Saturday, May 17, 2008
i've decided to interview people from the industry and ask them random questions. i kept trying to figure out who would be my first victim. after much consideration i came up with rene...my first and favorite dispatcher. the man knew how to make a day flow like water. he doesn't get mentioned much but he's been around for a long time...has seen many come and go(especially the ladies)...
1.when did you start this biz? have the years been on and off or straight?
Let's see...It's been so long I'm not even positive of when I started. I think it was back in 1995. I'm actually sure it was 95. It has mostly been on. In my entire career in the biz I have taken 3 months off here and a couple there. I went to go live in Toronto for a few months and I traveled a for a couple of months.
2.what bike did you start on? what bike are you rocking nowadays?
I started out on a Diamondback Mongoose. Now I have a Pake for everday use and a Felt F65(first major bike purchase) for nice days and the NACCC.
3.what made you begin to dispatch? was it an easy transition?
I started to dispatch when the higher ups said they needed someone in the office as they we're getting busier. I was reluctant because I really just wanted to ride. I talked them into letting me do it part time but then started doing it full time. I kind of felt I could do more good for the bikers. But I would always volunteer to ride when they were short handed on the streets.
4.how has the city changed throughout your career?
harder or easier?
What do you mean by the city changing? If you mean the buildings getting all secure then it's harder now. Before messengers were able to just go up into buildings and take regular elevators which, of course, take seconds to go up rather then checking in, dropping bags and taking the freight. I remember it was cool to go up into some office with an amazing view of the city. Now we end up in some back office mail room. I used to stop and watch the traders at the Board of Trade or hang out for an extra minute or two in the sky lobby at 311 S. Wacker. But those days are gone.
5.you've seen many come and go...any specific messengers stick out in your mind?
Wow, there have been so many. I feel that I've learned a lot from all of them. Most have been artist, musicians, writers, you name it. They also helped break me out of my shyness. I was an extremely shy guy before I messengered. This may take awhile. Mostly the old school Standard crew. Everyone from you, Mike Morell, Bryan Rybeck (a skate boarder from Ohio), Brent Olds (amazing bass player), Theo (quite the character), Trey former roommate, Genia (cute girl, good cyclist had a crush on), Gretchen (great all around person. Funny had a crush on her too). Outside of standard Jack Blackfelt (moved to NYC and has made a name for himself out there as a messenger), John Greenfield (he really put together a lot of messenger events, for charity, that no one has ever been able to match), Will at Dynamex (he's still out there. Used to DJ parties and Greenfield events), a girl named Kristen that worked at Apex (great person to talk to during stand by and also cute and I had a crush on her). A strange one. I remember a guy named David Maust. I talked to him. He seemed normal enough. He was even nice. I would make fun of him (not in a mean way just in a joking way) I would refer to him as "The Thing" because he had a very square and jagged face. He left Standard and years go by. He's not even a thought until I'm watching the news and they mention his name. He's been arrested for murder and cops found bodies in his basement. Yes I was freaked out.
I know I'm going to look like an ass leaving some people out because there's a lot more so I apologize.
But saving the best for last. A girl named Susanna Bady. She was a great friend. It was a day before the 4th of July so it was slow as shit. We talked and hung out all day. After that we hung out outside of work. Had a slight crush on her but we had a great relationship as friends. She went to Australia and New Zealand, ended up in San Francisco and I lost touch with her after that. I tried to track her down but no luck so far. I still think of her every so often.
6.how did you keep your messengers happy? where you able to or not?
Well that's one reason what kept me dispatching. I felt that no one could dispatch unless they were actually out on the streets. Other people not knowing and sending people all over the place or routes that don't make sense really bothered me. I wanted to make sure that routes made sense, you know, the sooner they can get it done the more money they can make. I also really kept a really good look on how much guys were making during the day and tried to make sure they were getting what they were putting into it. I also made sure that they knew that I was one of them. That I've been out there and I know what they mean when things would go wrong or right.
7.how many cats at one time did you dispatch? whats more difficult...too many guys or not enough guys?
I'd say I've dispatched as much as 12-15 guys. I would have to say too many guys is more difficult. Again you're trying to make them money and keep people moving but hearing complaints and nothing you can do about it just bugged me. Some even wanted to quit on the spot. And trying to keep guys around was hard to do. You know they're hurting for money but you like these guys and want them to stick around. There were guys that you didn't care too much for and would rather they quit but everyone's got to look out for themselves. Although i have to say just having the right amount of guys was great. You picture where guys are, planning routes, and making it work. It becomes like a symphony when everything works and flows together and the job is getting done. It does get stressful at times but
8.any records that you may hold that are worth telling?
apparently he doesn't have any or he's to modest...anywhoo, whether he likes it or not im showing you cats this...
9.do you prefer messengering or dispatching?
Of course I'll have to say messengering. Good days or bad days, you're outside, no walls, working with friends, hanging with friends, no boss over your shoulder, should I go on?
10.what are you up to presently?
Well 4 Star of course. Working on hobbies, such as, I started taking stunt classes as in stuntman, I play on a pool league, martial arts, working out, working on music. I'm hoping to document the next few month, on video, messengering and leading up to the NACCC. It all keeps me busy.
if you see him make sure to pay your respects...he's a good man, a good messenger, a great dispatcher, and a great friend...peace.