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Fake newspaper carriers are soliciting Christmas tips

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by MTM, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. MTM

    MTM Well-Known Member

    Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist and former paperboy Jim Stingl reported Wednesday that a scammer has been trying to steal newspaper carriers’ Christmas tips by putting holiday letters in subscribers’ mailboxes and newspaper tubes, leading them to believe he’s their carrier. The thief, who gives an address where people can send their tips, tells his “customers”:


    We ask this every year: Do you tip your carrier?

    I did for the first time in awhile last year because my carrier delivered the two dailies I get bundled together. He would put them right near my front door, so I only needed to take a step or two to pick it up.

    Then, he quit in February. The new guy still bundles them, but they're at the bottom of the driveway.
  2. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    I tip the kid who delivers the Internet.
  3. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    At one of my stops we were basically told we had to tip our paperboys. That's the only time in my life that I did. I think I threw him an Alexander Hamilton in that envelope they give you when they come begging around Christmastime.
  4. As a former paperboy, I LOVED Christmas tips. Nice reward for what was really a shitty job 11 months out of the year. I always bought some really cheap Christmas cards and inserted one with the monthly bill as a not-so-subtle reminder.
  5. bigpern23

    bigpern23 Well-Known Member

    I've never personally had to pay for a newspaper subscription, but I don't really understand where the tipping of the paper boy at Christmastime tradition came from. He's doing his job at a regular wage. It's not like a waiter or waitress making $2.75 an hour.

    I tip waiters, waitresses and service industry people well. I'll tip the valet because I'm handing over the keys to my most expensive possession. I'll tip the pizza guy to cover his gas costs. Beyond that? You're probably going to have to go above and beyond your job description for me to tip you.

    Oh, and just because no discussion of tipping would be complete without it:

  6. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    Growing up, we always tipped the paperboy. We also knew his name, chatted with him semi-regularly, knew he was putting himself through college and he ALWAYS put the paper on our porch and we had a long driveway. His predecessor refused to put it on the porch.

    I canceled the paper in 2005 when I was told the carrier would not put the paper at my front door. I was told he would put it "near my garage"

    Usually, it was on my lawn.
  7. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

  8. For what it's worth, newspaper carriers are independent contractors, so they're not doing it at ANY wage in the real sense of the word, let alone a regular wage.

    I think paperboys and girls are pretty much extinct nowadays, which is sad, because I learned a lot doing it as a kid. But the poor schleps who deliver newspapers on car routes have a TOUGH, tough occupation. Waking up at the crack of dawn, every single day, in bad weather.

    If you work at a shop where the carriers come to the building to pick up the papers, check it out one time. You'll see a bunch of broken-down vehicles, and haggard and cold looking people.

    Long story short, if you have money to tip, go for it.
  9. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    This is a great scam, by the way.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My roommate in college stumbled on the best scam ever.

    We had just gotten our graduation announcements and his dad asked him to send them to his partners at this big D.C. law firm. Apparently, his dad's firm was in this huge building and there are two firms with very similar names. In the building directory, they were not separated at all.

    A few weeks later, he calls his dad and said, "Hey, this guy sent me $100." His dad said, "What's the guy's name?" He tells him and his dad said, "I've never heard of that person. I don't work with anybody with that name."

    He retraces his steps and they figure out what happened. My friend is like, "Do you want me to send the money back?" and his dad is so embarrassed he decides that he's better off just saying nothing, since it's not like he was asking for money. He ended up pocketing over a grand from people who he had no connection to...
  11. Johnny Dangerously

    Johnny Dangerously Well-Known Member

    black dude with pompano, thank you.


    A former newspaper carrier-by-car

    Before I became a full-time sports reporter, I had a paper route for one year. I threw 225 papers daily. That's a relatively small route. The way it worked, I "bought" the papers and "sold" them to the subscribers. Some paid directly to the paper. Some mailed me a check every month. If someone from that group didn't pay, I had to go collect from them. Once a month I stamped 225 envelopes and stuck them inside the papers before delivering them. That was easier than trying to put envelopes only in the papers of people who directly paid me instead of the company.

    You were supposed to get everyone their paper by 6. So, you'd get up at 2:30, drive to the place where the papers were left for you in bundles, and put them in your car. Sometimes those idiots in sports were late getting the paper out, so you had to wait. And wait. Then, you sat in your car and folded them (and put them in wrappers if there was a 30 percent chance of rain or greater). If you were really good, you drove and folded at the same time, throwing papers and trying not to hit cars parked on the street while you multi-tasked.

    Before even deducting expenses, the income was less than minimum "wage." Accounting for the wear and tear on your car (clutch, brakes, engine, alignment, oil changes) and what was deducted for "buying" the papers to "sell," you didn't make much. If your route happened to be in an area with a lot of pedestrian traffic, chances are several times a week you'd get charged a buck per paper for "undelivered" papers -- papers you delivered but weren't there at 6 because someone stole them from the yard. Those would add up, and they came out of your pocket.

    If the bag tore and the paper got wet, and the person called the paper instead of calling you, you got charged a buck for a second delivery. There were usually about five spares left after a route for that purpose, but if you didn't get the call, you didn't get to use that as a make-good. So, more deductions.

    I needed a new car after that year.

    So yeah, it was nice when someone tipped a buck at Christmas time. I even appreciated the person who wrote the December check for $6 instead of the usual $5.25.
  12. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    That is a great scam letter. I think if I got that letter I'd throw him $10.
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