Low Pay, Little Praise, Daily Potential to Mess Up

Ask yourself: Would you commit to a physically taxing, seven-nights-a-week, deadline-pressure job that offers relatively low pay, little praise and a daily potential to mess up? Bob Richter of My San Antonio.com writes: A great newspaper is nothing if it’s not delivered properly.

Circulation’s role begins and ends with carriers, about 750 of them, who earn $700 to $800 a month. They’re no longer kids on bikes. Carriers today line up in their cars and trucks in the middle of the night — seven nights a week —waiting for the home edition to come off the presses at 3:40 a.m. Then they load up quickly and race off to meet their delivery deadlines (6 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. weekends).

No one goes into newspaper work to get rich, but circulation people might be the most unsung heroes of our trade — and the ones most reviled when customers don’t get their paper.

A flaw in the process for customers who don’t get a paper is that they must call only during certain hours for redelivery. Because that is not always convenient, the Express-News should consider a voice mail service customers may call after hours to get a missed paper redelivered the following day.

“Most people understand if they don’t get a paper,” Frantzen said. “What they don’t understand is if we don’t fix it.”

Frantzen’s and Aburumuh’s photos and phone numbers appear daily on Page 2A of the Express-News. They’re nice guys, but I hope you never need to call them.