Caught in the Act

Trent Ernst, Editor


Last weekend, a video popped up on Facebook. It showed what appeared to be a TR News carrier tossing papers by the side of the road up on the upper bench.

While not overtly stated, the implication was that one of our carriers was taking and dumping the papers. Even though her mom was in the car that she was unloading, there were a lot of “hoho, caught red handed” type comments.

What the video fails to show is the same carrier then taking a garbage bag to cover the papers in case of rain.

It also doesn’t show her, about an hour later, coming by and loading up her wagon with the “discarded” papers, and continuing on her route.

You see, the carrier’s wagon only holds about 40 papers, and her route is 80 houses. She doesn’t live on the upper bench, so she can’t go home and load up with papers without a lot of difficulty, so her mom thought that creating a cache for her was a good idea.

It was a good idea, until the video. Then it became a temporary tempest in a teapot, until someone thought to tag me in the discussion. I actually called the mom to figure out what was happening, and posted a note to the thread. Amazing how the facts get in the way of a good drama.

The thread quickly degenerated and then deleted, which we here at the news find annoying; how many people saw the histrionics of the “look at the TR News carrier dumping papers in the bush!!!!” and never saw the “oh, wait. No she’s not.”

Which brings me to the heart of what I wanted to say.

We need to talk about the way some people treat some of our news carriers.

You see, that same day, the same carrier, who has only been delivering the last two weeks, accidentally delivered a paper to the wrong house.

The owner of the house noticed, and instead of handing her the paper back like a considerate person would do, started yelling at the carrier and calling her down. Which is sad, because she was so excited about this job, and now she’s not doing it anymore.

Sadly, this is not a unique case. It has happened before to other carriers in other sections of town. It’s not one bad egg spoiling the broth (or however that goes), it is multiple people around town.

The carriers have been reporting that some individuals are treating them rudely or yelling at them. And it’s making our circulation manager upset. She even wrote a letter to the editor. I thought her point was worth stealing and pretending was my own, thus this editorial.

In her letter, she writes that this behaviour is uncalled for and unnecessary.

“These young people work hard,” says Lynsey. “No, they aren’t perfect (as no one is), but they work hard for little pay. There are a lot of houses to deliver to, and with the small team we have now, I think they deserve a pat on the back, not an adult yelling in their face.”

I’d like to add that for many, this is their first job. My eldest daughter has started delivering papers, and I have taken it on myself to go along with her to haul the wagon. She is, after all, only ten. While we haven’t experienced such abuse, it worries me to hear these stories, to a point where I’m not sure I want to let her deliver papers by herself. We’re to a point where many young people no longer want to do the job. That’s sad.

There’s this little thing called the Golden Rule that we all should have learned when we were kids: treat others as you would have them treat you. Not how they treat you, but how you want to be treated. The assumption is that you probably want to be treated with respect, with dignity and with kindness.

So, here’s the deal: If you have problems with delivery service, if you would like to cancel the (free) delivery service, or have a complaint, don’t take it out on the carrier. Call Lynsey: 250-242-5597. If you choose to not read the newspaper, that’s your choice. But don’t be picking on our carriers. They do not deserve to be talked down to, shamed on Facebook, or treated other than with the utmost respect.