Will I ever get another job again?
25.11.07 by Buffalo Bill
This is a question I used to ask myself on really slow days. Sitting in Soho Square, or in the Court Caff or in the rider’s room. A slow day. The futility of having finely-tuned racing machine that was racing nowhere, locked to a railing.
The pointlessness of buying another hot drink on a cold day, conscious that you hadn’t even made enough money to pay for it. The anxiety as the slow day turns into a slow week. And is followed by another slow week. A month ago we had a postal strike, and some riders were boasting of 200 pound days, 800 pound weeks. Now there’s no boasting, and it’s long faces on Fridays.
‘It’s crap, and this is supposed to be the busiest time of year’, said one rider to me.
I have never been able to predict what months will be busy, or even really explain why some days, or weeks, are slower than others. I don’t think anyone can. Why is it so slow now? I have no idea. The Northern Rock thing might be making everyone nervous about spending money, or it could be the price of oil, or the England team going out – your guess is as good as mine.
Is it the beginning of the end of courieriiering? No, definitely not. Nearly everything that can be sent down a wire already is, and people still find it necessary to bike hard-drives around. As I have said before, people have been predicting the death of the bicycle messenger since the 1950s. Is a recession just around the corner? Maybe, but couriers worked right throught the last two.
To keep your minds off feeling sorry for yourselves, you could try and feel sorry for the Los Angeles messengers. New rules that come into force Jan 1st 2008 mean that court filings can be made electronically. According to one LA messenger, 95% of the work that LA messengers do is court related.