Tuesday, December 17, 2013

martha and the phone books

{I mistakenly read 333 words when the prompt asked for 33 words. Oops.}

"Make extra cash delivering phone books." Martha stared at the ad. Before she could stop herself, the phone was in her hand. They told her to come on down for the morning training session.

In the room with her were a half dozen very unfortunate looking people. Martha thought she might be the only one in the room with all of her own teeth. The "trainer" played a video about how to place two phone books into a plastic bag. After the "training" was complete, Martha backed her SUV up to the loading dock and a man filled her car up with phone books and one box of plastic bags. "You'll have to come back for the rest."

Martha carried the books into her house and painstakingly bagged them up. Using the address list from the company, she drove around and delivered her phone books, knowing all the while that she'd have to go back for more. She realized that she had neglected to ask what the pay would be.

With six bags left, she pulled into a driveway, waving to the man who was in the yard. She placed the bag on his porch, then got back in her SUV and backed out, only to run over the man's mailbox, knocking her car's side mirror off in the process. She got out to survey the damage. The man walked over. "I can't tell you how sorry I am," Martha said to the man. She gave the man her contact information, gathered up the broken bits of her side mirror and drove home.

Martha received a check in the mail for her services. $250, less the second batch of phone books that she never went back for. Total earnings = $211.78. Martha also received the mailbox bill for $178.43. When she picked up her car from the shop, the bill was $569.23. With a $500 deductible, she calculated that it had cost her $466.65 to spend the day working on her delivery job.

4 comments:

Flippa Bird said...

Poor Martha!!

OyaSophia said...

Actually, Martha tells the story as one of the funniest things to ever happen to her. The story has been told and retold countless times, typically accompanied by hysterical laughter.

Trifecta said...

Well, she's got a great sense of humor and outlook on life:)

OyaSophia said...

Indeed she does! She was earning six figures at the time as a senior executive, so the whole thing was hysterically funny for her and for all of us who were privileged to hear the story. It was funny that she did it at all. But for her to end up PAYING money to do it was just the icing on the cake.