It was just in time to see our young community newspaper carrier hoofing it up the rather steep grade of our road, getting those papers to the front doors along the street. I liked his approach. Not walking across lawns, bringing the paper all the way to the front doors, etc.
Ingrid suggested I should give him a Christmas tip. Great idea.
As he came up the driveway I asked him how long he had been doing the route. Since November he said. Great timing, I replied,….just before Christmas! I asked how many times he delivered the paper. Tuesdays, Fridays but in the Christmas break, Sundays too as he would be covering for someone else.
I asked him if he liked working hard. Yes, he said.
You can’t fake sincerity. I gave him his whopping $2 Christmas tip and his eyes lit up but he stayed professional…for a 10 year old kid.
I told him my name was Mr. Friesen and shook his hand. He told me his name and we concluded the business transaction.
I then went into the garage and finished getting stuff from the car with the biggest lump in my throat remembering the paper routes the boys had and helping them out and all the ‘fun’ that happens when you have a paper route. Paper routes are a fantastic way to work, but better yet, a fantastic way to learn about dealing with people.
What my young paperboy is learning is that working hard is good. And working hard can get you noticed. Combine working hard with quality and consistency and you’ve got a Be The Best formula that will carry you for the rest of your life.
I remember when the boys would get a few bucks as tips. It would make their day and week. It allowed us as parents to tie the concepts of hard work to being rewarded. It was a great learning experience.
Whether our paperboy headed down to the local convenience store to buy some gum and a slurpee or just kept the money and put it in his piggy bank, I know it sparked a thought in his mind about equating work with reward…you could see those wheels turning.
That’s a priceless Be The Best learning moment.