Not very many people know this, but I actually have two jobs. The obvious one is that I’m the publisher of MidWeek who also writes this column. My lesser-known occupation is that I’m a T-shirt delivery boy. In 2008, my wife’s younger brother and his family moved to Washington state. There were better employment opportunities, a more affordable cost of living and it’s a pretty nice place to live other than Hawaii.
Of course, that meant they’d be farther away and we miss them like crazy. One dilemma was that he had a thriving small business. He started a company that does sports uniforms, hats and T-shirts. He secured some regular customers here so decided to run the business long distance.
The one problem was that he didn’t have anyone here who could pick up the shirts from the printer and deliver them to the customers. For the most part, he didn’t want to burden his sister with that chore. So guess who was selected?
That’s right, good old brother-in-law Ron.
It’s not like I don’t have tons of other things to do, but he’s just like my own kid brother, so saying “no” was not an option for me. At first, it seemed like it would be one or two deliveries that I could fit in after my day at the newspaper. Little by little, my responsibilities and schedule started to grow. Before I knew it, I had pick up deadlines and such with explicit instructions for timely deliveries. Plus, I don’t know if the people I delivered the shirts to didn’t read MidWeek, because they didn’t recognize me or just didn’t think that the publisher of Hawaii’s best-read newspaper would be delivering cardboard boxes of T-shirts, uniforms and caps.
I kind of liked the anonymity until I started having to handle customer concerns. One elderly delivery customer was a bit short with me. I was somewhat late on my delivery – little did he know that I had to put out a newspaper with more than a quarter-million circulation in total.
He was going to set me straight: “Boy, I’m going to contact your boss on this!” After that I was tempted to quit my unpaid delivery job, but then decided that any job where I’m known as a “boy” is worth keeping.