My First Job Was a Pisser

1. I just hit age 16, went to the NYC Education Dept. and got my Working-Papers.
2. I got $35 in birthday gifts, and paid $25.50 for a used Schwinn bike.
3. Western Union on Pitkin Avenue hired me, (after-school) to deliver telegrams by bike.
4. It happened after one week of deliveries. I was given a telegram marked,
“Leave before this telegram is opened.”
5. I found 108 Hart Street, Marie Latke, and knocked on the door of “2a”.
6. An old blind lady opened the door. I announced, “I have an important
telegram for you,” and pushed it into her hand.
7. “Please open it and read it to me!”, she said, “I cannot see.”
8. Trouble: “No”, I said, Western Union will fire me. I cannot read it to you.”
9. Blind Grandma responded with the magic words, “Then sing it to me, and
I’ll tip you one-dollar.” Well, singing is not reading, but I said, “No thank you,”
and turned to leave.”
10. “Stop”, she said, “I have two-dollars in cash, and I will tell no one you opened it.”
11. Wow! Two-Bucks just to read her… “OK, I have to sing it to avoid breaking the rules.”
12. “Just do it”, and she slipped me the deuce.
13. Ripped it opened, I cleared my throat, and sang, “Dotta, Dot, Dot, Dot,
“Your sister Rose in Allentown is DEAD! Funeral this Sunday, signed,
John Hermann, Undertaker.”

For the same two-bucks, I did a chorus, “Dotta, Dot, Dot, Dot! – “Your sister
Rose in Allentown is DEAD! Funeral this Sunday, signed, John Hermann,
14. I dropped the telegram at her feet, and slammed her door shut, as I ran down the
stairs to my locked bike.
15. W.U. blamed me for her heart-attack, and fired my ass. End of first job.

P.S. I take an oath, this really happened exactly as you read it. Some people
have written it up, as “Your sister Rose is Dead.” It never happened to them.
Some great first job, But in those days, “Two-Bucks was BIG money!” Not Funny.

copyright (c) 2012, H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by
Barron's Educational Series. Business partner of Evelyn
Wood, creator of speed reading: graduated 2-million,
including the White House Staffs of four (4) U.S. Presidents.