Monday, January 4, 2016

News from Zontar: Newspaper publisher admits error

[Editors' Note: Longtime readers of the Spy will recall that every so often, we get dispatches from the distant planet Zontar, in the Remulac galaxy.  Although there appear to be intelligent life forms on Zontar, their obvious differences from us Earthlings make their experiences almost incomprehensible to us.  Nonetheless we sometimes use their dispatches if only to show how strange alien life can be.]

By A.Z. Ziebling
Media Correspondent

BOZTON, Sector M – Confronting a backlash from loyal readers, the owner of the region's leading newspaper has now admitted that his decision to save a few bucks by destroying his home delivery operation was a mistake and has vowed to restore the system and the employees which had worked so well for decades.

The owner, former commodities finagler Zhon Henry, had greeted the new year by booting out his efficient home delivery system and replacing it and its employees with a cut-rate outsourcing outfit which promptly bollixed up the whole thing.  As a result, tens of thousands of loyal subscribers have awakened to empty doorsteps and delivery tubes, with many threatening to drop their lucrative paper subscriptions entirely..

The new arrangement was designed to save a few bucks by relying on lower-cost labor overseen by an ill-managed outsourcing venture, while keeping the billionaire owner/publisher free from any responsibility for home delivery problems.  Instead, he has found himself in the cross-hairs of withering criticism from disappointed readers and laid-off deliverers.  One loyal reader,  Jimmy Burke of Old Sludgebury, said: “I'm paying six hundred bucks a year and they can't even find my house.  That's f***** up."

After thousands of similar complaints flooded in, Zhon Henry told his readers: “We made a mistake.  We're going back to the old system and rehiring our loyal and knowledgeable home delivery team."  To bridge the gap, Henry and the other suits are picking up papers every night at 2 a.m. and delivering them one by one in communities where the outsourced home delivery system, believed to be controlled by Ben Cherrington, has collapsed.

“It's cold, hard work, but it's worth it to keep the faith with our loyal subscribers.  I can't ask our ill paid reporters to work an entire second shift and still put out a first-rate product during the day.  What kind of manager would pursue a ridiculous strategy like that?"  Henry said.

Although the exact cause of the home delivery debacle is not known, sources close to the shadowy outsourcing firm point to its reliance on free agents who are not up to the task.  “Justin Masterson couldn't even throw the paper out the window, so he has to stop the car at every house and walk up the steps.  It takes him 10 times as long," one source said.  Other new deliverers, like Grady Sizemore, are simply too old and too slow to get the job done.

Henry, who left his Boca Raton mansion to return North, said he will do whatever it takes to fix the damage.  He added that his wife Zinda wanted to join him but that she had a conflicting Shiatsu massage appointment.

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