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Opinion: Are you better than a carrier?

Try these shoes on:

You’re a single mom working multiple jobs to keep your family afloat. One of your jobs is to deliver the local weekly newspaper. It’s not a complicated job, but it takes patience, precision and persistence. Sometimes, it can even be Zen-like, throwing a newspaper onto driveway after driveway, often in the dead of night, to thousands of houses.

That is, until someone decides to return their newspaper by throwing it back at your car.

Which happened recently, to this single mom doing her job.

A full-grown man, living in an affluent neighborhood, decided to hurl the paper at her car and berate and belittle her job. He did so in full view of a group of his neighbors, none of whom came to rescue.

I’m completely gob-smacked by the cruelty of this man and disappointed that anyone could watch and do nothing. How does he look himself in the mirror each day? How do they?

Now, some of you might think “well, he didn’t want the newspaper.” Yet, with the energy he spent trying to hit her car and verbally assaulting her, he could have thrown the paper in the recycling bin 20 times over. Or called our office and requested his home be added to the do-not-deliver list.

What happened to decency and civility?

Many of you have shown small acts of kindness to our carriers and it doesn’t go unnoticed. Thank you.

Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident for our carriers. One carrier even had a gun pulled on him. What is this, the wild, wild West? Does affluence mean you can look down on people who perform a job you find distasteful? I find it disheartening that violent behavior toward hard-working people has become acceptable, normal even.

Our carriers are the heartbeat of our business. They make sure that the newspapers we publish are wrapped up and delivered to your home, every week, for free. Many work multiple jobs. They are all kind, intelligent, diligent, humorous and gifted people. And they deserve more.

I’ve had the honor to live around the world as a military dependent, meeting people from diverse backgrounds. Without fail, the most considerate and thoughtful people work in underappreciated jobs.

Our newspapers are a conduit of free-thought, city government news, school news, community updates and the ads in them help local businesses grow. As a 27-year resident of Alpharetta, I always find valuable information in the Alpharetta Roswell Herald, information I rarely get from Atlanta news sources. The newspapers we produce are not trash and neither are our hard-working throwers.

I wanted to write this open letter to the community to ask them to do better. Show some respect, and God forbid some gratitude.

Thank you, Adrian, Aldo, Anthony, Kendra, Charles, Danelle, Paul, Gary, Raman, Ilka, Kangni, Sheree, Oloh, Terry, Jamohn, Jeff, Tanya, Anna, Chris, Nina, Guy, Jane and Michael for everything you do. You are appreciated.

Are you better than a carrier, just doing everything you can for your family and community?