209. "Read All about It!"

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PLOP! Alfred woke up, and immediately knew why he was awake—the paperboy. It was 5:30 a.m. A while later, he finally got back to sleep. Later that morning, he made a phone call. The customer service rep asked if he could help. Alfred couldn't believe his ears; the rep had an Indian accent. Alfred was calling to complain about the Los Angeles Times, and he was talking to someone in India!

He told the rep to tell the paperboy to deliver the paper quietly—at 5:30 a.m. Alfred, like most normal human beings, was trying to sleep. The rep apologized, saying that he would notify the route supervisor. Alfred said that this was the fourth time he had called in the last three weeks. He said he wanted to talk to the supervisor directly. The rep said that he would leave a message for the supervisor to call Alfred. Alfred rolled his eyes; he had heard this before. He was beginning to wonder if a "route supervisor" even existed. By 6:00 p.m., the route supervisor hadn't called.

That night, Alfred set his alarm for 5:20 a.m. The next morning, he walked downstairs. A few minutes later, the paperboy drove up. He ran over to Alfred's apartment building. When he saw Alfred standing there, he handed him the paper. Alfred told him to stop throwing the paper onto the steps.

"You are waking me up. Place the paper on the steps quietly. Do not throw it—place it, okay?" The paperboy nodded, and ran back to his car. At 5:30 the next morning, Alfred woke up. The paper had just been thrown onto the steps. He heard the car drive off. Enough was enough. Even though he loved the convenience of home delivery, Alfred's sleep was far more valuable to him. Starting tomorrow, he would read the Times online.


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