Flyer Distribution Story
Working in flyer distribution is not the first thing that
comes to mind when we think of outdoor jobs, but it almost all
your time is out in the weather. That's clear when we read the
following entry in my Working
Alan Schlesinger - Portland Oregon
I've been working as a door to door flyer distributor since
2006, for a landscaper, then branched out on the side, (with
my employer's permission) distributing for my own clients as
an independent contractor. For me, working outdoors has been
great! Having worked in an office environment for about 15 years
prior, I've found that working outdoors, whether walking or driving,
is much more suited to me.
Distributing flyers, I've seen many things, such as the change
of seasons, interesting neighborhoods, and even wildlife. While
I don't have a single thing that really stands out among my working
experiences distributing flyers, I've seen a lot of different
things that often go unnoticed by most people.
I live and work in the Portland, Oregon area and, with
the way the city is laid out and the fact that it is not as large
as Seattle, let alone, Los Angeles, wildlife can often make it's
way pretty close to the city center at times. I've seen raccoons,
snakes, and even deer, right in the middle of suburban neighborhoods,
some quite close to Downtown Portland. In one instance, I was
walking, and checking to see how many flyers I had left, when
I heard what sounded like someone walking in hard shoes ahead
of me. I looked up to see three deer walking ahead of me, right
on this suburban sidewalk. They were fairly large, though they
didn't have antlers and, while they were aware of me, they still
had come across the street to make their way to an open field
nearby, on my side of the street. On at least a few other occasions,
I've seen deer in yards. Another wildlife discovery I made is
that woodpeckers can sound much like machines used in housing
construction. I often come across houses being worked on and,
especially in the case of roofers, I will hear the sounds that
tools make. Well, the woodpeckers make a steady sound, too and,
I eventually learned to recognize them, when I heard the sound
and actually saw one pecking away. Squirrels, which are everywhere
in the Portland area, can often sound like birds as well.
I also notice neighborhoods and the houses in them. Some
are historical, dating from the 1910's, and the sidewalks are
often marked at corners with the year or span of years that the
sidewalk was laid down, and some of the more notable homes will
have plaques or markers designating them as historic places.
And, in many of these older neighborhoods, the curbs still sport
the rings used to tie horses to back in the day. Also, I often
find myself assessing the houses on both appearance, and their
outside layout. Which do I find to be better, the oldest ones,
the somewhat old ones, or the modern ones? Truth be told, I find
ones I really like and ones I would never consider among all
types and generations of houses. I also see how well, or not
well, some houses are maintained, and how security conscious
some people are and how much some ignore it altogether. I've
come across both houses and cars where the keys were left in
the ignition, or front doors or garage doors were wide open with
no one in sight keeping any kind of watch.
Then there's the weather. I enjoy being out in it for the
most part and have learned to adapt myself to it and to stay
prepared for it as well. I've distributed in heat, cold, rain,
and snow. Which is toughest to deal with? Overwhelmingly, when
this comes up in conversation, people think it's the snow that's
the worst. But no, it's extreme heat. While snow will slow me
down, I have found that I do warm up in all weather, so, in winter,
I can just stop for a few minutes and cool down naturally. In
summer, this isn't so. And, preferring coolness to heat, I am
most uncomfortable on the job when it's hot. Next would be rain.
I like the rain, because it is usually cool when it rains. However,
I still have to do a lot of preparation, such as wearing waterproof
shoes, waterproof jacket, and a good rain hat, of which I have
all three. Also, I use a plastic bag for the flyers. Rain also
makes it more difficult to place the flyers if no suitable place
on the door is available, since the ground is wet, thereby pinning
the flyer with a rock or the morning paper becomes impractical.
But, I still greatly prefer rain to heat. Snow is easier to deal
with than rain, as it is less likely to soak through and can
be dusted off. Also, because I was born and raised in the Los
Angeles area, seeing snow 'where I live' is still quite a novelty
for me, so, even if the snow slows me down, I'm always on a high
when it snows. The one bad side to winter weather, both snow
and rain, is that surfaces can get slippery, especially wood.
Oftentimes, wooden decks and stairs are more slippery than any
other surface, then, sometimes, the wood has been treated with
something that makes it even more slippery! I've grown so respectful
of wet wooden surfaces that I always tell myself to "Watch
out for that wood!"
Financially, I haven't made much money, but just enough to get
by. However, I do advertise locally on Craigslist and hope to
get that dream client, that would want ongoing distribution and
who doesn't mind their flyers going anywhere in the area. This
way, I can distribute their flyers concurrently with my employers
and any others that I distribute for my current clients.
I've had a number of clients, one ongoing, and the rest were
one or two time jobs. This has helped with networking, as my
ongoing client was referred to me by one of my earlier clients.
My worst experience? One client did stiff me after I distributed
a day's worth of flyers. Luckily, though, he was the only client
I ever had that did this. All the others were honest and up front
and I can happily say that I'd certainly distribute for them
Thank you Alan, especially because you went into some detail
(I appreciate all the stories sent in, but some are just three
paragraphs, and I want to know more). Flyer distribution sounds
like a job that will keep you in good shape.
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