Sunday, June 24, 2007
The K Word (and more)
Seems likely that in less than 12 hours Amanda and I will no longer be delivering newspapers.
Is this fair?
Is this just?
Is this what we want?
Is there anything that can be done to prevent it?
The answer to all of the above questions is NO.
Are we angry?
Are there some customers we are glad to be rid of?
Are we determined to see that the GDT financially "makes good" for what we are due?
Amanda reminded me that we have actually been delivering papers for nearly four years. We have never had a complaint during that time. We have never missed a delivery. We walked a combined total of 9 miles per day every day except Sundays and Christmas. Including this recent vacation we have only taken twelve days off. We took the same week off last year as this year. The newspaper willingly found a substitute last year and we paid about $100.00 to that person.
This is nuts.
When we told a few of our longtime customers that we had been threatened with being fired, their consensus was that the GDT wouldn't dare. That they would be foolish if they did it. Well...there they go. Not the high road but the foolish one. Oh, and BTW, now the "boss" split our huge route(s) into two neat routes. Just as I had been asking her to do for ages. As one of my former customers commented: "Spit on her!"
But what does this have to do with kindness, the subject of this post?
I'm going to miss delivering the papers. I'll miss the hour and a half per day that I had mostly to myself. I'll miss the walking in beautiful sunshine, the insanity of soaking and driving rains, the jumping into snowbanks to avoid traffic and the plows. I'll miss "playing target" for the plow drivers and DPW drivers, waving to the police, waving to friends driving by, waving to total strangers who have decided to wave to me each day. I'll even miss visiting with the dogs and cats I've met along my route.
Mostly I'll miss the wonderful people that I have met the past four years. Some haven't even been customers. There has been such joy in the brief chats we have shared over the years.
I'll miss them.
During the last couple of days, Amanda and I have been walking to former customer's houses to return over-payments. Several customers had paid for a few weeks in advance and we owed them the money back. This gave us chance to wish them well and also to explain what had happened. The kindness and support that these customers, friends, and neighbors showed us was overwhelming. Some refused the refunds, some gave us extra cash, and some accepted their money back in part or total. A few even canceled their paper in protest and support. Others are calling and writing to the GDT. We mostly remember and appreciate the kind words and the knowing that people care.
Kindness counts. That we will never forget.
The other side of this is the financial dilemma. Amanda has requested extra hours at Stop & Shop and it appears that her boss is giving them to her. I, on the other hand, don't have the luxury of merely requesting additional hours! The extra cash that the papers brought in is needed towards bills. What to do. Seems that I will be looking for part time morning only employment.
I was getting a bit anxious about having to get something, anything, immediately. I have a small emergency reserve fund...but not enough to last for months on end.
And then...a very unexpected message on my answering machine.
The doctor that had me restore the Bridgeport reed organ had just purchased another organ. This time a Smith American organ. He wanted to know if I could work it into my schedule for restoration! Phew. I'll still have to get morning employment, but this job just gained me a little thinking and breathing room.
More updates to come............8 hours and counting.