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Thread: Do you tip the newspaper delivery guy?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    978
    We usually give our news paper guy something like $10 or $15. The local paper also gives a calendar, which sometimes has some really great photography. And like someone said, the paper is ALWAYS delivered, rain, snow, whatever, and when I go out Saturday and Sunday mornings to retrieve it, I know I can count on it being there.

    Oh, with the calendar delivery, he includes a note thanking us for our patronage and wishing us a happy new year, etc., along with an envelope with his name and adress. No question about where to send it or who he is. When I used to pay the paper by mail, there was a space on the bill for "gratuity for your delivery person" that you could add to. But we prefer to send it directly to him.

    As for the postal worker - we have one main one, a lady who is very friendly and nice, and we usually give her some home-made cookies or a bottle of wine. There is another guy that delivers our mail, maybe once a week (her day off???), and I think he is trying to set a speed record for delivering the mail. He zips from one mail box to the next in absolutely no time at all. I think he does our whole street (maybe 15 houses?) in about 5 minutes or less.
    barbara-cook

  2. #32

    I am a newspaper carrier

    What I'm reading here is interesting. I do give my customers a Christmas card but would never, ever give them an address to send me a "tip". To me, that's just tacky.

    I might be able to clear up a few things, though.

    Your carrier is self employed, They don't "work" for the newspaper, per say. We are are contracted to deliver at a certain rate per paper delivered. There are no benefits, no vacation time, no gas per Diem, etc.

    When gas prices rise, that is just money we don't make. It comes off of our bottom line as we pay for our gas.

    I deliver for a mid-major newspaper. City of about 500k. My route is rural and extends about 80 miles during the week and 100 miles on the weekend. I have between 96-116 deliveries mon-sat and 180 on Sunday. I am compensated 30 cents per delivery mon-sat and 22 cents per delivery on Sunday. I don't get paid for the time it takes to roll and bag papers. Like I said, it's a contracted rate.

    In addition to gas expenses, brakes are gone through about every 4 months. And that doesn't include general wear and tear or mileage on the car.

    I tell you all of this not so you can feel sorry for me, but so you maybe understand what your delivery driver deals with.

    It is ultimately a sub-minimum wage job for rural drivers and slightly above that for city drivers. It's a thankless job in the middle of the night when it is coldest.

    All I can say is your driver most certainly appreciates your tips. We get far more complaints than anything, often due to no fault of our own. I can also assure you that your driver will remember your tip and will go even further out of his/her way to make sure you get the best service possible as a result.

    Try to remember, regardless of how many times per week you receive your delivery, we work 7 days a week 52 weeks per year. The only way we get a day off is if we pay someone to run our route for us...we are "self employed" which is a fancy way for the newspaper industry to cut way back on distribution costs.

    My advice is...Don't give your driver a huge tip at Christmas, instead give him/her a smaller tip once a month. It's not even about the money (though trust me, we appreciate it) it's about our customers understanding and appreciating what we do to make sure they get their paper.

    I've often said that if my customers could spend just one night on my route, they'd have a much greater appreciation for what it takes to get their paper every day.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Oakland, CA
    Posts
    1,897
    Mike,
    Thanks for the inside information. I've always wondered about that line for the tip on the bill. I'm dubious about whether the carrier actually gets any of that money at all, let alone the whole amount. Maybe you can enlighten me. While the self-addressed card with the paper is kind of tacky, when you consider the alternative of waiting outside in the cold and dark when you could be warm and asleep in order to hand him the tip, well, it's not so bad.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    northwestern VT
    Posts
    1,533
    I tip my paper delivery guy with a kiss on Sunday mornings when he gets back in the car after we've stopped at the store on the way home from church.

    We looked into having our paper delivered on Sunday mornings and after doing the math we figured out it was cheaper to just buy it ourselves - even without tips.

    MaddMike ~ Welcome! And thanks for your valuable insight. Hope you will join us more here in the future.
    Connie

  5. #35

    Hi Clover

    I can only speak for the company I'm contracted with but yes, when someone fills in that tip line on the bill, or calls the paper to leave a tip, I do receive it. In fact it shows up on that nights run sheet how much the tip was for and who left it even though I don't actually get the money until the following week. That way I know to expect it and the people who are contracted to run the distribution center can't keep it from me.

    That is one other thing I forgot to mention. Those nice plastic bags your paper comes in every morning? Your driver purchases those, they aren't provided to us. They aren't overly expensive (they cost me about $15/wk), but it is just another added cost to the driver who is ultimately the person getting your paper to you.

    For those who get your paper from a machine, those drivers actually pay for the newspaper at a slightly discounted rate. They have to pay for any papers they can't return. For every paper someone takes from those machines that wasn't paid for, the driver has to sell approximately five more just to make up for that one to break even as he buys it whether the person who takes it pays or not.

    Again, not trying to make anyone feel sorry for me or any other driver, nobody forces us to do this. I just don't think most people are aware, or think about what goes into getting them their daily paper. I know I never gave it a thought before actually delivering them.

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by syzygy View Post
    I totally agree with this.

    When the papers were delivered to my front door by the neighborhood kids, they got a weekly AND a seasonal tip. Nowadays the guy from a different town who delivers the papers barely slows down his nice new car (nicer than mine, BTW) to toss the papers out and over the top of the car to (hopefully) land at the end of my long, steep driveway. Most of the year I deal with it without getting too upset (unless he misses and it's out in the street to be driven over by other cars) but when it snows in the winter I can't tell you how many times the papers have been chewed up and spit out by the snowblower because they can't be seen underneath the snow (even though we put up a box at the end of the driveway for him to put the papers into -- it means that he would have to stop and lean out the passenger side window, heavens forbid!)

    Paper deliverers DO get paid, BTW -- they receive a percentage of the # of papers they deliver, and when they deliver by car, they usually have pretty big "routes", so for a few hours every AM they are making fairly decent money for driving around and tossing papers out their car windows. As Hamm says, "Now it's just a job".
    While I sympathize with the issues you've had, and there are indeed some awful delivery drivers, I do have to take issue with "they are making fairly decent money". This just isn't true. Nor is it "just a job at that point".

    If your driver is driving a nice new car, he isn't paying for it from delivering newspapers I can assure you. Many delivery people do so for extra money, not as their primary job. Those who do solely newspaper delivery typically have 2-3 routes just to put food on the table and we are no longer talking about "a couple of hours a night".

    While I can't point to the reason why -your- papers are late, I can speak to why mine are late on occasion and it has nothing to do with me at all as I'm -always- at the distribution center before the papers are dropped.

    Your driver can't begin to roll, bag, and deliver until he actually -has- the papers to begin with. In my case, the papers are supposed to be there by 1:30 M-F and delivered by 5:30. Those days are usually on time. Saturday papers are supposed to arrive by 2:30 and be delivered by 6:30. That day is almost always an hour to an hour and a half late. Sunday papers are supposed arrive by 3 and delivered by 7:30 but are rarely there before 3:30 and take much longer to roll and bag than the rest of the week.

    The "couple of hours a night job" looks something like this:

    M-F Arrive at distribution center at 1, wait for papers to be delivered, roll and bag leave distribution center between 2-2:30 spend 2 hours delivering. Total time 3-3:30 hours per day

    Sat Arrive at distribution center at 3, wait for papers, roll and bag, leave distribution center between 4-4:30, spend 2.5 hours delivering. Total time 3:30-4 hours

    Sun Arrive at distribution center at 1, put inserts (sales papers and coupons) together, papers arrive around 4, roll and bag, leave distribution center between 5 and 5:30, 3 hours to deliver. Total time 7-7:30 hours

    And those delivery times are in good weather without much traffic. If you are near the end of a route on a rainy day it comes as no surprise to me that your paper could be late fairly often through no fault of the driver. (that's not to say the driver isn't at fault in your case)

    In good conditions without major delays I spend 25-30 hours per week on a single rural route and I can assure you I don't make what anyone would consider "fairly decent money" for it.

  7. #37
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,842
    Every morning when I open the front door and see our two newspapers(his and hers) there I say a little note of thanks to our carriers.
    What treat it is to have something delivered every day...I lived for years in a remote country location and buying a newspaper meant a long drive to town. I never take this little luxury for granted.

    Our carriers DO leave us cards with their addresses and I really appreciate it. I am not up when they come by and I tried leaving envelopes for them and they were never picked up.(it is dark most of the year and the guys are in a hurry). I also worried about them falling into the wrong hands etc.
    With the card and addy I simply write a cheque and send it off.

    I undertand and appreciate how hard the work is and how low the pay is. I hope all my guys customers give them a tip-15-20.00 for almost 365 days of service is nothing!
    You think you're not ever going to be able to eat another thing, but alas, you will find yourself feeling strangely peckish around teatime. The more you eat, the more you want. That's the way it goes."

    Nigella Lawson

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by kima View Post
    Every morning when I open the front door and see our two newspapers(his and hers) there I say a little note of thanks to our carriers.
    What treat it is to have something delivered every day...I lived for years in a remote country location and buying a newspaper meant a long drive to town. I never take this little luxury for granted.

    Our carriers DO leave us cards with their addresses and I really appreciate it. I am not up when they come by and I tried leaving envelopes for them and they were never picked up.(it is dark most of the year and the guys are in a hurry). I also worried about them falling into the wrong hands etc.
    With the card and addy I simply write a cheque and send it off.

    I undertand and appreciate how hard the work is and how low the pay is. I hope all my guys customers give them a tip-15-20.00 for almost 365 days of service is nothing!
    Hi Kima. I'm guessing carriers leaving their address soliciting tips is fairly common. I know carriers who do it but refuse to myself as I don't like to be presumptuous. I do give a Christmas card both as a sincere holiday wish, but also to remind the customer that there is a real live person responsible for their paper showing up every day and not a newspaper fairy that just makes it appear in the driveway. It is entirely up to the customer to determine if they should go to the trouble of making a phone call to leave a tip for me. But that's just me.

    Not to harp on a previous commenter but going back to the "kid on a bike" comment. What isn't understood is that kid on the bike gets paid the same rate to drop that paper as I do. I don't get more because I have expenses he/she doesn't have such as gas, auto repair etc. He can work on a bike because his route has 12-15 deliveries in any given city block whereas I might drive 30 miles to drop that many papers. He's working his route to buy the newest video game where as *I* might be trying to feed my kids. I can assure anyone reading that an adult delivering newspapers is -not- doing it because they enjoy the work or because they want a new video game. They do it because they truly need the money. Particularly in this economy. I -never- thought I'd be delivering newspapers.

    Kima I can assure you that your carrier appreciates you as much as you appreciate them. I'm a very conscientious person and attempt to give great service to everyone regardless of anything else. My thought process is the customer paid for a service, I am compensated to deliver that service and am not "forced" to do it hence I should do the best I can. However, when I see a tip from a customer it does resonate with me subconsciously or otherwise.

    On the flip side, when I see a complaint that likewise resonates, particularly when it is a repeat complaint from the same customer on an issue I have no control over. Don't get me wrong, I'm not at all saying you shouldn't complain about your paper being thrown into the ditch or being routinely late or whatever else if you are truly getting poor service. But I will tell you, when I see complaint after complaint from the same address that the paper wasn't centered in the driveway, wasn't there by 6am, wasn't double bagged when I -know- every paper I delivered was double bagged, etc. it does have an effect on how I feel about that customer. Those complaints cost me from $2 to $10 depending on what the complaint is and how many times the same customer has complained. If you get your paper 7 days a week I am compensated approximately $2 for dropping it those 7 days. One minor complaint and I made nothing for dropping your paper for an entire week. A couple of minor complaints and I lose a months worth of delivering to you.

    If I screwed up, I accept that and don't think twice about it, but when I have a complainer that just likes to complain so they can get credited for their paper, I feel like they are stealing from me the same as the person who puts the coins in the slot for one paper but takes 10 of them. People realize they'll get a $2 credit every time they complain so they start complaining repeatedly may or may not realize that money is coming out of my pocket, but it's theft none the less.

  9. #39
    Here is the Christmas card we got from our newspaper carrier.
    Gave us lots of laughs but he won't be getting a tip.Attachment 1064
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by ChristieinMB; 12-13-2009 at 03:01 PM.
    Christie

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    7,842
    I don't think the card and address mean anyone has to give a tip....I am sure many don't. I like the fact that is helpful and yet not intrusive.

    We don't have any other method to give a tip here (No way to add it to your account) so I am very happy just to pop something off in the mail.
    You think you're not ever going to be able to eat another thing, but alas, you will find yourself feeling strangely peckish around teatime. The more you eat, the more you want. That's the way it goes."

    Nigella Lawson

  11. #41
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    4,482
    MadMike's comments have certainly given me pause for thought.

    I got my annual "holiday greeting" from my carrier in my paper yesterday, and my first thought was something along the lines of "Bah humbug! I have zero personal relationship with this person all year long and now she's giving me her address so I can send her a tip for doing her job?!? Nobody tips ME for doing MY job!"

    But it appears my first thought may have been selfish and uninformed. Must rethink (and dig that holiday letter out of recycling).

    Thanks, MadMike, for your perspective.
    I arise in the morning torn between a desire to improve the world and a desire to enjoy the world. This makes it hard to plan the day. ~E.B. White

  12. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by ChristieinMB View Post
    Here is the Christmas card we got from our newspaper carrier.
    Gave us lots of laughs but he won't be getting a tip.
    Christie, did you just post your newspaper carrier's name and address on a public forum?

  13. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    383
    Thanks Mike for the information about the newspaper carrier. I knew it was a difficult job, but didn't realize the extent of it. The woman that has been delivering for us lately has been fabulous. Now I'm really glad I mailed her a tip on Friday.
    Runs for food

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by cinbis View Post
    Thanks Mike for the information about the newspaper carrier. I knew it was a difficult job, but didn't realize the extent of it. The woman that has been delivering for us lately has been fabulous. Now I'm really glad I mailed her a tip on Friday.
    Last night alone on my route I had to avoid 2 deer and 3 dogs (a daily occurrence. I've also had to avoid horses, cows, chickens, Fox, and even a pot bellied pig once) in the middle of the road, in a downpour that made it difficult to see more than a few feet in front of the car.

    What is typically a 3 hour Sunday route took just under 5 hours, at the end of which I was soaking wet (haven't figured out how to drive with the windows down in the rain and stay dry) cold (was 40 degrees outside, still, better than the 15 the night before) and exhausted. But every paper was delivered, double bagged so it would stay dry, and I somehow managed not to hit anything or any pets or wildlife along the way. I'm sure not a single person on my route gave a second thought to what it took to get their paper delivered this morning, but I would not be the least bit surprised to go in tonight to find out there was a complaint or three about someones paper being "late".

    I guess I just want people to realize it's not the "easy couple of hours a night for decent pay" that most folks seem to believe it is so maybe they'll be a little more understanding with their driver if an occasional problem does arise and that it's not "just a job". When I go to a job I get paid either for what I know or for the time I spend doing it. Neither is the case where your newspaper carrier is concerned.

    Even tip reliant jobs such as waitresses are guaranteed -at least- minimum wage. If they don't reach it with tips, their employer is bound by law to make up the difference. This is -NOT- the case with newspaper carriers. For all of my trouble last night, if you take what I was compensated, subtract just gas and bags for the night, and divide it by the number of total hours I worked, I made something under $2/hr for the night. Much less if there are any complaints about "late" papers, of which I had no control but still get charged for.

  15. #45

    Thumbs down not tipping..living in learning - i now know it is insensitive

    (to the guy or gal who said ... )

    I used to tip the kid on the bicycle because A) it's a kid on a bicycle and B) because it's a kid on a bicycle. Getting up early, before school, and delivering the paper in all weather conditions and with bleary eyed drivers to avoid earned that tip. (Although I did see mom or dad helping the kid out in really bad conditions. Well, as bad as it gets here in San Diego. )
    Now that adults in the warmth of their cars are doing it, no tip. Now it's just a job.


    (and to the other person who also said )

    I totally agree with this.

    When the papers were delivered to my front door by the neighborhood kids, they got a weekly AND a seasonal tip. Nowadays the guy from a different town who delivers the papers barely slows down his nice new car (nicer than mine, BTW) to toss the papers out and over the top of the car to (hopefully) land at the end of my long, steep driveway. Most of the year I deal with it without getting too upset (unless he misses and it's out in the street to be driven over by other cars) but when it snows in the winter I can't tell you how many times the papers have been chewed up and spit out by the snowblower because they can't be seen underneath the snow (even though we put up a box at the end of the driveway for him to put the papers into -- it means that he would have to stop and lean out the passenger side window, heavens forbid!)

    Paper deliverers DO get paid, BTW -- they receive a percentage of the # of papers they deliver, and when they deliver by car, they usually have pretty big "routes", so for a few hours every AM they are making fairly decent money for driving around and tossing papers out their car windows. As Hamm says, "Now it's just a job".


    If delivery drivers didn't get paid they wouldn't do it. To sum all these bogus comments up in a nut shell (as my husband father of 4) is a route carrier and i have gone with im on an occassion or two and dreaded it... its not back breaking work but it is tedioius and done in any type of condition and its not WELL compensated for at all..that nice car .. well they probably had it BEFORE they started this job becuase the wear and tear is horrible.. my husband has shoulder problems now from the throwing, he gets sick regularly from throwing in the rain and cold -- its only warm in the summer... and we can not go out of town bc it would cost us the whole week pay even if for a couple of days for a substitute..our children 10,6,4,2 really need a vacation..and when people comoplain and THEY got their paper but MAYBE the car broke down or a child has an emergency and has to go to the er so your paper is late and you complain and the job is contractor so if we have no ins just yet bc i just recently got laid off then we cn't pay the $972 bill for the staples our son got in his head... whew.. wait i said just to sum it up and it seems i'm venting.. i pray someone sends a tip.. just a dollar, now i'm a begger, huh? wow

  16. #46
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Metrowest MA
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    1,945
    Quote Originally Posted by MaddMike View Post
    If your driver is driving a nice new car, he isn't paying for it from delivering newspapers I can assure you. Many delivery people do so for extra money, not as their primary job. Those who do solely newspaper delivery typically have 2-3 routes just to put food on the table and we are no longer talking about "a couple of hours a night".

    While I can't point to the reason why -your- papers are late, I can speak to why mine are late on occasion and it has nothing to do with me at all as I'm -always- at the distribution center before the papers are dropped.
    I do believe that the driver who delivers my papers does this as a "before work" job. He delivers both of my papers (local and the Boston Globe), usually in the same plastic bag unless the papers are too fat to both fit in one.

    As to late papers, that wasn't me -- I don't complain unless they don't show up by 9 or 10 AM because I know that delays happen. And that happens very rarely. I just get upset when the paper is damaged because care wasn't taken, like when we get a heavy rain and the papers aren't either double bagged or tied at the top so I end up with paper mache, or like I said earlier, confetti because they go through the snowblower chute -- which in fact happened again during last week's snowstorm. Despite the fact that there is a tube from the newspaper company for the papers to be put into, it's ignored and he just tosses the papers to fall where they may. And of course, even though most of the time they are bagged in bright, neon colored bags, for the snowstorm he used clear bags so it was impossible to find them under the snow, even though DH spent some time poking around the end of the driveway with a broom handle hoping to find the papers so he could avoid them going up the chute. (Which, btw, can really damage the snowblower!)

    I appreciate and concur with all the info you provided. Both of my kids had paper routes when they were in school so I know all about getting up well before sunrise in all kinds of weather and the expenses carriers have that most people never think about. Yes, it really is a job. And I do appreciate the hard work that goes into doing a route. But there are people who do a job well and those that don't. I don't like to be a "complainer" but a missed or damaged paper costs me, too, not only the price of the paper, but the inconvenience of not having the paper that day or having to deal with a pile of soggy or shredded papers all over my house.

    Wish you had the route through my neighborhood -- for sure you would be getting a big tip from me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Queenb102 View Post
    (and to the other person who also said )
    If delivery drivers didn't get paid they wouldn't do it. To sum all these bogus comments up in a nut shell ..
    Queenb, you might feel the comments are bogus -- that is YOUR reality. MY reality is exactly as I've written. Nothing bogus at all. That nice new car IS nice and new. I know because the same driver has been doing this route for years and he just recently started driving this new one. Last Wednesday we had a snowstorm that left about 6" of snow and once again the papers were not left in the tube because that means the driver would have had to slow down and lean out the passenger side to put the papers in a safe place. I guess it's easier to toss out and over and not give a **** about where they land.
    And I'm sorry for your personal troubles, but that has nothing to do with a job that someone is contracted to do. If you can't do it, don't. If you can, don't complain (sorry if I come off as harsh but that's life. Would you like me to start giving you a rundown of all of MY problems so we can compare as to who's got it worse???)

    Oh, and one more hint -- this is not for any specific poster here, but a general Public Service Announcement --if you're hoping to get tips when you send out cards to your customers at this time of the year, don't use cards covered with religious symbols and invoking Jesus, wishing your customers a blessed Christmas. Not everyone in this world is Christian and there are many people who (gasp!) don't celebrate that holiday.
    (Disclaimer: I don't mind being wished a Merry Christmas -- that's a reality of living in a multicultural country and that's fine. But keep the very religious sentiments to people you know that share your beliefs. Because we DO live in a multicultural country.)
    ~ ~ Leslie ~ ~

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