First week of carrier deliveries: Not error free but a good start
August 27, 2008 · Updated 8:24 PM
Our first week of carrier-delivered newspapers for the Marysville Globe and Arlington Times is now in the history books. As with any gigantic change in tradition and way of doing business we had some glitches. But one of the most amazing things that everyone here encountered were the number of people who are currently avid readers of the newspapers and have been for many years. Frankly, we were overwhelmed by the number of pleasant and helpful calls from both our body of regular readers and many new ones.
One of the most apparent glitches was that our phone system was not switching over to the various phones we had designated to take the overflow of calls that we anticipated. Aye corrumba, we know how frustrating that must have been to keep getting a busy signal or worse yet, being clicked off, as was apparently the case for a number of folks.
We also misread the day most people would be calling. We had more phones set to take Wednesday calls (if the switching had worked) and only internal phones for calls thereafter.
Our delivery truck also forgot to reverse the order of delivery, so that resulted in most of our carriers cooling their heels for 90 minutes at 3:30 a.m. waiting for the papers to get here so they could start their routes. A late start meant many of them could not finish their routes by the time they reported for their regular jobs and had to finish up Wednesday evening instead. So people didnt get a paper until later than they normally will.
Thank heaven people in our communities understand that it takes a while for these new carriers to learn the best way to deliver their routes and which homes and readers need some extra attention. Think about it: even if you have lived here all your life you probably havent driven a neighborhood with the idea of delivering something to each and every house.
We did have some amusing calls. One caller was going to call the Attorney Generals office. He was sure that we were orchestrating a major crime initiative and that or circulation manager was the ringleader.
One caller said he would give us the opportunity to come and redistribute the papers in his neighborhood correctly before he called the county to come and get them.
Another property owner called and told us not to deliver the paper to any of his renters. We all wondered if he controls the rest of what they read too. Most folks have been very reasonable and really like the idea that they can now get all the local news including legal notices, sports, obituaries, births, and what their local governments and schools are doing, with no obligation. Another important aspect of home deliver is that many more people will be able to see what local merchants are providing. Advertising has always paid the way for news in the United States and the marriage, while it irks some folks, has been the best way we have found to insure a population that knows what is going on. That would be the informed population that is the basis of any solid democracy.
Home delivered newspapers have been a staple in American life. We are happy to provide a number of people with extra work. I have been extremely impressed with the quality of our carrier force. For the most part they are taking their routes very seriously and trying to do a good job.
Apparently there are a lot of former newspaper delivery people in our communities. We also got tips on how to tie-off the rain bags, and also double-banding twists with the elastic bands.
Some businesses apparently got a bundle of 50 papers although what we intended was to make sure each business has its own copy of the paper, just for itself.
We are also making an effort to see that our retirement homes and special care facilities get enough papers for their folks to read.
We thank everyone for being as patient as they have been. We cant promise we will have all the bugs worked out of our system immediately but our intention is to get them sorted out as soon as humanly possible.
We have always had a tremendous amount of pride in the newspapers that we produce for Arlington and Marysville. We are glad that we have finally found a good way to get it in the hands of more people. We think the fun and serious news of our communities is what makes them great.
We think with more people getting the Globe and the Times, that the nature of our civic dialogue will improve.
Thanks for being part of this effort.
To contact a member of The Marysville Globe/Arlington Times editorial board Kris Passey or Scott Frank e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.