My first day on the job
I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous on my first day delivering newspapers. I know it doesn’t sound hard but with bikers flying at you, cops with radar guns and confused shop owners, things can get pretty nerve racking. On top of that, I’m a very bad parallel parker. After a quick bowl of cereal, I arrived at the office. My boss, Fraser Lang, handed me a list of spots on the island to drop of more Summer Times and Dining Guides and I began my route. I nervously cruised around town stopping at the different inns and businesses, while I parked in odd spots to avoid parallel parking. I would say most of my morning was uneventful. Occasionally people thought I was coming in looking for work, so they were a little annoyed when I turned out just to be the newspaper man. After about two hours of parking and dropping off summertime’s, I began to feel like a Nascar driver, parking in tight spots, reversing out of narrow places, three point turns, all the things that I had shied away from now became necessary. Machine and man as one, I felt that the 2004 Ford Explorer I was driving could do no wrong.
After quick stop at the bagel shop for lunch, I headed back on the road. At this point I was about three fourths done with my delivery and felt like an experienced driver/newspaper delivery boy. After stopping by the Beachhead, I made my way to the police station, I made sure to pass by the radar gun at a cool fifteen miles per hour, gave a courteous head nod to the officer holding it. I pulled behind the police station, and did a not-so-good job of parking, hopped out, and got stuck in line behind a group of third graders touring the police station. Finally I made my way up to the counter, where Mr. Moran, one of the refs during the Wednesday night basketball games, was standing. After learning that they needed no more Summer Times, I headed back to the truck. Suddenly, a massive Ford white and blue cop truck pulled in, hesitating as it made its way around my truck. “Oh no! It’s over,” it thought. My bad parking job would do me in. I braced myself for the “license and registration sir” that was sure to come next. He got out the car; if I had a partner this would have been the time I turned to him and said, “It was a hell of a ride.” I waited. I watched nervously as he walked down towards me. Contrary to what I thought he was going to do, he gave me advice for the next time I pulled in to deliver newspapers. My heartbeat slowed down back to normal. I felt like an idiot for working myself up over nothing, but grateful nonetheless that it had actually been nothing.
Since the police station was the last on my route, I returned to The Block Island Times office and unloaded the remaining newspapers. It had been long day. A close encounter with the law and a couple of tough parking spots had been a challenge. But there I stood alive and well. I was sad to see my day finally over but excited to what new experiences lay ahead.