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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

" When The Going Get's Tough....Jump "

Surrey Central

No connection to story below

Sometimes being a courier is not such a pleasant thing.
It was a very warm day in Vancouver by the way and I made it out to Mission and Abbotsford and back into Vancouver.
Check out this web site here to see where Mission and Abbotsford are in relation to Vancouver: Here
But, my feelings were hurt today. I had just dropped an important delivery in a building where one of our long standing customers is located. After that I went down the elevator and into the lobby area. I just wanted to sit down and make a quick call to a fellow driver to make a meet to pass him a delivery. I was very tired from the hot day and I just wanted to sit down and make the call. Now, they have just renovated this lobby area and spent quite a bit of money I suppose in the process. And, they had some nice chairs to sit on which caught my eye. I headed over and sat down, commenting politely to the security guard in the process.

" Couriers are not allowed to sit down here" she said.

I did not bother to explain to her that I just wanted to make a quick call and that I was tired. I could tell she would not be interested in that. Rather, I asked:

" Are those orders?" And, she replied:
" Yes they are."

I let her know in no uncertain terms that I felt insulted and I left with my feelings quite hurt I can assure you.
A couple of things. First, I do not have any grudge with a building manager not wanting a bunch of biker couriers, for example taking up valuable space in the middle of a downtown office structure. Or, any group of couriers or loiterers for that matter. I have been in any number of equally well-appointed buildings and no one has given me the bums rush,so to speak. I have even sat down and had a telephone conversation with a fellow driver during the morning hours in pleasant surroundings in a similar building. There were no other patrons in the lobby.
And, there were no others with me today. I think the security guard could have handled this more delicately, taking note of the fact, for example, that the lobby was empty and perhaps enquiring as if I just needed to make a quick phone call or the like. But, her manner was that of discrimination and a blanket condemnation of couriers.

I was hurt and insulted.

Now, I had time after this incident to ask a fellow driver their opinion on the matter. This person did not think it was such a big deal. Now, in the grand scheme of things, it is not a big deal. I just think it could have been handled differently and if that was the case, then I would not be submitting this entry here today for your consideration and possible feedback. Sometimes it is tough to keep professional particularly when you see the constant erosion of things that we as couriers count on. The increased volume of traffic and ever more traffic lights and the incessant construction in our City is bad enough but the City is only making matters worse by constantly taking away our loading areas in front of buildings that we count on. They are turning them into no stopping areas or bus zones. We are losing valuable real estate and things that we count on to make our job easier.
And, there are more and more buildings locking their bathrooms as well. This is a very big nuisance for couriers who just need to pop in and out and not to start to make enquiries to secretaries as the status of the bathroom key. We are too busy for that kind of nonsense, sometimes. If I may make a generalization, however, it is still the classier buildings which do not follow this practice of locking bathrooms and their buildings are 'courier friendly' in the process.

So, you see, the stress just keeps building up and the screw gets tighter on the courier .Sometimes I think the City is going to come to a grinding halt one day due to the increasing heavy use of our infrastrucure. Can you say critical mass? The way I see things the City will come to a complete standstill at just about retirement time for me, in about 3 or 4 years. I am not planning on going down with the ship.
This should be right around the time when the 2010 Winter Olympics hit Vancouver and surrounding areas.

As my pal Richard Nixon said one time: " when the going gets tough, the tough get going " I do not think Richard Nixon was ever in the courier business. I say: " When the going gets tough, it's time to jump."

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