Eating out in Coeur d’Alene is a lot like home delivery of the Coeur d’Alene Press. Both deserve a tip for good service, both make sub-minimum wage (the carriers are private contractors, but you get the point). Those bags and rubber bands are paid for by your carrier. But there are the hidden services. These carriers are the extra eyes and ears of the community. They call in the drunk drivers, the prowlers, obvious water leaks, downed power lines. If your door is open at 3 a.m. when we deliver your paper, we’ll let the police ensure your safety, not us. We do not get paid for rain delays, sports delays or anything else making us run late. We miss your house, we get fined. Call us directly first; we’ll fix it.
A lot goes on at night for that paper to reach your porch. Some of my rewards: I’ve had a family give us a full Thanksgiving dinner, one left peaches on their porch for us, one hired me to rake their leaves, one called in desperation (calls to other agencies were ignored) to help him escape his home as an incredibly large buck was blocking his front door. Turns out the deer had a broken leg and finally ran off when approached with water. My children loved, as did I, the large full moon over the lake on East Lakeshore Drive which could only be seen between noon and 4 a.m. Those crazy Turkey flocks, each resident has a story of their favorite wild Turkey. The sound of heavy snowfall.
My kids’ favorite was this cat my daughters Hayley and Kylie named Paper Route Kitty. East of the library, PRK would follow us. You could pick him up and snuggle him or he would surprise you and jump in the car. There are moments of good times delivering newspapers and they are in all shapes and sizes. My favorite was former County Commissioner Rick Currie’s dad. Never knew who he was until I met him a day the paper was running late. The things he told me about the commissioner as a kid were hilarious.
Be a carrier or don’t, just go into it with your eyes open. Your pay won’t always be money. And please everyone tip your carriers.