We live off 92nd Ave between Powell and Holgate; the streets here are not being sanded on a regular basis. Travel is very limited, our family has refrained from driving anywhere since Friday evening. We have expressed our concerns for my husband, Jim, who is a freelance contractor for the Oregonian Newspaper, he daily delivers papers and manages a paper station here on the Eastside of Portland. He has gone in to work every night regardless of the road or weather conditions. We have chains on our van, he has been stuck twice! Today at work he got stuck in the parking lot and had to shovel out, and again on our street, when he had to leave the car parked, and come back to shovel out the heavy snow to get it in the driveway! He still goes in to work because he is committed to his job, and to his boss, Gary. Today they could not do their job…
I am very upset with the "Community", meaning all those people who called and complained that they did not receive their newspaper today or yesterday. The station house was flooded with complaints about a missing paper! Take a look at the conditions around here; (see attached pics) take a look at the conditions around your own neighborhood! Maybe you don't live on a hill, or perhaps the roads are sanded by your house, this doesn't mean it is the same everywhere else! Calling to complain because you didn't get your paper is just simply petty! It puts some people (those out there delivering a .50 cent paper) in dangerous situations.
I helped to deliver newspapers in the snowstorm of 2004. We sat in the back of a rented 4 X 4 pickup truck and threw them, hoping to get many of them on the lawns not the front porch as is promised by the Oregonian. Hardly anyone had their walks shoveled to walk on, they were slippery and treacherous! At a time when the mail service on many routes was canceled, people still called and complained. "Community cares”. I find this very disturbing that our citizens/community cares more about getting the paper to their front porch than about the safety of those out doing this job. I remember how many times in the snowstorm of 2004 we got stuck, and had to get help out, yet we were still under pressure from the Oregonian to deliver the papers, or else the possible fear of losing our jobs.
This year, 2008, we can not even get out of our driveway without shoveling 2 feet of snow! Then we need to shovel snow on our street to get to 92nd Ave, and on any other side streets not being plowed. The dangers from the plows are awful too! They leave huge piles of snow along the roadside, often preventing travel on the streets. It is dangerous to travel to deliver something as minor as a .50 cent newspaper. We listen and abide by the recommendations from ODOT, Portland Department of Transportation, yet our family still feels the pressure of the “Community” because of those rotten apples who call and complain!
Delivery people are seldom thanked for the jobs they do, instead they are subjected to complaints, problems, and threats of job stability. Why does this happen? Because the community we live in here does not appreciate the worth of delivery people. It would be so nice if every person who subscribed to the Oregonian gave their carrier a $1.00 tip every month. Some people tip more than this, but for the most part, the majority of the subscriber’s don’t tip at all! Many think the tips go in the pockets of the Oregonian, this is not true! It goes directly to the carrier...he/she delivers your paper every single day! Snow, rain, wind, sun, holidays, no time off, every single day they deliver the paper. Yet, when it comes time for tipping, as a means of saying thanks for a good job, that doesn't happen.
How many of these same consumers tip the waitress for that cup of coffee or meal? How many minutes did that server spend with you? Was it daily service? Was it good service? Was it on your front porch? How much was that tip you gave that server?? I would imagine it was at least a $2-3.00 tip more than likely. I would like to suggest that everyone who takes any subscription from a paper carrier tip them for their daily service. Did you know they don’t get days off? Have no benefits? They deliver your paper 365 days a year, be generous, say thank you, and give them a tip. And if you can’t afford a tip, don’t call and complain because in the snowstorm you missed getting your paper. Or complain because it wasn’t on the front porch today, yesterday…it is very cold outside, conditions are miserable, driving is treacherous, be nice! Shovel your walk for them, smile and say hello, if you don’t get your paper today, you will eventually get it. Did you get mail service? Did you call and complain about the mail service? I am suggesting that the “Community Who Cares” really do this, Care about others. In closing, my final words are this, please exercise patience with anyone out in this weather doing a service, it takes longer, but eventually things will work out with everyone’s help and patience.