The Post-Intelligencer office was rather chaotic Monday morning, after the person who replaced longtime carrier Bill Lindley abruptly quit, leaving 425 newspapers and a resignation notice on the loading dock behind The P-I office.
To make matters worse, the papers and notice weren’t discovered until about 9:30 a.m., long after the telephone began to ring off the wall.
Further complicating the morning, another route of 132 papers was running about five hours behind schedule — again. Yes, the phone was definitely ringing.
Of the dozen employees working that morning (and I’m not including Jimmy Williams), most had to switch to crisis mode, helping roll and rubber-band papers, make an extra copy of Lindley’s four-hour recording of how and where to deliver his route, and field telephone calls.
Finally, a third of the staff hit the streets to deliver the route in two vehicles. Two employees were in each vehicle, trying to understand Lindley’s recorded instructions without ever having the opportunity to ride with him and see what he was describing.
Was one of those me? Certainly not! There’d have been several broken windows (vehicles and houses), runaway pets and angry subscribers if I had.
No, I already had scheduled several interviews with potential new carriers to take over the route that’s been running late. That route’s carrier has accepted another driving job that sometimes has him begin working between 4 and 5 a.m. — and keeping him from beginning to deliver his P-I route until 11 a.m. or later.
I quickly adjusted my sales pitch from one to two carrier routes and, if all goes well, two new carriers will begin training today and Wednesday.
We certainly apologize for all the delays, etc., that these wonderful subscribers are having to endure.
And please pray for both of these new carriers, but especially the one taking over Lindley’s old route, because although Bill’s an excellent trainer, those who delivered his papers Monday are now getting their second day of experience to pass along.
It’ll be the blind leading the blind!
MICHAEL WILLIAMS is editor and publisher of The Post-Intelligencer. His email address is email@example.com.