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Messenger Mailing List -- [messengers] Teen Finds a Different summer Job

Messenger Mailing List Archives

Joe Hendry -- [messengers] Teen Finds a Different summer Job

Date: 2005/07/29 11:20
From: Joe Hendry


Special Delivery Teen Finds a Different summer Job - As a Bicycle
Messenger


Buffalo News, July 27,2005

By Molly Hirshbeck
        

It's a beautiful Monday afternoon, and Martha Clark, 19, hops on her
bike. She leisurely rides her way downtown, stopping to browse the open
air Elmwood market. Sometimes she rides over to New World Record to see
if the new Ben Folds album has been shipped, or she'll make a stop at
Rick Cycle Shop to chat about the latest race and refill her tires.

The catch? She's getting paid for it.

After completing her freshman year at the University at Buffalo, Clark
decided she needed a job to fill her days. Things weren't looking too
good - then she spotted on online ad looking for bicyclists. An avid
rider, Clark applied for the job and obtained the position she now
holds: downtown bike messenger.

Every Monday and Wednesday, Clark rides her bike to Ellicott Square,
where she meets with her boss at Zippy Delivery Bicycle Messenger
Service about the day's activities.

It is her responsibility to start the deliveries. Clark mounts her bike
and totes papers from law firm to law firm, art store to art store.
After the stops are made, she then is "on call" for the next two hours,
waiting for her cell phone to ring for another delivery pickup.

On a busy day, this call may come within five minutes; on others it may
never come. It's at this point on the job that Clark is faced with some
time on her hands. Regardless of the weather, she is faced with plenty
of options.

On sunny days, she'll grab lunch at a hot dog stand or sit around the
water fountains and catch some sun. On darker days, she stops in the
library or walks through St. Joseph's Cathedral.

That's not all though. "Before the summer is over, I'd like to go to
the top floor of the HSBC building, try the free lunch in Lafayette
Square, and visit City Hall," Clark says. "During my breaks, the
possibilities are really endless."

Clark says that her job really gives her three major benefits: she gets
paid, she gets to ride, and she gets to explore the city. "I've grown
up in suburbs where the kind of houses and buildings found in downtown
simply don't exist. Sometimes I walk into a building and just stare for
a couple of seconds."

When her cell finally rings, her destination could lead her to any of a
number of places.

Clark's deliveries range from government documents, to stationery, to
art. Since she is an independent contractor, she gets paid on
commission. This can be great if it's a busy delivery day; it can also
mean a small paycheck if it's not.

Yet Clark sees the job as a mostly positive experience. "This job is so
unique because you are so independent - independent in regards to how
fast you go or when you eat lunch, what route you decide to take to a
destination, even what clothes you wear to work," explains Clark. There
are the occasional tough days, like the day she had to balance a
20-pound delivery on her bike while cycling uphill. Or the time when it
was raining and miserable, and she became a slippery juggling act on
two wheels.

But in the end, these days are almost forgettable compared to the
others. "I'm getting paid to ride my bike and be outdoors. I couldn't
think of anything better."



-------------------------------------------
Messenger Institute for Media Accuracy:
http://www.messmedia.org/
===========================================


                
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The IFBMA general resources page:
http://www.messengers.org
The Bicycle Messenger Emergency Fund:
http://www.bicyclemessenger.com


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Shawn "bega" Blumenfeld

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updated: January 24 2018

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