Wednesday, October 04, 2006

You'll regret that!

I've often wondered how City A.M., thelondonpaper and London Lite distributors are measured. Are they paid to hand out papers for three hours? Are they paid to distribute a certain number of papers? Are they paid for time spent standing, with a bonus for handing out a certain percentage?

I obtained an insight to this question today when the new City A.M. guy at my local station took a handful of papers and appeared to place them directly, but surreptitiously, into a bin that a litter-sweeper was pushing past. This appeared to be with the consent of the litter-sweeper.

Now, perhaps they were damaged or left over from yesterday but it did appear that he was offloading a pile of today's papers.

So, what can we conclude from this?

I conclude that the City A.M. distributors are incented to shift papers (why else would they push them at you, after all?). The way this is measured must be by counting the number of papers left over at the end of the shift.

So, assuming no spot checks, it would be rational to bin some of the papers.... less work to do!

The only downside would be if he shifted so many papers that they sent him more the next day. Before he knew it, he'd have an increasing stack every day until the pile of papers was twenty feet high and swayed dangerously in the wind.

To continue his deception, he'd have to spend increasing amounts of time disposing of them.  The bin man would suffice for a while, but he might get upset when asked to dispose of half a ton of newspapers.  The distributor would then have to start hiding papers behind plantpots or under front-door mats.  If he were clever, he would take a pile to the platform, jump on a train when it arrived, dump a pile on the floor and hop off again before the doors closed but the train staff might get wise to him.

It would turn into a nightmare. He would lose sleep. He'd spend more time covering up his deception than handing out the papers. His relationship would suffer. It would just be awful.

Therefore, my advice to him (and others who might be tempted to bin the papers they're supposed to be distributing) is don't do it. It just isn't worth it!


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Ben said...

Abercrombie & Fitch

I say, what a splendid idea. Unfortunately the kind offer above isn't available in this area, but I dare say the newspaper man could afford it with the commission from his twenty foot high stack of newspapers. Might that make it worth it?