Deliver Strikes like the UPS Guy



I never had a paper route growing up, but I did once tag along on a friend’s paper route.

It was everything you’d expect from a young kid laden with a bag of paper missiles biking around town in the wee hours of the morning, with no one watching him.

I played lots of baseball back then, which is why I think he wanted me along. He wanted someone to throw the papers on to front stoops more accurately than he did.

Come to think of it, he probably just wanted someone to goof off with.

As we biked along, I watched him, mouth agape, hurl papers at houses, barely looking where he was throwing, before assaulting the next home, hurrying to finish his route as quickly as he could.

The day’s news catapulted out of his satchel, landing everywhere except in front of the door where it belonged.

In the bushes, at the bottom of the steps, under a car, one even landed on an awning.

I glanced at him, as he shrugged and laughed, ”that woman is a hag,” dismissing my concern.

Reckless, inaccurate, impatient.

He was a terrible paperboy, more a bike-by shooter than a delivery person.

In contrast, consider the venerable UPS Guy.

Through my kitchen window, I watch The UPS Guy stop his truck, rummage around in the back, triumphantly emerge with his present. I watch him carry his package, my package, to the front door, ring the bell and hand it to me personally, ensuring his precious cargo makes it to its intended destination, always the consummate professional.

The Paperboy tosses the newspaper with a throw-and-hope mentality. He throws the paper, and you hope it gets in the general vicinity of your front door so you don’t have to climb a tree to retrieve it.

The UPS Guy dodges toys in the front yard, skirts around barking dogs, ducks under low-hanging tree branches — nothing stops him until he reaches that front door and leaves his package right where it belongs. He is in total control the entire trip, from his truck to your hands.

Many people learn to punch like the paperboy. They throw out a punch from a distance and hope it somehow hits its target. The moment the punch leaves, they have lost control of it, the way I knew I threw a bad pitch as soon as the baseball left my hand, but I could do nothing to change its wayward course.

That’s no way to punch.

So, don’t throw your punches, deliver your punches directly to their target.

Deliver strikes like the UPS Guy, Not like the Paperboy.