Tuesday, December 11, 2007


On Sunday, Brad brought in our daily Washington Post and out fell a card from the delivery person. It’s not the card that bothered me. It had a cute penguin on the front (so it was somewhat non-denominational). But it was ‘signed’ with a generic stamp and included a self-addressed envelope (without postage). Might as well have said, “Give me money FOR DOING MY JOB.”

I’m all for rewarding a job well-done, but for some reason this feels both a little tacky and like a trap to me. If we don’t give him (or her) a holiday gift, is our newspaper going to be farther down the driveway each day? Or maybe if we *are* particularly generous, I won’t have to run barefoot as fast as I can while pulling down my ratty t-shirt so as to not offend the neighbors.

Since we are new to the neighborhood, I really do feel compelled to give something. (On a related note, we recently bought a $17.00 (!) box of kettle corn from a neighborhood boy doing a fundraiser for his school. Anyone want any kettle corn?)

Hmmm. That gives me an idea. Wonder if we could give the Washington Post delivery person the kettle corn? If not, think he or she would be offended by Hanukkah gelt? We’ve got a lot left over…

P.S. I realize that these folks are probably underpaid and that delivering newspapers is not the most glamorous job in the universe. But, it’s my blog and I’ll kvetch if I want to.


Susan said...

Arrived back in Florida on Monday to find our newspaper delivery person's card which was at least hand signed. I have the same thoughts every year which never seem to get resolved. How much do you give? Do I put give the postman or woman a gift? What if there a substitute mail person the day I put the gift in the mailbox?
Do they pool the money? Too many decisions this time of year.

JCB said...

Like mother, like daughter I guess.

Andy said...

My brother and I delivered about 300 Washington Posts every morning in high school. This was back when kids still delivered the paper, and went door to door to collect (although our dad did write a billing computer program that allowed us to send post card bills to everyone - way before the Post had any kind of system for this). When we switched from collecting door to door to the mailed bills our tips went way down. We never thought to actually ask for tips - that's brilliant!

I will say that even at 5:30am we knew exactly which house tipped, and how much, and it definitely had an impact on how carefully we delivered each paper.

As far as the postal worker goes - I think they're actually not allowed to take any kind of gift and certainly not cash. I think they can actually get in big trouble if they're caught accepting a cash gift.

JCB said...

Thanks for the "insider" info Andy! Just wrote the check and actually feel better about it. - Jill