Crappy Jobs I've Had - Paper Boy

My first experience of work was as a paperboy. I took over my brother's route, so it was kind of following in the family tradition.

The term paper boy always make me chuckle. Is a paper boy really made out of paper? It reminds me of this old joke.

"Did you hear about the Irish paper shop? It blew away" (Bear in mind I was brought up in an era when "Love thy neighbour" was acceptable viewing on TV)

"Paper route". This is one of the few occasions where I prefer the American pronunciation (Paper Rout).

Apart from the obvious drawbacks of having to get up ridiculously early and cycle in the rain and snow it wasn't all bad. For a start I was actually earning my own money and developing some sort of work ethic.

If I wanted something I would have to pay for it myself (I probably still got pocket money from my parents too). The pay was pretty crappy though, only two or three pounds a week for nearly an hour's work each day plus a bit more in travelling time. Also I seemed to spend a fair proportion of my wages at the shop where I worked. There were motorcycling magazines, electronics magazines as well as computer magazines. Probably sweets too...

It was quite nice being out in the fresh air. Cycling around, listening to Radio One. My route was quite a long one, with my deliveries spread out over a wide area.

Of course in this day and age parents are so worried about their kids safety I wouldn't be surprised if some paperboys have chaperones now. Following at a discrete distance in their fuel-guzzling four-by-four.

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