Most of us have fond memories of our first job. Even if we have spent a considerable amount of time in the corporate set up, we will still remember the first work assignment we took as a youngster. Whether it was in a Coffee shop, a promotional event in a Mall or just the two-months training we took by promising to work longer in a call-centre.
A little before these types of job, some boys take up distributing papers or milk-line to start doing something. Or at least in the eyes of their lower-middle-class parents. Newspaper distribution is an activity which is short and at the same time sweet in nature.
The first thing you do when you reach the workplace (mostly a roadside stall) is to arrange the papers in the order of distribution. And also putting supplements in the main paper (e. g. Bombay Times needs to be put in the main Times Of India). Now, three papers in this building, two in that building and one on the ground floor, that’s how you go about your business.
Features of Paper-line work
- Considering the cramped spaces and buildings very close to each other, you have to be good at remembering the homes where you have to distribute papers.
- Some boys getting involved in paper distribution are so thin that the weight of their paper-line appears unmanageable. However, we still get to see these chaps doing the job diligently.
- On Sundays, you have a leverage to distribute papers without any hurry since people receiving them are a working class which have off and will wake up little late than usual.
- But on weekdays, your employer receives a lot of complaints. Either it can be of not receiving the paper on time or sometimes not even receiving it.
- As part of keeping the boys happy (retention policy), they are served snacks on Sundays. Although a very short (half an hour to one hour) task, Diwali bonus is also part of the overall benefits of the job.
- Sunday is also a happy day for all the paper-line boys because this is the only activity they have to honour on that day.
- If you are doing the work religiously, you are given additional responsibility to manage the stall, prepare monthly invoices and collect the payment from homes.
- One of the disadvantages of Newspaper distribution field is that you hardly get any holiday.
- The salary you get for a paper line depends on the number of papers you distribute. It was 200 to 300 rupees per month 15 years back. You are paid somewhere around 1000 to 1200 rupees now.
- Once all the papers are distributed, it feels like the job well done. The breathing speed reduces, sweat covers the almost entire body. Left-hand pains a bit but soon it comes back to normal.