never fail to startle me.  I know which houses have the lights yet I still jump when they turn on.

9.  Every once in a while, I get a prickly feeling at the back of my neck.  Once, I looked in my rear view mirror to see a figure about a hundred yards behind me.  The figure stood there watching me.  I quickly went on my way.

10. There is a lot of train activity at 3:00 A.M.  I hate to get stopped at a crossroads and have to wait for a 200 car train to pass.  I feel vulnerable and make sure my car doors are locked.


Journeyman said...

I liked your post. Having spent around 2/3 of my professional life 'in the dark', as it were, it really is interesting to see the world at night. It has it's own ebb and flow and it's own life.

It's amazing what you see if you take the time to observe the night life.

Michele said...

Thanks Journeyman!

You are right...the world at night is definitely interesting. It took me a while to get used to. I am never surprised by what I see!


The spider webs in the summer got to me. I delivered newspapers as a second job for 14 years - never a day off except for one flu. :)

I used to listen to the Art Bell show about aliens and such... stuff that does not air during the daytime.

Somehow I lived through that period in my life but it is funny that people can adapt to things that later they cannot figure out how they did it.

Hang in there! :)

Michele said...

John: Thank you for stopping by and commenting!

I know what you mean about the spiders...they love mailboxes. :)

I deliver once a week as a "sub" for my father-in-law. I think about quitting but I know I would miss the extra cash.