Oakland Andrew: Continuing

Jun 05 2012

(continuing our email discussion about work as a messenger on a track bike.)

T:Now we never really had cash tags that I can remember doing. Most of the hustle for money was based on rushes, waiting time and oversize truck-rate delivery.

Our dispatcher Brian used to call me Townie Tim because I saw the $ in local work more than the glory of riding to Conshy on a trackbike.

I give a lot of the credit to our friend Landlord Mike for specializing and developing this kind of work. Its pretty clear that you can make more money going really fast carrying heavy stuff then carrying one package 50 blocks.

So for me the optimum job was a Double Oversize TimeWarp (15 minutes delivered from the first call) RoundTrip with Waiting Time.

We had some medical supply runs, a heart I think, in a styrofoam box.

New York has much more glamourous jobs to fashion shoots and movie sets and stuff but people really trreat you like the shit you scrape off your shoe.

In Philadelphia there was a little bit of rep with riding for a good company, in New York none of that mattered, its just to massive.

I quickly figured out alternate messenger routes in New York.

A: Did you have free call?

All the top end companies here worked on free call. If you played your cards right and ended your day in North Point or “The Corner” you could run B15s off for the last two hours of the day, those areas are where all the advertising and architectural firms are. You could earn a whole days salary in the last three hours of the day, some OGs only worked from 2-6.

Since I was so young when I started messengering, I always had nicknames about my age, I was “Superteen” and then my radio number was 84 so I got called “BabyFour”

Some other SF messenger nicknames:
Moose, Shark, Spiller, Nasmo, Pokey, FreeLove, Freeway, J-rider, Swerve, Trout, Princess, Loops, Mongo, Tall Tim, Nice Tim, Mr. Freeman, Fish, Danny Boy, Tractor, Double, Kitty, Serb, Super Mike,

T: Time Cycle had/s free call. I really liked the whole system and was bummed the two legitimate companies (breakaway for a few months 97-98 and calvary for a few months in 2000.) I worked for in New York had nextels, which was way better than the payphones and pagers and later pre-pays and pagers that I would be stuck with for most of the 2000’s.

The radio chatter at Time Cycle was pretty vicious, I couldn’t help myself with that thing. Everything you said had 20 messengers listening to it. Brian the dispatcher was always scolding me for being a townie. One time Brian was trying to cover some mission and asked this guy Callahan where he was and he said “Just out here basking in the sun”. I know its really not funny sounding now but at the time I though that was the funniest thing in the world.

Some more annoying shit I liked was when people would broadcast sirens over their radios, or loud music, or this cool mentally-off dude Million Dollar Man singing this song that followed this structure:

Million Dollar Man with a Million Dollar Hat
Million Dollar Dog and Million Dollar Cat

About Time Cycle-I wanted to work there real bad after I moved back from NY the first time. I don’t think I fit Boney’s cyclist profile, but I was persistent enough they finally gave me a job in the office until a riding position opened up.

I must have sucked on the phones-I think some South Philly funeral director complained that I sounded bummed out so they put me on the street probably to get rid of me so they could smoke in peace or whatever.