Sadly, the idea of being self-sufficient came to him just as I left a good secretarial job to go back to school for a master’s degree. I did have a plan; with the degree I could begin teaching English at the local community college. He and I never were on the same wavelength, although I also have learned the definition of passive-aggressive. I didn't know those big words back in 1969.
I took my toddlers out of day care when I started back to school; I could arrange my schedule to accommodate them. My husband became a commissioned salesman of industrial equipment. But, he never sold enough in a month’s time to draw more than his base. Rather like servers today depending on tips, except he never earned commissions.
So, I looked around for a job that would accommodate my children, fit my school schedule, and put food on the table. I found one, delivering newspapers.
Way back then newspapers were delivered by paper boys and girls. They picked up the papers at an assigned place, removed the binding, packed the papers into their bags or their wagons, in the case of the little entrepreneurs with multiple routes, and delivered the papers to subscribers’ homes.
My job was to load all the News Herald bundles for about half of Painesville, Ohio, into my car, and with my two children in the passenger seat, take the bundles to their assigned corners after the papers were off the press and before the little paper deliverers came home from school.
The pay was not great, but the best I could come up with on short notice, and off we went. My route manager hired the paper kids, arranged for the homes the paper bundles went to. My last duty was to collect the cost of the papers weekly from the paper carrier.
Like my husband and his commissions, I failed at this part of the job. My route was the poorest side of town; I wonder if the customers even paid the kids. I collected from the parents; the children were in school. A mother would tell me her child hadn't collected enough for the week to pay for the papers. Worse, tell me the money bought a gallon of milk.
I told my supervisor he could add collections to his job description. He told me to collect the money, or make the parents sign cognovit notes. I refused. He fired me.