Another vintage working Wednesday today comes from my hometown of Bangor and another odd job I ended up doing just for an extra bit of cash at the time. It was in 2001 and I had a car, so I was able to take on extra jobs like deliveries. Before the internet and mobile phone phenomenon took off big time in Northern Ireland, every household had a “house phone” and not many people owned a “mobile phone”. This meant that every year, a massive thick paper book would be printed and delivered to EVERY house or flat in Northern Ireland. Yes – every one of them.
I was working as a stock control assistant in Tesco Springhill at the time and took this on as an extra job after work. It was 14 years ago so I can’t remember every detail, but I was paid around £150 I think and I had to deliver hundreds of phone books. At the time I was living with my parents, brothers and sisters and returned home from work one day and they were laughing at me. The reason being, a huge delivery truck had just delivered all the phone books to our house, and they put them in the garage. When I opened the garage door to see how many phone books there were, we couldn’t move. The garage was full of paper phone books! It was my job to deliver them to a few hundred houses in the area. Oops! This was a tougher job than I expected. So I quickly had my dinner and off out I went.
That was my life for 2-3 weeks solid. I had no time to do anything else except eat, work and sleep as the task of delivering the phone books was huge! I drove in my car to every street in the Ashbury, Kilmaine and Ballycrochan neighbourhood. I parked my car. I got out with about 7-8 phone books (or how many I could carry in one go) and I delivered them by hand to every house in the area. It was crazy. I had to enlist my family to help me with it in the end as I was literally working all day and night for a few weeks and they still laugh about it to this day! I finally got them all delivered and could relax with a beer at the end. I didn’t quite learn my lesson though, as I also worked as a postman later that year for Royal Mail. Being a postman was a job I simply didn’t like and wasn’t good at, mainly because a dog chased me down a driveway in Holywood near Belfast! I lasted three days in that job (true story)!
That said, I’m all about earning a bit of extra cash and although it was busy and boring delivering phone books, I don’t regret it and I enjoyed the last few streets as I neared the end of this crazy job!