and JOSH STARR They are the elves who work during hours before dawn when most students lie snug in their warm beds, bringing gifts of knowledge to sleepers' doorsteps. It is these creatures of the early morning, the newspaper deliverers, who fly through residence halls, dropping the morning's news at the foot of subscribers' doors. And while some students call them "crazy" and others call them "a godsend," they are the last of a dying breed. With the new policy, Penn News manager Mark Stanley said he may be forced to fire up to 10 of the 15 workers this semester, a move that could leave workers like Engineering sophomore Tristram Heinz out of a job. And while the elimination of doorstep deliveries may save students money, the unique work experiences of the early-morning bunch will probably be lost. Currently, Heinz braves the early morning chill to bring papers to everyone from students in the high rises to President Sheldon Hackney at his Walnut Street residence. Hackney, by the way, receives The New York Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today, according to Heinz. And while the deliverer's job would seemingly be just for "morning people," Heinz said earlier this week that he still is pretty flexible with his schedule. He added that he goes to sleep "pretty much whenever I want," though always manages to pull himself out of bed by "only 5:45." By 8 a.m., Heinz has delivered over 190 newspapers to students' doorsteps, and he is awake and prepared to continue his day. "He's a delivery god," Stanley said about Heinz. Stanley said this week that Heinz has the hardest route and has never missed a day, delivering papers seven days a week. But Stanley's job is by no means easy. He rolls out of bed at 3:30 each morning for a six-hour shift dropping off newspapers by vans to each of the campus residences as well as fraternities and sororities. "It's a shame that we may have to stop delivering papers to people's doorstep," Stanley said. "We all enjoy what we do." But obviously, there is some other motivation besides enjoyment that draws student out of their beds. "What gets you up in the morning? Money," Heinz said. Currently, the deliverers are paid $10 an hour for their early morning runs, virtually the highest salary on campus for students. Through their experiences, workers have developed their own techniques for delivering newspapers. Wharton junior Mike Monk demonstrated his sure-fire technique last week in Graduate Tower A. Armed with a loaded cart of newspapers and a list of subscribers, Monk jumped out of the elevator at each floor, jogging to each room and sliding the paper to the rooms at the ends of the halls. Monk, who is also the marketing director for Penn News, said the halls are almost always quiet, except for an occasional student completing an all-night study binge. By the time he has finished delivering papers each day, joggers and other early-risers started to dot the campus. "You get to know the desk workers and the guards," Heinz added. The sophomore said their general reaction is "What the hell are you doing up so early?" Since the job pays well but has unpopular hours, Stanley said a lot of people try to deliver papers, but most drop out within the first week. "After two days in a row, a lot say 'forget it,'" Stanley said. "It's tough to pull yourself out of bed that early in the morning. But it just means probably going to sleep a few hours earlier." But the agency does not rely just on student's alarm clocks to wake student up. After having what Stanley termed as "operational difficulties," they instituted some safeguards to prevent students from oversleeping, including phoning the carriers if they have not called an answering machine by 6 a.m. Stanley said that his carriers are very dedicated to delivering their newspapers and adapt their schedules so they will not interfere with their jobs. "They have to either limit the amount they party on Saturday night, or they have to stay up all night," added Stanley. Although routes vary in time from 45 minutes to 90 minutes, all the papers are delivered by 8 a.m. -- even on Sundays when the papers are filled with advertisements and extra sections. "Sunday is hell," said Heinz. "Everyone wants the comics."Comments powered by Disqus
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