My First Job: Joe Catti

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MY FIRST REAL JOB was delivering newspapers for the Miami Herald when I was 14. I shared a route with a friend who was old enough to drive. We had to get up at 4 in the morning to fold and bag the papers. Then we made the deliveries. My friend would drive the route, and I would throw the papers.

“This was way back in the early ‘70s. Today you pay for your newspaper online, or you get a bill in the mail. But way back then, we had to collect the payments in person. We would actually walk the neighborhood, knocking on doors, to collect payments for the subscriptions.

“I learned a lot about work ethic and commitment. I didn’t like getting up at 4 in the morning to deliver papers before school, but I had to do it. We worked seven days a week and never had a day off. I had to get the job done and then get to school on time every day.

“We didn’t have a boss. We were completely independent. That was probably my favorite thing about the job—not having a boss. But we had to be responsible for ourselves and get the work done on our own. That played a role in developing my work ethic and commitment, for sure.

“I worked there for probably about a year. Then I got a job in a dry cleaning business, putting clothes into the washer and then moving them into the dryer. I still remember that the laundry job paid $1.75 per hour.”


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