One of the more thankless duties in the newspaper industry, especially during winter, is that of the carrier.
Carriers are the final piece in the manufacturing line, responsible for the print product being delivered each morning to your doorstep. They have to get up early and perform their jobs during blizzards, windstorms and pouring rain.
Contrary to popular belief, they are not employees of the newspaper, but independent contractors. They technically purchase the papers from the company, then resell them to their delivery customers.
Times have changed as far as the makeup of carriers -- no longer are they just neighborhood paperboys. Some are adult carriers, but for most, delivering the paper is a family affair.
The Tabors, of Riverdale, are one such family.
Mother Jana Tabor is the main figure in the enterprise, with teen sons Samuel and Steven providing much of the leg and arm work. Father Ron helps out when Jana needs a day off and substitutes for other carriers when needed.
The family has three routes and a total of 140 customers.
Jana says the hardest part of the job is getting her 14-year-old son out of bed in the morning, but she has come to appreciate the responsibility.
"At first, I was hesitant to take on this job because of the every-single-day commitment, but I'm so glad I did. I really love delivering papers, because I get out in the fresh air and get a little exercise, and it only takes about two hours, start to finish."
In recognition of all those who diligently deliver the Standard-Examiner, and of their customers, Jana composed a carrier's "Night Before Christmas" tribute:
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even my spouse.
All the baskets were placed on the table with care, in hopes that the papers would soon arrive there.
When out on the porch there arose such a clatter, my Yorkies did bark, the driver did scatter.
The papers arrived and I gave forth a shout, I scooped them all up, to sort them all out.
I folded and bundled them each with a band, and stacked them so neatly with the skill of my hand.
Then I stirred up my son like raising the dead, I squirted his face and moistened his head.
Up Samuel! Move boy! It's time to awake. Our deadline approaches, don't make a mistake!
So we stumbled and staggered and filled up the car, then off we did race by the light of a star.
Route one, then two, and finally route three, we tossed all the papers as quick as could be.
Then back to our home and off to our bed, so news, finance and sports all may be read.
Ne're rain, sleet, snow nor bad weather can stop our routine, cause I'm a "go getter."
So thanks for the bands, the bags, and the tips. Thanks for your kindness and subscriberships.
So thank you dear customer, client and friend. Merry Christmas to all, and a happy year's end.
PRESENT TENSE: Weber County Attorney Dee Smith sent me over an early Christmas present Friday -- a subpoena.
The purpose of the subpoena isn't important, but I was embarrassed, because I had no gift for Dee in return.
I guess I can come up with a last-minute gift by Monday. Say, a lengthy GRAMA request.
Contact Executive Editor Andy Howell at 625-4210 or email@example.com.