Some people are actually too dumb to deliver newspapers.

I get the New York Times on Saturday and Sunday.

My neighbor gets it every day of the week. We basically share a walkway, and our stairs are right next to each other.

All was good. The walkway (or porches) would have 1 paper on it M-F for neighbor, and 2 papers on it Saturday and Sunday, one for each of us. Pretty simple to keep track of.

Then at some point, I think they switched delivery people. One Saturday I was out in front of my place and there was one paper there. I took it and told my neighbor, “we only got one paper today” so he called to get an extra one delivered.

The next Saturday, one paper again. He got it. I was busy that day, so I didn’t worry about it.

The next Saturday, one paper. He got it, so I called and got a new one delivered. I was out front when the guy came. I told him, “This is 3 weeks in a row that you’ve only brought one paper. Every Saturday and Sunday, he gets one, and I get one.”

“That’s not what I was told.”

“Well, its true. On Saturdays, 45 gets one, and 47 gets one. I don’t get one during the week.”

“I’ll check my list.”

“Please do.”

So, the next weekend, we each got a paper.

Then, last weekend my neighbor eft on vacation and stopped his paper delivery for a week. Guess what? On Saturday, NO paper came for either of us.

We called the NYT and told them, “This is the 4th time in the last couple months we didn’t get a paper. You need to talk to our carrier.”

They told us we’d be credited for the paper and would get a new one by 2:00. Forget the fact that my favorite thing to do is get up Saturday morning, make coffee, and do the crossword. Still, we never got the paper that day.

So, we called the NYT on Monday and told them again, “we didn’t get the paper on Saturday. You really need to do something about this guy.”

My neighbor is still on vacation so he hasn’t been getting a paper all week, so zero papers have been coming. Fine.

Anyway, I go out front this morning to go to work, and there’s a NYT sitting on my porch. I don’t get it during the week.

It’s starting to dawn on me that we’re dealing with a complete IDIOT. I didn’t think you could actually be TOO DUMB to deliver newspapers, but now I have evidence to the contrary.

Thanks for the Thursday paper, guy, but shit’s getting punched if I don’t get one Saturday morning.

(BTW, Sunday’s are fine. I think its a different guy.)

Get up at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning and wait in the bushes with a hose and a dozen eggs. If you don’t get a paper, use your imagination on what to do.

How do you know it’s the guy who delivers the papers? (It might be - but there are may places that this system can break down)

When I delivered papers (many eons ago), I would get a list of people who should get papers on which days. Problem is, the list was not always correct. People were listed for the wrong type of subscription, people would change, people would go on vacation, people would move, people would have entirely different addresses than the ones I had been given. (“There’s 11112 and 11116 - there is no 11114 on this street!”) And sometimes, someone back at the office just screwed up…but no one ever sees the guy back at the office, just the papercarrier, with the fucked up list.

Also, now, I live in an area with so much foot traffic, that I know my Sunday paper gets stolen.

So, yes, maybe this guy is an idiot…but not necessarily.

Don’t even get me started on carriers. My fiance is the district manager for our newspaper, and he has been paged and called into work on the weekends so many times for his little shit carriers that I’m about to smack some of them.

If you accept a fucking route, do your goddamn job. Your managers have lives, families, and plans. If you can’t do the job properly, then don’t take the route. Period.

Sorry. Obviously a sore subject. He’s planning to look for a new job soon.

If anything, call the carrier’s manager. That can usually solve the problem.


Once upon a time I worked for a newspaper in Iowa, in the mailroom. Basically I dropped off the bundles of papers which would then be picked up by the carriers and dispersed. I also briefly did the job of delivering papers to homes that were missed. BTW, this was an afternoon paper, so I was doing this in the early evening. Not a day went by without at least 10 missed papers. Since the calls would come in over a period of, say, 3-4 hours, I was driving all over the place (town of about 30,000)for a good part of the evening. That job didn’t last long. I occasionally mentioned (and got no response other than “we’re looking into it”) to the route manager that something seemed to be wrong, particularly since there were frequent misses on the same routes. I don’t know if it was the carriers or the subscription dept. or what, but it was ridiculous.

I can tell you this. Having been a bundle dropper I know that we were responsible for making sure each bundle had the correct number of papers in it. Let me amend that. We were responsible for making sure the number of papers in a bundle matched the amount we were told. Whether or not those numbers were ultimately correct is anybody’s guess.

The Denver News Agency distributes Denver Post, Denver Rocky Mtn News and the national pubs like NYT, Wall Street Journal and a few others.

I dunno what kind of system your carrier uses, but we have a list that is generated by the subscription database. If you’re paying, you’re on the list. Of about 500 homes on my route about 300 are customers who have numerous different subscription patterns (Sunday only, Daily, Fri-Mon, Bulldog…). Every morning we have the option of getting a brand new list printed, or of updating an existing one. Since the lists are color coded by the carriers with highlighters, it’s easier just to make updates with pencil & highlighters, and get a new list printed avery 3 or 4 weeks. This system works great. If there is a delivery error, there is a 99% certainty that it is the fault of the carrier making a simple mistake on the update.

Every morning we get the update/error report. When you get an error, the first thing you do is make sure the list is marked correctly (because at 3:30 a.m. the idea that you might have simply missed a house is absolutely ridiculous). Most of the time, that solves the problem. If a second error is made on that address within 8 days, Tha Boss lands on your neck. Screw it up again within 8 days and you get to sleep in thenceforth.

Your delivery situation sounds like it might be confusing to a carrier just because we typically deliver to a driveway/walkway. If he doesn’t understand that this delivery spot serves 2 customers, that could be the issue.

Of course, by now he should have examined the problem or at least had it explained to him and he should be delivering correctly. Maybe with some underbreath comments about bitchy customers, but who cares as long as you’re getting your paper.

  1. Your paper carrier needs to be fired–it’s not a real technical job and there are still plenty of PhDs out there without jobs (I work with 3!)
  2. You and your neighbor should be able to request doorstep delivery. That makes the carrier dismount from his car/skateboard/fell beast and put the paper in the correct spot. It also reduces the odds of theft (which is a scourge for those of us who miss our weekly bonus by 1 complaint!)

I had similar problems getting the SF Chronicle on three different subscritions no less. My buildling only has 6 units in a 'c" shape with a central driveway. My only reqest was that he leave the paper at my front door not the driveway leading to the court yard. First delivery, driveway, I called. Next delievery driveway, I called. Next delivery, or rather no delivery or maybe stolen (hence my request for a front door delivery; called and cancelled. Months later, great deal for subscription, I sign up. Same as above but it was a week or two before I cancelled. A year later another great deal, this time I asked if they had the same moron on my route, I was told no. Either this was a complete lie, or they managed to find another idiot.

Did I mention they charged me the full subsciption all three times and tried to send me to collections all three times. Now if someone asks, they’re lucky if all they get is a “HELL NO”.

Water the bushes and make an omelette? Sorry, I don’t see how that would help.

Don’t get me started.

We get three papers. Every so often one of them - the local one, does not show up on Saturday. It isn’t the subscription department - when I call in we’re in their automated system. No one is stealing it - it is the crappiest of the papers we get, and the one lots of others nearby get. I can only think that we’re on top of the page or something, and the sub can’t be bothered to go back to give us our paper when he drives past us.

Someone was stealing our papers once, once a week. I started getting up in the middle of the night to collect them, in the hopes I’d run into the thief and teach him some manners. But he must have given up when the papers no longer were there. I never reported lost papers for this - can’t blame the delivery people for theft, though one service did agree to throw the paper in the back of our truck, which helped.

I delivered papers as a kid 40 years ago, when we had scrawled route books, not computerized lists - and we got it right.

Route books! Why when I was a…oh.

I had various complaints about the daily paper in this area: consistently delivered late, despite numerous complaints; missing sections, despite numerous complaints; a motor route carrier who flouted the traffic laws in a dangerous and unnecessary manner, despite numerous complaints. The last one was what really frosted my ass; this guy was driving in a way calculated to kill somebody one day (wrong side of the road on a blind hill). And the boss’s response was “That’s okey-dokey with us.”

My blood pressure lost several points on the day I canceled my subscription. Every so often the telemarketers call to sign me up, and I tell them that I specifically DO NOT get the Northwestern and will never give them another dime. They get offthe phone right quick.

I was a paper carrier for several years when I was a youngin. .I can’t say I never made a mistake, but if I did, and someone brought it to my attention, it wasn’t terribly difficult to figure out how to not do it again.

If you’ve talked to him several times and he still can’t do it right, I’d put him squarely on the moron side of the fence. Err bushes. Err, whatever.

Well, I was thinking the paperboy would have to come by at some point since the house was on the route…

Bribe him with an omelot? What do you take him for.

For some reason I started getting the Spanish version of the local newspaper delivered every Sunday. I wasn’t being charged, so if it was in a language I could read that would have been pretty cool! I eventually called and had them stop it, just so there’s less trash for me to pick up. It was but litter to me, with my meager Spanish reading ability.