Paper route taught me valuable lessons

Published: Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 07:50 PM.

I’m pretty much immune from letting little things get under my skin. For one thing, there’s not much room under it since my body uses up about all space available.

I had another wet newspaper in my box this morning. It happens way too frequently.

But my gripe has less to do with a newspaper and more to do with the business overall. Newspapers are imbedded in my cultural DNA.

I can’t exactly figure out why I need to mix a paper with my Cheerios every morning. It can’t be the national news articles. I already know what’s going on because of 24/7 cable.

I suspect my appreciation of the industry stems from what newspapers did for us American youth back in the "day." This country owes a huge debt of gratitude for the spectacular benefits newspapers bestowed on kids before society got so haywire.

Running paper routes were standard rites of passage when I was growing up. None of us thought about feelings of self-satisfaction we got from earning our own money but it certainly produced a special tingle.

Oh my, what delivering, collecting, dealing with customers, paying for "product" and fixing complaints taught us? I learned about margins and profits and losses. I learned about accounts receivable and inevitable "bad debts." I learned about hard work.

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