When you sign up as a carrier for the News Bulletin there are some unexpected perks to the job.
Just ask Lucas Baird, 9, who for 14 months has slogged it out, rain or shine, to deliver 40 papers twice a week to his neighbours on Thunderbird Crescent.
Baird started out delivering 100 papers, but found he had to rush home four times to refill his wagon to get the route done before it got dark.
“The first day I just about quit,” Baird said.
He has learned to overcome adversity, especially when dealing with substandard equipment.
“The wagon was taking a while, so we bought a cart,” Baird said. “The newspaper cart, the wheels are kind of already broken and the strap to keep the part that holds the papers kind of fell off, so now that part kind of just goes all over.”
Baird has whittled his delivery time down to anywhere from 45 minutes on Tuesdays to 90 minutes Thursdays when weekend flyers come. More flyers means extra pay and, all told, he makes about $45 a month from his route.
Baird’s mom, Lisa Jory, allows him to spend half his earnings, but makes him save the other half. So far he’s bought a video game console, but is eyeing future investment plans.
“A laptop for university or a camera for YouTube,” Baird said.
He prefers delivering during the cooler winter months over hot summer days like the one that gave him mild heat stroke and a really bad headache.
“I couldn’t stop crying,” Baird said. “I tried to give it everything, but it wouldn’t stop.”
Baird and his mom called it a day, but he went out and finished his route the following afternoon.
Ask how Baird likes delivering newspapers and he breaks it down into percentages – about 30 per cent bad, which includes rain or too much sun, and about 70 per cent good. A key perk of the job falls into Baird’s 70 per cent good side of the ledger.
“Well, it’s fun to have time away from my sister sometimes,” Baird said.
Gratuities are welcomed. Last Christmas one of his neighbours tipped him $20.
Baird and his family are currently in the process of moving a couple streets over and he’s looking forward to taking on a new route where he’ll have about a half dozen extra papers to deliver.
Black Press is celebrating Carrier Appreciation Week by thanking its team of more than 190 newspaper carriers.
Routes are available all across the city and open to all ages. To learn more, please call Paula at 250-734-4605 or e-mail email@example.com.