Sunday, December 30, 2007


an interesting fact about working at a messenger company is that all, with the exception of maybe two, companies go through a phases of good messengers and so-so messengers. you can go half the year with a really good crew and the second half with a crew that at least shows up.

i see this transition happening for me in the very near future. its not really the way i want to start off the new year, especially cause of the whole tax season but i guess i'll just have to deal with what i got. its not that the cats i have right now are bad its just that some of them are rookies, which means you have to constantly keep tabs on them, make sure you route them, and try not to overload them to much. the rest of the crew is compiled by hard workers but older and not as fast. age doesn't have much to do with speed cause i've had the pleasure of working with older riders who rock out but with this crew the age definitely shows, especially in cold weather.

the main reason for the transition is losing your good riders. 6653 has decided to go back to school. for some reason he has it in his head that he's better off with an education...good for him. alot of my riders deserve better than what the streets offer so i hope things go well with him. the downside is that i miss out on a guy who can rock out 40 or so runs a day without blinking. not only that, the man has asthma...its crazy. he would show up and sometimes would have to take breaks cause the weather would affect his breathing. even through this he would still be very dependable...he also would not deny car work. distance or weight would not be a factor...he will be missed.

we lost 6682 not too long ago because he found a teaching oppurtunity in argentina. im sure it'll be a great experience for him and he's moving on from messengering but he is definitely missed by us all in the office. he never was down and out...he always had a smile on his face and would never deny work. there were plenty of times when i had to send him on super nasty runs...distance, weight, or several pick ups out of the john hancock(freight elevator is horrible) and he would just reply...10-4 or no problem.

about a week ago we lost 6674...he was a bit crazy but good. there were times when he would forget to pick up packages. there were times when he routed himself completely wrong which would cost packages being late and, more important, waist alot of energy and killing his legs. i know it sounds like im complaining about him but even though he needed to just take deep breaths and relax he rocked out a huge amount of work. he had a drop at 33 W Monroe...freight there can sometimes be a pain but not as bad as other buildings. we were not aware that the package he had was supposed to be a roundtrip. he gets to the drop and is waiting for a signature...he's holding about three more so waiting is beginning to piss him off, as well as, me. he finally gets the signature but...

6674...hey julio? you got a sig yet?

6674...yeah i got it but expect a phone call. the dude up there was an asshole. completely ruined my day., well...dont worry about it. if they call we'll deal with it but for now i need you to keep rolling.

he keeps working and i get the phone call. apparently some words were exchanged between 6674 and the client. i wish he would've never said anything cause i got him his waiting time so he was getting paid extra and i bought us time on his other packages. either way...things were said and not much more i can do. now he had to come in and explain his story and, according to company rules, he had to take a drug test. test came back positive and he was let go...fuck.

im glad i at least have a crew that will show up and do the best they can. i know they are trying hard and its very difficult to move in the winter but there out there. now i just sit and wait to see when the next phase will happen and what kind of riders i get...peace.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


people are constantly asking me for advice about becoming a big deal. im sure alot of messengers/dispatchers get asked all the time about what the job is like and so on. the following e-mails took place not to long ago...

hello sir,

you don't know me, but i am somehow under the impression that you can give me helpful advice. i have been thinking about messengering, but i'm not sure if it will make me hate riding my bicycle. i know i can bike all day, and i know i can bike in the cold. i'm not sure if i can bike all day in the cold. i don't know the loop particularly well, but being a messenger seems like a damn fine way to remedy that.

pls advise, kthx.

this wasnt a big deal...normally i try and convince people to not do it at all. it's not that the industry is a complete sh*t-hole but it can break people down. anyway, i decided to be helpful(my comments)...

not sure what to much money will you need to survive? can you do full time? biking in the winter can be very, very, very difficult but for a first timer in can also be fun. most cats like doing a winter and are ok with it. umm...the winter is ok you just have to remember to keep three points of exit warm...hands, head, feet. if you could do that then you'll be alright. the winter time is constantly busy and its the season you'll make the most money in. for a first timer you're usually better off starting in the spring time or fall...that way you get a taste of cold weather but not freezing weather and you ease your legs into getting use to the miles you'll ride. i did it for two years straight and then about three years for winters and summers...i had to stop and dispatch cause i was really starting to hate my bike. those who cant do...teach.

most companies need full-time cats so part-time might be a little difficult but there are exceptions. you wont make shit your first month or so cause you'll still be learning the streets and the know, shortcuts, security, msngr cntrs, lights, stops, sidewalks, and so on. it can be hard but if you put your time in then you'll make a liveable wage.

i hate giving advice unless im drunk and then im just telling everyone to not do it...much easier. i know i'll read this over and over wanting to edit things out or in. it can be can be shitty...Godspeed.

at this point i have no idea where the conversation might go. alot of people keep asking about the industry, some just ask one more question, and others just dont continue. the person i was communicating responds with...

i don't actually need to make money; i'm still finishing up school (taking the winter quarter, january-march off) and my parents help me out a lot. they'd probably be happier if i could pay my own rent, which isn't too bad. so yeah, money isn't really my concern; it's more the hating my bike (that you mentioned).

i'm not in my peak summer shape anymore, but i'm pretty confident i can still bike all day long, especially since this shit is flat.

as for cold, i'm a bikewinter evangelist! though on longer rides, or slower rides like CCM, i definitely get cold after a while. especially my feet. though couriers are inside buildings pretty frequently, so that might be sufficient opportunity to warm up.

i CAN do full time. i was thinking it might be easier to at least start out part-time, though, until i know my way around and feel more confident about things. and fewer hours might be preferable when it's assy out, too. i figure if i ever get up the guts to fill out an application, i'll be straight with my potential employer about that, and see what they say/need.

i have been wanting to try it out for a while now, but have kind of been scared. i guess i should suck it up and try it; i'll never know unless i give it a shot, eh?

you got to be f'n kidding don't really need the money? then why bother? i felt like the person completely wasted my time. i didn't know what to do or respond...if she/he doesn't need the money then its best they dont even try it. my response...

cats are constantly coming and going. its not unheard of to have people such as yourself to work as a messenger but dont really need to. its hard, very hard, to make money in this industry and you would just be taking up a spot for someone who actually needs the money. also, you would be taking money from those already at the company that would take you in. not good.

one more cut down on the hours when its assy out is definitely a no-no. any good messenger knows that all the money is made in shitty weather...peace.

i should mention that if bike related jobs is what you're looking for i would look to the cbf(chicago bicycle federation)...definitely good. good luck.

cats come and go all the time...the industry has one of the highest turnover percentages. i felt bad telling her/he not to even bother but i know i did the right thing? i know there's alot of people that just do certain jobs because they actually love it and dont care about the money but in the messenger field money is a huge problem. people already working as a bicycle messenger are constantly at struggle with trying to figure out ways to bring more money into the industry. messengers are living check to check...there aren't many that do it just cause. i would say that in my experience 99.9% or messengers need to make money. food, shelter, family, school, or so on...whatever the case, there isn't too much room for those just looking for a hobby...peace.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

i lost the package...

christmas eve...we're still open because you never know what might happen. the car dispatch has alot more work than bike dispatch cause of people wanting to deliver last minute gifts and whatnot. i leave early...about two o'clock or so. meanwhile, the entire time im around there is a total of about four runs. alot of guys show up...not so much cause of the possiblity of working but because they want to see if they will be able to squeeze out some holiday pay. i've been working at this company for about three months so im still not sure how the holiday pay works for the riders but its still nice to hear that they will get something for at least showing up. the good story. 6689 shows up a bit late but nothing crazy. either way this doesn't matter much cause of how slow it is. i give him one coming out of the office because we dropped the ball on it on friday(not sure on the details) and he was the closest option...even though we are slow its a pain in the ass to have to come all the way to base to just have to head back out. anyway...the following takes place...

6689...say, julio? up kid?

6689...i got hit by a car and flipped over my bars. im ok but i've been looking for the package for the last 20 minutes and its not in my bag., what? are you okay? you sure you dont need anything?

6689...yeah, im good. the guy hit me but took off on me. not much i can do. what should i do about the package? me a second.

i talk it over with the managers and they start to panic. not once did they ask me if the 6689 was ok. at this point i got to bring 6689 to talk to those in charge as well as fill out an accident report. the report also consists of a drug test that needs to be taken within 24 hours. the drug test is for insurance purposes and to protect the company. not a big deal...or at least i would like to think so.

6689...say, julio? up? you getting close to base? the managers want to talk with you...

6689...yeah, im close. i figured out what happened...there's a giant hole in my bag.

apparently when 6689 flipped over his bars his bag ripped up on the pavement causing the hole and losing the package. not much we can do at this point. all is forgiving with the messenger...after all, its not his fault some jerk hit him. the package was lost, we call the company and apologize. now its time to make sure this company is treated nice for at least a month until the next accident. its a never ending cycle. im just glad that although the packages are super important in our industry, i ask if the messenger is ok first...package second.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

new years eve...

come one, come more party, many more to come...


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

old faces...

when the days get hectic in can very difficult to get a hold of messengers. they are constantly on the go...the last thing they want to do is reach for the radio. just like us all they are thinking about is cleaning up. some guys are easier than others to get a hold of becaue of radio postion on the bag or because they are not afraid to talk and ride or...well, just cause. others...not so much. some guys keep their radio in the pocket which means it take forever for them to hear us. some cant talk becuase they may be in front of the client. some just cant hear us because of static or lack of signal. some forget their phone with their bag when checking in with buildings and some...well, just dont want to talk.

6464 has been around for a while. he's definitely a vet so special treatment is fine by me but its hard to hook up the work if you dont pick up the phone at all. he randomly calls in to let us know his location and the fact that he's clean. when i say randomly i mean exactly what i sounds never know from where he will call and you never know when he is gonna call. if its busy you can try and get a hold of him to see where he might be but you might be better off wating it out.

6365 will turn his phone off throughout the day. you never know when it will happen. he blames it on the phone day in and day out but there's only so much technology blamming you can do. he always has a smile on his face and is a super nice guy but i do remember him from the days that i use to work bitching about the lack of work. i would imagine this hasn't stopped but why bitch?

there is plenty of work to be done...every once in a while we get slow but not right now. why not just keep rocking and if you need a break just let me/us know...i have no problems giving a break here and there as long as it means you will give me your A game...whatever that may be.

on a unrelated note, i went downtown on monday to do some shopping. the minute i got off the car i bumped into a few old faces. taral or turtle...also, known as the fastest slowest messenger in chicago. always great to see that cat. he use to bring me a 40 at the end of the work week...nothing like going into the weekend with a buzz. i bumped into big steve...for some odd reason i always yell out STEVE! and he replies, WATUP JULIO! thats other words are ever exchanged. weird but cool.

last but not least...bumped into aaron. one of toughest cats i know. the man got testicular cancer and survived. during his sessions at the hospital for his condition he would keep rocking out. some days he would show up late, some he would leave early, and some he wouldn't. the fact that he even made an effort is beyond me...the kid has alot of heart. he's much better now, physically and still continues to rock out the runs. one of fastest cats and great guys i've had the pleasure of working with.

at the end of it's good to know that respect still continues...peace.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

three day weekend...

so they got me working every other saturday which means every other monday i have off cause of the whole overtime thing. friday was crazy...lots and lots of work. the car board was running about an hour or more behind. the bike board was running about 30 to an hour behind. i got to dispatch pretty much the entire crew which was nice cause i could figure out better routes and what not. i would load most guys up with five at a time and let them loose. called each guy every ten minutes to check on their location to see if i could reroute to pick other packages up. it was one of those days where you basically want to just pick up and worry about the drops later. most clients forget about their packages once its out of sight... pick up and call me. i'll let you know the order i need them dropped.

i had to tell many of my guys the exact way i wanted them to drop mainly because i wanted to keep better track of where they would be in case of super emergencies. anyway...after a long friday its nice to know you have a three day weekend coming. im happy with my guys who came through for me on friday. very, very few clients called to complain about biked orders. not sure how it happens some days but when the flow is right no matter how silly the day is everyone is happy, even in miserable weather...peace.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

misery loves company...

all day today was miserable. work was steady but the weather conditions were horrible enough to make the day very long. from the minute i woke up to the moment i left it was still raining. the rain itself is annoying but you throw in slush, cold weather, chicago wind and the day turns into a complete disaster. not too many orders got done on time today but i did not bother to try and make my guys hustle out a bit more...they had enough to deal with.

6682 quit...6653 and 6688 called in sick, sounded legit...6674 disappeared. 6674 said he lost his i.d. and his state i.d. so he could not access buildings anymore. he asked me to get a new work i.d. printed and he would show up and keep problem. got the i.d. and waited...waited some more...then kept waiting. i tried calling him but his phone was off...he said he was frustrated and pissed off at the day so i am assuming that he decided to just call it a day. i couldn't afford to lose him but there wasn't much i could do.

1168 called me just to say hello. he was working with the other bike dispatcher today. that was super nice especially in a day when everyone is pissed off.

i gotta say...not sure if its nice of me to say that messengers/dispatchers are miserable but with all the complaining we do, today was appropriate. misery definitely loves company...peace.

Saturday, December 8, 2007


well...times are changing. the weather is getting wet and cold...the true soldiers will come out and play. from now until about mid-march messengers will start quitting, showing up late, taking more days off, or just rocking out. either way, this is when a stronger bond among each other begins. at our old company we never did anything for the messengers as an incentive to come out when its freezing and snowing or raining. the most i could convince the company to do was offer coffee to messengers in the actually worked. alot of guys showed up early to enjoy a cup of coffee and a cigarette before the madness. it amazed me how something that simple goes a long way.

at the new company they offer a bit more than coffee. arrow has messenger centers throughout chicago...not sure how many buildings they own but its spread out north and south. this means that when a messenger cleans up they have the option of trying to warm up at these centers. the centers have hot chocolate and hand/feet cool is that. alot of people complain about this company cause of the strict uniform rule and a few other things but this is just a nice thing to do. they also, on very nasty days, offer an extra dollar per package. it may not sound like much but it can add up. if you rock out 30 runs you get paid whatever you made plus the extra 30 bucks...amazing. not sure how they decide what weather conditions would be suitable for the extra money but believe me when i say that i try my best to get that extra dollar everyday the weather is 30 or below.

messengers also dont have to come to base for anything...they can get direct deposit so they dont have to pick up their check...they can drop their log sheets at 131 south dearborn, a messenger center for arrow...they can fax in their log sheets...the only time they would have to come in is to fill out vacation forms, time off request sheets, meetings, and so on. its not that the base is way out of the way, its actually on the way home for many, but its nice to not have to stop by base.

one more thing...every once in a while arrow buys popeyes for their crew. thats right, i said POPEYES...peace.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

go fast...

this lady kept calling because she was placing an order through the internet but wanted to know what the fastest service would be. we kept going back and forth and after about 15-20 mins we figured out that all she needed was a bike messenger to go from 195 N Harbor to 321 N Clark on a solo...the solo is our fastest service, 30 minutes. so, we've wasted time on this super hot package trying to figure out what she wanted then she hangs up and places the order as a car solos i believe run about 45 minutes in the loop(i think). she calls back and we're at it again...back and forth for about another 10-15 minutes and she FINALLY realizes the bike solo is definitely the way to go. she hangs up and places the order through the internet again. in her instructions she types out, "GO FAST...PLACE TWO ENVELOPES IN BAG"...what? go fast? are you kidding me? you placed it on the solo service which means i will dispatch to next available messenger...he/she will do what they can to get the package done within the 30 minute window. the lady doesn't realize that there's a snow storm outside...its icy, windy, wet, and so on.

she also doesn't realize that harbor is way up the hill on east randolph and that 321 clark has a pretty slow freight(depending on the day). i let all that slide and i make the call..., 4-6

6646...what up? got a super hot solo up the hill for you. the lady requested our fastest messenger and i thought of you. she also said to..."GO FAST"...

6646...well, i guess i better do my best then...umm, where is harbor?

i couldn't stop laughing...where is harbor? priceless. anyway, the job got done on time and everyone was happy. i just think its funny that people dont mind us bending the know, red lights, pedestrians, sidewalks, stop signs, and so long as we "GO FAST".

Monday, December 3, 2007

they are all just numbers...

no matter what company you work for there has always been a high turnover in the bicycle messenger industry. i've seen many come and go and i've only worked for two companies so far. some last one hour, one week, one month, one year, and so on...not too many stay put in one company. there are some exceptions...fourstar or service first...for the most part, all other companies see many come and go. in the last few months working at standard courier we had a young lady come in and get a job...she did pretty well, especially considering she was a rookie. she quit after about two weeks. about a month after i started the new job at arrow i saw her come in and get the job...again, she quit after about two weeks. not really sure why some people do got in, why not give it a try. the worst part of the whole thing is that all the moving around destroys the industry...the more messengers are unreliable the less respect they get. not saying that this is what happens in all situations but it does happen to often...not only that, it definitely makes my job harder. i count on these cats to show up and rock out for me but then about an hour after im sitting comfortably in my seat i get the notification..."6670 quit today". now im a person short and didn't get enough notice to cover the spot. i do get regulars...6637, 6653, 6645, 6589(no matter how much of a jerk he is), 6665, and others show up. some may show up much later than they should but, at this point, at least they show up?

like i tell a bunch of my cats are all numbers to me, after work you are fabian, ryan, taral, aaron, and you get the idea...peace.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

old post from different blog...

i've been sick for the past couple of days but the good thing about working at this company is that i get to take time off without any worries...we have to bike dispatchers, which at first may seem ridiculous but ends up working out. anyway, i figure i would just post an old post from a different blog just because i have nothing to report and maybe some haven't read about my old crew...

yesterday -627- shows up to work with a big plastic bag. he opens the bag and just says the word "mango"...he reaches in and hands me one...its one of the juiciest and delicious mango's i've had in a while. its not the first time some of my guys have brought me things...i've gotten 40's, tequila straight from mexico, mugs, shot glasses, shirts, and so on. not sure if they do it cause they think im gonna hook them up or if they do it just cause...either way, it always feels good when they show me some sort of love cause most of the time we are all just cussin' each other out...

today started off just fine...everyone was showing up. i was joking with was flowing. then, the work got to be to much...not because of the amount but because most of my guys right now are rookies that dont know their way around town, dont know how to use the phone system, and are just out right slow. -791- takes 30 minutes to pick up a package and 30 minutes to deliver...this means i cant count on him for shit. i gotta keep him on standards all matter how many orders he does in a day the money just isn't gonna add up which sucks cause he's a good kid but just not quick enough for the job. i should add that he also doesn't know north from south and east from west and so on...its a freaking headache. i also have guys like -792- who just doesn't care about anything...which in some cases can be a good assest. he either does the job or doesnt...he either does it right or doesn't...he just does not care. no matter how many times we explain to him that communication is very important he just doesn't answer his phone...he's running a very thin line.

late in the day our system went paiges going through and the messengers couldn't place their p.o.d.'s...this means i have to check on all my riders one by one to see whats going on. not that thats a big deal cause i 've done it before but this time im dealing with "rookies"...i send a paige to -707- but he never gets it. i don't realize it till its starts redlining...i call him and he's just chilling at t.c.(not his fault but very fucking annoying). i gotta get someone else on it...i call up another rider(which happens to be a rookie) and all i can do is hope for the best. now the client starts calling which means i got my boss breathing down my neck...i keep calling the rider to see where he's at but get no response...finally, he answers and says he's there but little does he realize that my boss is on the phone with the client and there is no sign of him. this really pisses off my boss which causes more heat on fucked, the rider is fucked, the client is fucked and everyone is in a state of piss'd-off. this incident finally blows over but i know tomorrow i'll hear something about it...

i finally take care of all my duties late and i just sit there and try to relax myself before having to ride home knowing that tomorrow is another day of rookies...peace.

...i do miss the old days but the new crew is growing on me.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

pointless saturdays...

like i've said before, i work at a new company. working at a new company has brought a weird schedule. when i first started i would randomly show up between 8 and 9 and just leave around five...not a big deal. now they got me working ten to six...taking every other monday off but working every other saturday. i dont mind the mondays off but the saturdays are pointless to work.

i mainly just sit around and watch t.v. and answer the random calls that are most likely to set up orders for monday morning. we are a 24 hour, 7 days a week, 365 days a year company so i understand being open on the weekends but i dont understand why the bike dispatcher has to show up. no drivers respond to any of my calls...maybe its because they dont recognize my voice or radio number. either way, im left all alone with maybe 3 to 5 jobs a night with no one to do them. i just sit there patiently then when its time to dispatch i radio my boss and have him find a driver for me.

the next saturday i have to work i think i'll bring a dvd player and stop by blockbuster...its the best way to get through the nights. the best i can say is that at least its not on sundays when the bears play...peace.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


last years promoters/organizers where not sure about putting it on this year. its not that turn out is low, its just that organizing races can take a toll on people. either way, they got together again and its game on...

cranksgiving is back...a little late but still in the same spirit. its free to race and its all for a good cause. we probably wont reach the same numbers as new york might but any little bit helps...come one, come all.

Friday, November 23, 2007

turkey slows up everyone...

one of the longest days of the year. the day after thanksgiving everyone in the u.s. is busy shopping and not working. it's pretty much pointless for me to show up but it is payday for the bikers and there was still about five jobs that needed to get done. it'll be a quick day for me...i'll get off mid-day and then i'll head home to change and probably get rolling to join the crowds and the shopping.

on another note, wednesday was crazy. the weather was out of control...rain, snow, wind, and cold temps. took a while for bikers to show up...i dont blame them but it does make dispatching nearly impossible. anyway, by the time bikers came in we were slowly playing catch up the entire day. i pretty much was taken off dispatch...voluntarily(hope i spelled that right). i became an order taker and just watched the other dispatcher work. im sure i would've done the same but it was quite entertaining watching him tear the board apart. everytime he heard the magic word..."clean"...he dispatched about 7 to 9 jobs to the biker and left him alone until he heard that word again. meanwhile, i sat in front of a fan answering phones while my pants, tights, socks, and shoes dried. all the soldiers that showed up did an amazing job. im sure the other dispatcher will remember who was there for him...everyone gets hooked up...peace.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

lets "talk"...

thursday all day was a giant headache...we had about five bikers and a couple of walkers all day. everything was fine and the work was getting done...although sometimes the work was getting done alot later than expected. we had it under control but i knew that around 1500 or so many companies were gonna start calling in all their last minute deliveries which means that all packages are to be done as soon as possible cause of the 1700 deadline. at this point i tell the operations manager to let the order takers know that we need to start buying 20 to 30 minutes on all deliveries.

everything is fine then around 1615 i had three loop runs headed north...way north but no one to do it. finally i hear those beautiful words..."clean". its 6589 clean around triple three south state which is perfect cause he's about three blocks from the deliveries headed north. he isn't happy at all with the work... just made me drop all the way south and now you're gonna send me north? one of those days. i got no one to rock'em plus its a set of's not like you're going on a single run. have no one else to do them? tell me right now if you're gonna do them cause i literally have no one available but if you're gonna be like that i'll take off of you and you can sit.

silence over the radio. i ask again if he's taking them but no response...i assume he's going to rock them. about ten minutes go by and now there are three more up north coming back south. i talk to the other dispatcher about what to do with them and he suggests to dish them to 6589 cause he's headed north and it'll start sending him back towards where he lives. i agree and dispatch them... i warned you about this. are you talking about? you got three going north and three coming back...its a perfect set plus they are drops on your way home...its perfect. ain't got no one else? i dare you to talk to me like that when i come pick up my check tomorrow. get the work done and i'll call you when i get off of work. leave your radio on and i'll meet you so we can "talk" about it. not gonna "talk". didn't think you were but i am more than willing to meet up with you to "talk".

the night finally is over and 6589 calls me cause he needs help with one of the drops. i help him and ask him where he would like to meet. he doesn't want to so i let him know that i would "talk" with him on friday morning cause it would be nice to start the weekend on a good note. he shows up the next morning i go out to meet him and extend my hand...not to apologize or to say hello but just cause what else do i say? he looks at me and we exchange just waiting for the first move but my boss quickly interrupts. he starts to complain about he seems to be the only one running around and he sees other fellow workers just sitting around eating and what not. this is his complaint...that he has too much work. messengers get paid by the delivery...if there is any favorites its him but he doesn't see it that way. not only that...he doesn't seem to remember that i just started with this new company about a month ago. i have no favorites cause i dont know any of them. i refuse to dispatch him...i want a crew that likes to work. i'll take a complaint here and there cause Lord knows i mess up at times but this cat has got problems. on a side note...the weekend was perfect.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

i lost my bike...

for the past three days 6674 has called in. on monday i didn't mind cause it was veterans day. i'll explain about veteran's day in a minute...on tuesday, 6674 calls again:

*my phone begins to alert up? what up?

6674...dude, i've been looking all over for my bike but i can't find it. im gonna keep looking all day today and as soon as i find it i'll come in. are you serious?

6674...yeah. i know i put it somewhere but...i'll find it then i'll call you.

the day continues...its veterans day so im not expecting a busy day at all. banks, post office, city buildings, and other offices are closed. so my mind is all set to take it light all day and just mess around at work. then it phone call, two phone calls, ten phone calls, 26 phone calls, and it only gets worse. i have about ten guys out there to help out but a few of them are walkers. 6463 gets his bike stolen...he chases the cat but he is too fast. super depressing...i ask in which direction the guy goes in case i can get other guys on the crew to intercept him but the guy heads south and i have everyone in the loop and north. all i can do is say sorry and ask if he's okay. 6463 being a true soldier says he'll walk the rest of the packages he has and will stay as long as there is work. others leave early cause they came in expecting a slow day also. next thing you know its about 1530 or so and 446 east ontario decides to call in over 30 im so slammed that the car board, which we usually have to help out, is forced to lend a hand. the whole day would've been just another normal day if it wasn't for my head thinking it was veterans one should work on veterans day.

anyway, the day is almost over and at about 1800 mr.6674 finally decides to call back to let me know about his bike... up kid?

6674...dude, i've been all over my neighborhood and a few other spots and i cant find where i put my bike. i cant remember where i locked it up. dont know what to tell you bro. umm...well...umm...

6674...naw. don't worry dude. i'll come in tomorrow with the mountain bike. it'll suck and i'll be slower but at least i'll be working. no worries. i'll let the other dispatcher know.

while this whole conversation was happening i kept thinking to myself about how fucked up he must of gotten over the weekend to not remember where he put his bike. not once did it cross his mind that his bike was stolen...he completely blammed it on his memory loss which he still hasn't told me how that happened. i actually dont want to know. he definitely did some unusual ways of getting through the weekend that i rather not be a part of. dont get me wrong...6674 is a great guy but this is a little to much for me. one more thing...6463 who got his bike stolen showed up. 6674 is still looking for his bike.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

true soldiers...

i was going through flickr and came across a picture taken by gabrielmcintosh...the pic shows my old crew at the previous messenger company i worked at. aaron, sam, turtle, chris...all true soldiers. not that the company i work at doesn't have hard workers but these cats along with a few others would show up day in and day out without a complaint and would do anything given to them.

car work, bike work, distance, weight, pcs...nothing mattered. they rocked it all without hesitation. aaron could ride his bike and roll a cig with one hand with no problem while on his way to pick up or drop off. sam was a beast...didn't matter what the package was, he rocked it. probably was the fastest messenger i've had the pleasure of dispatching. turtle(taral) is the slowest fastest messenger in the history of messengers. he rocked a huge freight train for a bike...had a bike rack, never had a messenger bag but day in and day out he was there. he wasn't just there, he also did most jobs in one day than most hot shots do in two...he is a horse. chris...chris is just the shit. an all around great person...good mechanic, great drinking buddy, and when he worked he just got the job done. my favorite quote from him..."your dispatcher is like your pimp and you are just his ho...get the job done and he treats you nice. fuck up the job and he slaps the shit out of you"...peace.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

funny story...

yesterday i decided to hit up burger baron...when i got there it was pretty empty inside. i take it cause it was early but i had to go cause i was craving some chilli for some reason. as i waited for my order to take to work with me these two young cats started asking me if i was one of those messengers. sometimes explaining the whole messenger bizz is a little annoying but this time it wasn't bothering me. the funny story comes here...they started to share different funny stories they have witnessed cyclist do. i say cyclist but to them...anyone near downtown on a bike is a messenger. the best story was when a cyclist was coming up on a construction site of sorts. they were laying down cement/concrete and apparently there wasn't to many signs or anything saying that there was wet cement being layed out. the cyclist kept going straight and the front wheel sunk into the cement and flipped over his bars landing into the cement. bike and cyclist covered in the madness. i dont know about you but that was funny as hell to me. i couldn't stop laughing...the entire time i was thinking, what if that were me? would i laugh, cry, run, never come out into the public again, and so on...thats gotta suck but not for everyone watching.

this weekend is gonna be bananas...yesterday i picked up a couple of friends from the airport cause of the weekends cycling events. skids'n'tricks last night and today the sadie hawkins race. cant wait...peace.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

dont panic under pressure...

i use to work all alone. i had others by my side but i was the only dispatcher. i would only ask for help when i needed someone to call a client to charge them more, wrong address, weight, and so on...nothing crazy. now i work with another dispatcher...i show up and he's under control. usually i just sit there until about 11o'clock or so then he sends me about half the crew to work with. he takes on the distance riders and walkers and maybe one more cat. im usually rocking out with about six guys or so. me and the other dispatcher are pretty much fighting over packages...its kind of weird but it works. we ask each other if its cool for me to grab a few runs and he does the same...

today the guy that usually sits to my right called in sick. not a big deal cause im use to working alone but now i gotta deal with distance riders, walkers, and the loopers. also, im fairly new to the crew so im still not use to everyones wants and needs. the whole day went super smooth...i dont find out how well my crew did till tomorrow but im confident we rocked in the 90's. no sillyness from 6674 who usually gets lost for no reason other than he thinks and does things at different speeds...6664 finally is routing himself properly and not wasting his legs or making packages late without me knowing...1141 was happy that i was able to keep him away from the loop for the most part...1016 is, as usuall, probably faster on two feet than most cats are on two wheels...all in all, im getting use to the crew and realize that we got some soldiers...peace.

Monday, November 5, 2007

no one wants to work...

i've started work at a different company and things are going well. it's a different crew but the same problems. no big deal...nice and easy transition. the only thing that has been super annoying is the fact that this new crew denies work more than any other crew i've had the pleasure of working with. the new crew aren't considered independant contractors(i.c.'s)...they are actual employees. they still get paid commision but have health benefits, paid vacations, sick days, and so on. this is why i don't understand what the f**k is going on. they rather sit around and wait, and wait, and wait, and wait...until they get the actual package that suits their needs. it makes no're an employee. doesn't that mean you have to pick up the package no matter what...exceptions being weight, height, and so on.

i understand the weather is changing and things can get rough out there but dont you want to make some money while you figure out the fact that the business you're in isn't for you? the day was slow today but it was busy because riders aren't responding on the radio, denying packages, and just not showing up. not much i could do all day...i felt frustrated. it felt like i was houdini trying to break out of some impossible escape act. packages were late all day...had to load up messengers with 5 or 6 at a time and just sit there and wait under radio silence until the magic words..."im clean". nothing sounded better all day. the seven cats that showed up today will be hooked up all day everyday for the next week. the whole day i was apologizing to my crew for giving them the yoyo affect...for making them go up and down the bridges...for routing them my way and not their way. i had no choice today but, in the end, i escaped another long day. tomorrow i have to look at the numbers and see the 90+ on time percentage drop considerably...i'll deal with this crew for now but i do see some new cats coming in the very near future...peace.