Monday, November 15, 2010

Where Have All the Paper Boys Gone?

I recently began following Lenore Skenazy's blog, Free Range Kids.  Reading the posts has made me much more aware of, shall we say, "less-than-free-range" opinions coming out in casual conversation.  Just a couple of days ago I was reminiscing with someone about the way things used to be, and the convo turned to paper boys:

ME:  Remember paper boys?  I was a paper boy [actually I was a paper girl, but I digress].  Why don't they let kids deliver newspapers any more - oh yeah, something BAAAAAD might happen.

OTHER PERSON:  Yes, the paper companies are probably worried about kids being molested or kidnapped, or something even worse, so they were smart to switch to adults and make the routes only easily done in a vehicle. That way they don't have to worry about parents suing them.

ME:  You know, now that I think about it, I would say it is actually safer for kids to deliver papers now than in was when I was a paper carrier.  Now the customers can pay online, by mail or phone, and the carrier does not need to have any personal contact with the customer at all.  When I carried papers, I had to collect the money every two weeks from my customers, most of whom I dealt with in person.  Also, papers don't have to be delivered as early in the morning now; I delivered evening papers but my Sunday route had to be done before 7 am and now the deadline on Sundays is 9 am.

OP:  You're probably right about the things you mentioned, but you've not considered the pervs who lie in wait for kids out unsupervised.

ME:  And just how many stories have been in the news about kids carrying newspapers who have been assaulted, kidnapped, molested, killed, etc.?

OP:  {crickets}

ME:  exactly.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter had a paper route when we lived in Nebraska, but it was a once a week thing, and in the afternoon. No money collection involved, and she only had about 20-25 houses on her route... of course, she was only 8/9 yrs old. When we moved here she wanted to get a route and keep it going, but the paper here is EARLY morning, and every day of the week, and HUGE areas that are just not kid-safe. I'm hoping that when we move next time, there will be a viable paper route option. She's to the age where she can start babysitting for her pocket money, but her little sister has reached paper route age, and desperately needs something to help her develop responsibility.